South Carolina State faces tough opening to 2012 schedule

First-ever games at Arizona and Texas A&M are part of a rugged opening month of the 2012 South Carolina State football schedule announced Wednesday.

Coach Buddy Pough's team will play only four home games while it tries to build off last year's 7-4 campaign.

The Bulldogs will kick off their season Thursday night, Aug. 30 against Georgia State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

They will then host Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bethune-Cookman in their home opener Sept. 8.

Next up are the two FBS opponents, a Sept. 15 trip to Tucson to meet Arizona and then a visit to College Station on Sept. 22 for an encounter with Texas A&M.

South Carolina State will finish off the difficult start to the season by hosting 2011 MEAC champ Norfolk State on Sept. 29.

The Bulldogs' other home games are against Howard on Homecoming Day Oct. 27 and Savannah State on Nov. 17.

Their road conference games are against North Carolina Central (Oct. 6), Delaware State (Oct. 13), Florida A&M (Oct. 20) and North Carolina A&T (Nov. 10).

2012 South Carolina State Football Schedule

Aug. 30, at Georgia State, Atlanta

Sept. 8, Bethune-Cookman*, Orangeburg, S.C.

Sept. 15, at Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

Sept. 22, at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas

Sept. 29, Norfolk State*, Orangeburg, S.C.

Oct. 6, at North Carolina Central*, Durham, N.C.

Oct. 13, at Delaware State*, Dover, Del.

Oct. 20, at Florida A&M*, Tallahassee, Fla.

Oct. 27, Howard* (Homecoming), Orangeburg, S.C.

Nov. 10, at North Carolina A&T*, Greensboro, N.C.

Nov. 17, Savannah State*, Orangeburg, S.C.

* - MEAC game