By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State’s first visit west of the Rocky Mountains in a decade highlights the Demons’ 11-game 2022 schedule released Monday.
NSU kicks off the 2022 season by visiting FCS quarterfinalist Montana on Sept. 3, marking the first time the Demons will travel that far west since playing at Nevada in 2012.
The matchup with the Grizzlies, whom the Demons faced in the FCS playoffs in 2001, 2002 and 2004, is the first of five non-conference games for the Demons, who will face state rival Grambling at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium on Sept. 10.
“We are excited about all 11 opportunities to take the field this fall,” said head coach Brad Laird, who begins his fifth season in charge of his alma mater. “Going to Montana will give our team a unique way to start the season. We also are looking forward to playing Grambling and allowing our fans in Shreveport-Bossier to see the Demons in their backyard.”
NSU then faces Southern Miss, its lone FBS opponent, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Sept. 17 before opening its four-game Turpin Stadium slate with by hosting Southeastern on Sept. 24. That is the first of back-to-back Southland Conference home games and the first of two matchups with the Lions. NSU travels to Hammond on Nov. 12 for the back half of the home-and-home season series.
Following the back-to-back home games, NSU hits the road for consecutive games at Eastern Illinois (Oct. 8) and at Houston Baptist (Oct. 15).
The Demons’ trip to Eastern Illinois is one of two contests against Ohio Valley Conference teams as part of the football scheduling alliance between the leagues. Northwestern State’s second game against an OVC member comes at home Oct. 22 against Southeast Missouri.
The first meeting between the Demons and SEMO in school history also marks the end of a stretch of eight games in eight weeks. Following a bye week, the Demons cap their six-game road schedule with consecutive visits to Southland Conference newcomer Texas A&M-Commerce (Nov. 5) and Southeastern.
The Demons cap the 2022 season by hosting their most common Southland Conference rival, McNeese, on Nov. 19.
“There is nothing like running through the purple smoke at Turpin Stadium, especially during a Southland Conference game,” Laird said. “Every week in the Southland Conference is an opportunity to get a win. This league is very balanced and anyone can come out with a win any Saturday. We can’t wait to get started as we look ahead to the 2022 season.”
2022 Northwestern State Football Schedule
Date Opponent Location
Sept. 3 at Montana Missoula, Montana
Sept. 10 Grambling Shreveport
Sept. 17 at Southern Miss Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Sept. 24 Southeastern* Natchitoches
Oct. 1 Nicholls* Natchitoches
Oct. 8 at Eastern Illinois Charleston, Illinois
Oct. 15 at Houston Baptist* Houston
Oct. 22 Southeast Missouri Natchitoches
Nov. 5 at Texas A&M-Commerce* Commerce, Texas
Nov. 12 at Southeastern* Hammond
Nov. 19 McNeese* Natchitoches
— Featured photo by Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services