UMass to host Mississippi State in football in 2016

Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Last season, the Mississippi State football team was ranked No. 1 in the country. Next season, the Bulldogs will visiting Foxborough.

According to multiple athletic department sources, UMass is expected to announce Monday afternoon a series between the Minutemen and Bulldogs beginning Sept. 24, 2016, at Gillette Stadium.

The game is part of a two-for-one contract between the two schools. UMass will visit Starkville, Mississippi, on Sept. 23, 2017 and Oct. 17, 2020.

It is the third game added to the 2016 schedule since new athletic director Ryan Bamford was hired. When the Mid-American Conference chose to terminate UMass’ football-only membership last year, the Minutemen were left scrambling to fill its 2016 schedule. NCAA rules require all FBS schools to play at least five home games.

When former athletic director John McCutcheon announced he was leaving in February, UMass had one home game solidified for 2016 — Sept. 10 vs. UConn.

Since then, the Minutemen have added home games with Tulane (Oct. 1), Louisiana Tech (Oct. 15) and now Mississippi State.

That leaves one game left for UMass to schedule to fulfill NCAA requirements. It will likely be against a Championship Subdivision opponent at McGuirk Stadium. The other four home games are all contracted to be played at Gillette Stadium. The FCS game will be either Sept. 24, Oct. 22 or Nov. 12.

The Bulldogs will be the second Southeastern Conference team the Minutemen have hosted. Vanderbilt visited Gillette in 2013.

Mississippi State finished 10-3 (6-2 SEC) in 2014 after opening that season 9-0 en route to a No. 1 ranking. The Bulldogs lost to Georgia Tech, coincidentally Bamford’s former employer, in the Orange Bowl.

UMass has road games in 2016 scheduled at Florida (Sept. 3), Boston College (Sept. 17), Old Dominion (Oct. 8), Appalachian State (Oct. 29), Troy (Nov. 5), BYU (Nov. 19) and Hawaii (Nov. 26).

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at


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