Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff Award.
Razorbacks move football opener to Thursday night
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema prepares to run onto the field with his team prior to a game against Alcorn State on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas has moved its 2017 football season opener against Florida A&M to Thursday, Aug. 31.
The game will be played at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised by SEC Network.
"I'm excited that our fans and city will enjoy the unique experience of a Thursday night Razorback game at War Memorial Stadium," said Kevin Crass, chairman of the War Memorial Stadium Commission.
Hogs on Thursday
Arkansas is 2-1 in regular-season games on Thursday night since joining the SEC.
Nov. 6, 1997 - at Ole Miss, Lost 19-9
Aug. 30, 2001 - vs. UNLV, Won 14-10
Nov. 6, 2003 - vs. South Carolina, Won 28-6
It is the first time since 2003 that Arkansas has moved a game to Thursday night. That game also was played in Little Rock against South Carolina.
The Razorbacks last opened the season with a non-weekend game in 2001 when they defeated UNLV in Little Rock. Arkansas has played three regular-season games on Thursday since joining the SEC 25 years ago.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our program and our fans to be featured on the first Thursday night of the 2017 college football season on the SEC Network,” Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long said in a statement. “I was excited about the possibility when the SEC offered the opportunity and I think it’s a great way for our fans to kick-off the season and the holiday weekend."
The early season opener will give the Razorbacks nine days to prepare for their Sept. 9 nonconference game against TCU in Fayetteville. Arkansas then gets two weeks off before playing 10 straight weekends to end the regular season.
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