Bozeman, MT (SportsNetwork.com) - Montana State football will play six of its 11 games at home this year as it tries to make a run at the Big Sky Conference championship.

Montana State has replaced its opening game with Chadron State on Sept. 12 with a home date against Fort Lewis on Sept. 3. In addition, the Bobcats will host a recently added game on Oct. 24 against East Tennessee State, which is returning to football for the first time since 2003.

Within the Big Sky, coach Rob Ash's program will host Cal Poly (Sept. 26) for Homecoming as well as Sacramento State (Oct. 10), Southern Utah (Nov. 7) and rival Montana (Nov. 21).

In the 13-team Big Sky's unbalanced scheduling, Montana State will not face UC Davis, Northern Colorado and Weber State - three of last year's four bottom teams - and the Bobcats' Sept. 19 visit to defending champion Eastern Washington will not count toward the conference standings.

Last year, the Bobcats finished 8-5 and with a No. 20 national ranking after bowing out of the FCS playoffs in the first round.

2015 Montana State Football Schedule

Sept. 3, Fort Lewis

Sept. 19, at Eastern Washington

Sept. 26, Cal Poly* (Homecoming)

Oct. 3, at Northern Arizona*

Oct. 10, Sacramento State*

Oct. 17, at Portland State*

Oct. 24, East Tennessee State

Oct. 31, at North Dakota*

Nov. 7, Southern Utah*

Nov. 14, at Idaho State*

Nov. 21, Montana*

* - Big Sky Conference game