2012 football schedule released, includes two ESPNU games

Brad Stephens

WKU’s 2012 football schedule was released on Thursday, and includes games against five teams which appeared in bowls in 2011 as well as two national televised Thursday night games on ESPNU.

The Toppers’ season opener will be at Smith Stadium against Football Championship Series opponent Austin Peay on Sept. 1.

WKU will then make a two-game Southeastern Conference road swing, going to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 8 to play defending national champion Alabama, and then going to Commonwealth Stadium to play in-state rival Kentucky on Sept. 15.

The Toppers will return home for their last non-conference test, a Sept. 22 date with Conference-USA foe Southern Mississippi, winners of the 2011 Hawaii Bowl.

WKU’s first Sun Belt Conference game comes on Sept. 29 when the Toppers travel to Jonesboro, Ark., to play defending league champion Arkansas State.

The Red Wolves’ 26-22 defeat of WKU last Oct. 1 in Smith Stadium was the Toppers’ only blemish on the way to a 7-1 Sun Belt record.

WKU’s next game will be an Oct. 11 contest at Troy, in the first of two games the team will play in 2012 that can be seen nationally on ESPNU.

The Toppers’ Sun Belt home opener will be on Oct. 20 against Louisiana-Monroe.

Then after an Oct. 27 trip to Florida International, WKU will come home for a Nov. 1 Thursday night ESPNU game against rival Middle Tennessee State, and a Nov. 10 home contest against Florida Atlantic.

On Nov. 17 the Toppers will play their last road game of the year, a contest against defending New Orleans Bowl champion Louisiana-Lafayette.

WKU then rounds out its regular season with a Nov. 24 Senior Day game against North Texas.

Kickoff times and additional television appearances will be announced at later dates.