STATESBORO — The Georgia Southern Eagles will travel to legendary head coach Erk Russell’s alma mater, the Auburn Tigers, to open the 2017 football season.
That means the Eagles will face an SEC team in three consecutive years starting with Georgia in 2015, Ole Miss in 2016 and the Tigers on Sept. 2, 2017.
Auburn finished 19th in the final 2014 College Football Playoff Rankings after an 8-4 regular season and a 4-4 mark in the SEC.
The Tigers fell to 8-5 on the year after dropping the Outback Bowl 34-31 to Wisconsin in overtime.
In the 2013 season, however, the Tigers won the SEC East title and the championship game en route to the national-title game. Auburn went 12-2 overall and 7-1 in the SEC that season.
“Playing Auburn provides us a great opportunity to play on a national stage and gives our fans an opportunity to travel to a close nonconference game to watch us play,” GSU Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein said.
Georgia Southern will also travel to UMass during the 2017 season in the first game of a home-and-home series against the Minutemen. UMass will return the trip to Statesboro in 2018.
The Eagles also announced that the LSU game scheduled for 2017 has been pushed back to 2019.
The journey continues for the Georgia Southern football team in year two of FBS play as the Eagles will face two “Power Five” conference teams, four teams that played in bowl games a year ago and will host six home games in the 2015 football season.
Last season, the Eagles played two “Power Five” teams, suffering close losses at Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at gseagles.com or by calling 1-800-GSU-WINS.