Cedar City, UT – Southern Utah football will open the season against a pair of FBS opponents in preparation for its first campaign in the Big Sky Conference.
SUU announced an 11-game 2012 schedule on Wednesday which kicks off with non- conference games at Utah State from the Western Athletic Conference on Aug. 30 and California from the Pac-12 on Sept. 8.
The Thunderbirds' final non-conference game against Division II New Mexico Highlands on Sept. 15 also will be the first of five home games.
The final eight games will be against FCS competition and Big Sky members. SUU is moving into the conference from the Great West, which disbanded after last season.
"Our players have been looking forward to the 2012 season of Big Sky competition ever since the announcement was made that SUU would join the conference," head coach Ed Lamb said.
SUU's first Big Sky game will be at Portland State on Sept. 22.
From there, the Thunderbirds will host Montana State (Sept. 29) and Sacramento State (Oct. 6) in back-to-back games, visit Montana (Oct. 13), host Weber State (Oct. 20) and Eastern Washington (Oct. 27) in back-to-back games, and finish the regular season at North Dakota (Nov. 3) and Northern Arizona (Nov. 10).
In the new 13-team Big Sky, SUU will not play Cal Poly, Idaho State, Northern Colorado and UC Davis.
The Lumberjacks finished last season with a 6-5 record.
2012 Southern Utah Football Schedule
Aug. 30, at Utah State
Sept. 8, at California
Sept. 15, New Mexico Highlands
Sept. 22, at Portland State*
Sept. 29, Montana State* (Homecoming)
Oct. 6, Sacramento State*
Oct. 13, at Montana*
Oct. 20, Weber State*
Oct. 27, Eastern Washington*
Nov. 3, at North Dakota*
Nov. 10, at Northern Arizona*
* - Big Sky Conference game