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.
Razorbacks schedule UAPB for 2 future football games
Arkansas football helmets sit atop storage bins during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has scheduled two future football games against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Razorbacks and Golden Lions are scheduled to play for the first time on Oct. 23, 2021, and again on Aug. 31, 2024. Both games will be played in Fayetteville.
The 2021 game would complete the Razorbacks' non-conference schedule for that year, although an abnormality exists because Arkansas' previous coaching staff scheduled a game for that year against Missouri State, which like UAPB is a member of the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision.
The Razorbacks have never played two FCS opponents during the same season in modern times, and only one win over an FCS team can count toward bowl eligibility for teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Arkansas also is scheduled to host Texas and Georgia Southern in 2021.
The 2024 game against UAPB will serve as the season opener for both teams and will precede the Razorbacks' game the following week at Oklahoma State.
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Arkansas last played an in-state football opponent in 1944 when it defeated Arkansas-Monticello (then-Arkansas A&M) by a score of 41-0.
The Razorbacks ended a longstanding policy of not playing in-state opponents in all sports last year. A modified policy allows Arkansas to play other teams from within the University of Arkansas System.
Arkansas' baseball, softball and men's and women's tennis teams have played teams from UAPB and Arkansas-Little Rock this year.
“As the flagship institution within our state, scheduling games with our sister institutions is an opportunity for us to enhance interest in college football throughout our state while supporting other schools within the University of Arkansas system,” Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “We have already witnessed the anticipation these meetings have created in a number of our other sports. This new football series between Arkansas and UAPB will only add to the excitement for these matchups.”
UAPB is the only other school within the UA System to play NCAA Division I football.
“We’re excited to further expand our connection with the University of Arkansas in another historic competition,” UAPB athletics director Melvin Hines said in a statement. “This matchup in football creates a significant opportunity to grow the UAPB brand within the state as well as nationally while strengthening our overall University System.”
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