The Georgia Southern Eagles had the 2010 football schedule approved Thursday, and it is highlighted with a non-conference matchup against the Naval Academy.
Most years the schedule is released in the offseason prior, but GSU coach Chris Hatcher is glad the Eagles are able to put out the 2010 schedule out early.
“It’s good to go ahead and get that out,” said Hatcher. “Playing Navy definitely helps out in recruiting. Any time you can play a school like that it generates some excitement in the recruitment along with the fan base. It doesn’t always work out the way we envision it, but this time we’re very fortunate that we got all our ducks in a row a couple years in advance.”
The Eagles will play the Midshipmen — former GSU coach Paul Johnson’s former team — on Sept. 11, 2010 in Annapolis, Md.
Originally scheduled to be played in the upcoming 2009 season, a television contract with CSTV forced the game to be pushed back a year.
It will mark the fourth season in a row that Georgia Southern will take on an FBS opponent, having played Colorado State and Georgia in recent years, as well as a scheduled matchup with North Carolina on Oct. 10.
“Everybody’s talked about how they want (FBS) games, so we’ve started moving in that direction, trying to schedule I-A’s,” said GSU Athletics Director Sam Baker. “That only leaves you two games left to schedule. When you have a home-and-home (with Coastal Carolina) the math is going to catch up to you and you’re only going to have five home games sometimes.”
The Eagles play five home games and six road games in 2009 and ’10, but aren’t worried about the five-game home schedule.
“When you play that quote ‘money’ game against an FBS opponent you’re going to have those types of years,” Hatcher said, “but from our standpoint I don’t see that as being a problem.”
Other non-conference games include the Sept. 18 game against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. and the season opener against Savannah State on Sept. 4 at Paulson Stadium.
Georgia Southern will kick off its second home-and-home series with the Chanticleers. The Eagles are 2-0 against CCU since the first matchup in 2006.
It will be the first time taking on Savannah State since 2003 when GSU won 35-0.
Homecoming and other events have yet to be determined.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.