SE Louisiana faces tough schedule in Roberts' debut

Southeastern Louisiana will play two FBS opponents and five home games as part of football coach Ron Roberts' first season this year.

Roberts, the head coach at Delta State the past five seasons, replaced Mike Lucas after last year's 3-8 campaign.

Southeastern Louisiana will open the season at Missouri on Sept. 1 and play a second FBS opponent when it travels to UAB on Oct. 6.

The Lions will play South Dakota State in their home opener on Sept. 8. It is the first meeting between the two programs.

The Lions' other home games are within the Southland Conference against McNeese State (Sept. 22), Northwestern State (Oct. 13), Central Arkansas (Oct. 27) on Homecoming and Stephen F. Austin (Nov. 10).

They also have road games at UT Martin (Sept. 13) in non-conference action and Lamar (Sept. 29), Sam Houston State (Nov. 3) and Nicholls State (Nov. 15) in Southland action. The UT Martin and Nicholls State games are on Thursday nights.

"It's obviously a very challenging schedule and one that we're very excited about," Roberts said.

"I love the opportunity to play an SEC school right out of the gate and get a chance to evaluate our kids against the best personnel that we'll play all season. The speed of the game will be a huge opportunity for us to evaluate and learn from. We just want to make sure we go through our schedule and get better on a week-to-week basis and playing the best football we can at the end."

2012 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 1, at Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

Sept. 8, South Dakota State, Hammond, La.

Sept. 13, at UT Martin, Martin, Tenn.

Sept. 22, McNeese State*, Hammond, La.

Sept. 29, at Lamar*, Beaumont, Texas

Oct. 6, at UAB, Birmingham, Ala.

Oct. 13, Northwestern State*, Hammond, La.

Oct. 27, Central Arkansas* (Homecoming), Hammond, La.

Nov. 3, at Sam Houston State*, Huntsville, Texas

Nov. 10, Stephen F. Austin*, Hammond, La.

Nov. 15, at Nicholls State*, Thibodaux, La.

* - Southland Conference game