An appearance in the 2013 MEAC-SWAC Challenge, a trip to Ohio State and five home games highlight the Florida A&M football schedule announced on Thursday.
The Rattlers, who have a new head coach in Earl Holmes, will play 12 games, including five at home for the first time since 2006.
Florida A&M will face Mississippi State in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge on Sept. 1 in Orlando. The Rattlers will both open and close their regular season at the Florida Citrus Bowl because they also will face rival Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic on Nov. 23.
The Sept. 21 game with Ohio State is the first between the two programs and will net Florida A&M an $850,000 guarantee.
Florida A&M's home games at Bragg Memorial Stadium will be against Tennessee State (Sept. 7) and Samford (Sept. 14) in non-conference action, and Howard (Oct. 19, Homecoming), North Carolina A&T (Oct. 26) and Delaware State (Nov. 16) within the MEAC.
The Rattlers also will play conference games on the road against Morgan State (Oct. 5), Savannah State (Oct. 12), Norfolk State (Nov. 2) and South Carolina State (Nov. 9).
Holmes is trying to lift Florida A&M from a 4-7 finish last season.
2013 Florida A&M Football Schedule
Sept. 1, Mississippi Valley State, MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Orlando, Fla.
Sept. 7, Tennessee State
Sept. 14, Samford
Sept. 21, at Ohio State
Oct. 5, at Morgan State*
Oct. 12, at Savannah State*
Oct. 19, Howard* (Homecoming)
Oct. 26, North Carolina A&T*
Nov. 2, at Norfolk State*
Nov. 9, at South Carolina State*
Nov. 16, Delaware State*
Nov. 23, Bethune-Cookman*, Florida Classic in Orlando, Fla.
* - Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game