Home Sports-Free College football: Five home games, new-look SLC slate highlight 2021 NSU schedule

College football: Five home games, new-look SLC slate highlight 2021 NSU schedule

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By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations 

NATCHITOCHES – After a year of uncertainty, there will be some feeling of normalcy this fall for the Northwestern State football team.

The Demons announced their 11-game fall schedule Friday – a slate featuring five home games and a unique Southland Conference campaign.

Northwestern State opens the season with regional non-conference road games at Conference USA member North Texas (Sept. 4) and Alcorn (Sept. 11) before kicking off the Turpin Stadium portion of its schedule against UT Martin on Sept. 18.

“The proximity of the two non-conference games to Natchitoches provides an opportunity for our fans to travel and support the team. The North Texas game may have special appeal for those who want to spend the holiday weekend in the Dallas Metroplex,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke.

“Regional rivalries are also a focus whenever possible in the scheduling process. The home and home series with Alcorn, along with future games against Grambling and Prairie View A&M, reflect that approach.”

Head coach Brad Laird, who begins his fourth season in September, echoed the importance of playing a pair of relatively nearby non-conference foes.

“You look at the North Texas game, we have a good number of Texas guys on our roster,” he said. “Then you look at Alcorn, and it’s a lot like the North Texas game where it’s not a team we normally see, but we have some guys from Mississippi on the roster.”

NSU begins its new-look Southland Conference slate Sept. 25 at Southeastern Louisiana. The Lions are one of three teams the Demons will face in home-and-home matchups in 2021.

With the departure of five members to the Western Athletic and A-Sun conferences, the Southland instituted the trio of home-and-home matchups to maintain an eight-game conference schedule.

Southeastern Louisiana will return to Turpin Stadium on Oct. 23, which serves as Northwestern State’s annual Homecoming game.

In addition to the Lions, the Demons face McNeese (Oct. 16 home, Nov. 20 away) and Houston Baptist (Oct. 9 away, Nov. 6 home) in home-and-home series.

“You don’t see that in college football,” Laird said. “I just talked about the normalcy of playing an 11-game season, and it’s a little bit different once we get to conference. In order to play the 11-game schedule and approach some sense of normalcy, you play three teams twice. It’s very unique. For our guys, the opportunity to play 11 Saturdays is what’s important.”

Northwestern State rounds out its eight-game Southland Conference schedule by hosting Incarnate Word on Oct. 2 and traveling to Nicholls on Oct. 30.

Tickets are on sale for the quintet of home games, which starts with a Sept. 18 matchup against UT Martin of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Season-ticket packages are available for $115 for chairback seating and $105 for military or senior citizens. Northwestern State faculty and staff can purchase season tickets for the five-game slate in Sections F and G for $105 or $75 for all other sections.

NSU plans to revert to its traditional seating map for the 2021 fall season, which means season-ticket holders will return to the seats they had in 2019 before social-distancing protocols were enacted for the 2021 spring season.

General admission seating is available for $65 for the season.

VIP packages are on sale for $630, which includes a $500 donation to the Demons Unlimited Foundation. The VIP suites are climate-controlled boxes that include catering and beverage service – including beer – as well as televisions within each suite.

In addition to access to the VIP suites, these packages come with parking passes located near Turpin Stadium for the entire season.

The NSU Athletic Department expects tailgating to return to the Turpin Stadium footprint as well in the fall of 2021 while a decision on field access in the Stine N-Zone and other field-level spaces have yet to be made and will be announced closer to the beginning of the season.

For more information on ticket packages and tailgating for the 2021 fall season, contact the Northwestern State Athletic Ticket Office at 318-357-4268.

2021 Northwestern State Football Schedule

Date                          Opponent       Location

Sept. 4                      North Texas    Denton, Texas

Sept. 11                    Alcorn               Lorman, Mississippi

Sept. 18                    UT Martin        Turpin Stadium

Sept. 25                    *Southeastern Louisiana          Hammond

Oct. 2                        *Incarnate Word          Turpin Stadium

Oct. 9                        *Houston Baptist         Houston

Oct. 16                      *McNeese      Turpin Stadium

Oct. 23                      *Southeastern Louisiana (HC) Turpin Stadium

Oct. 30                      *Nicholls          Thibodaux

Nov. 6                       *Houston Baptist         Turpin Stadium

Nov. 20                     *McNeese      Lake Charles

— Featured photo by Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

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