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Montana State, Ash to visit Drake in 2012

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Montana State football coach Rob Ash will return to his former program, Drake, as part of the Bobcats' 2012 schedule, announced Thursday.

The Big Sky Conference co-champion in each of the past two seasons, Montana State will play a Sept. 8 non-conference game at Drake, where Ash worked as the Bulldogs' head football coach for 18 years. The Bobcats topped Drake, 48-21, in Bozeman during the 2010 season in Ash's first meeting with his former squad.

Montana State's other non-conference games are at home against NCAA Division II power Chadron State on Sept. 1 and Southland Conference member Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 15.

Within Big Sky play, the Bobcats will host Northern Colorado (Sept. 22, Homecoming), Eastern Washington (Oct. 13), North Dakota (Nov. 27) and Portland State (Nov. 10).

Two of the road games are against new Big Sky members, Southern Utah (Sept. 29) and UC Davis (Oct. 6). The Bobcats also will visit Sacramento State (Nov. 3) as well long-time rival Montana (Nov. 17), with which they shared this year's conference title.

"I'm very excited about playing 10 FCS opponents, and very excited for our six home games," said Ash, who recently completed his fifth season at Montana State. "We have six strong teams coming to Bozeman, and I think our fans will love that. I really like that home-and-home series with Stephen F. Austin. That will be a good game for our fans in Bozeman to see, and a fun trip for our guys when we play down there" in 2013.

Montana State finished with a 10-3 record this season.

2012 MONTANA STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 1, Chadron State

Sept. 8, at Drake

Sept. 15, Stephen F. Austin

Sept. 22, Northern Colorado* (Homecoming)

Sept. 29, at Southern Utah*

Oct. 6, at UC Davis*

Oct. 13, Eastern Washington*

Oct. 27, North Dakota*

Nov. 3, at Sacramento State*

Nov. 10, Portland State*

Nov. 17, at Montana*

* - Big Sky Conference game

12/22 13:40:41 ET