(STATS) - After a surprising season a year ago, Incarnate Word hopes to take another step in the Southland Conference in 2016 as part of an 11-game schedule announced Thursday.

The Cardinals were picked ninth in the 11-team conference's preseason poll last year but was one of only four teams with a winning record, going 6-5 overall and 5-4 to finish fourth in the Southland. They were 2-9 and 2-6 in 2014 - their first season as a member of the conference.

Incarnate Word will host six games, kicking off the season against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Sept. 3. In Southland play, the Cardinals will host defending champion McNeese State (Sept. 24), Sam Houston State (Oct. 8), Stephen F. Austin (Oct. 29), Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 5, Homecoming) and Houston Baptist (Nov. 17).

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Their road schedule includes a short trip to San Marcos to take on FBS program Texas State on Oct. 1. In addition, they hit the road against Southland opponents Northwestern State (Sept. 10), Nicholls (Sept. 17), Abilene Christian (Oct. 22) and Lamar (Nov. 12).

2016 Incarnate Word Schedule

Sept. 3, Texas A&M-Kingsville

Sept. 10, at Northwestern State*

Sept. 17, at Nicholls*

Sept. 24, McNeese State*

Oct. 1, at Texas State

Oct. 8, Sam Houston State*

Oct. 22, at Abilene Christian*

Oct. 29, Stephen F. Austin*

Nov. 5, Southeastern Louisiana* (Homecoming)

Nov. 12, at Lamar*

Nov. 17, Houston Baptist*

* - Southland Conference game