Three games against members of the Football Bowl Subdivision and a loaded Ohio Valley Conference schedule highlight a full 12-game slate for the University of Tennessee at Martin football team for the 2016 season.
“This year we are taking on the mantra of ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ with a loaded schedule,” said UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson. “Anytime you have three FBS games along with a difficult eight game conference slate, your schedule is pretty daunting. We will certainly be challenged, but we still feel like we are the standard for Football Championship Subdivision football within the state of Tennessee.”
The Skyhawks will kickoff the 2016 season on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a trip to FBS foe Cincinnati. It will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the gridiron while serving as the first opponent from the American Athletic Conference since 2013.
Following the season opener, UT Martin will travel across the country and over the Pacific Ocean with a trip to Hawai’i on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Honolulu. The game serves as the first matchup in program history and first Mountain West Conference opponent since 2013.
UT Martin will make its home debut in newly renovated Hardy Graham Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17 against NAIA foe Bacone College out of Muskogee, Okla. Fans will get their first glimpse of the Skyhawks along with the newly constructed press box and updated seating project’s completion. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Skyhawks will play host to Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Sept. 24 in the team’s OVC opener with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will serve as the first of three consecutive matchups in the Skyhawks’ defense of the coveted Sgt. York Trophy. The Skyhawks have swept the annual Sgt. York series the past two seasons while winning three consecutive matchups against the Golden Eagles.
A brief trip down Interstate 40 will break up the homestretch with an afternoon matchup at Tennessee State on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. UT Martin is going for its third consecutive victory over the Tigers after last year’s home victory and the program’s first win at Hale Stadium during the 2014 campaign.
UT Martin will return home to close out the Sgt. York Series with a Homecoming contest against Austin Peay on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. The Skyhawks have won 11 of their last 16 Homecoming games while notching victories in 12 of the last 13 contests against the Governors.
The Skyhawks will leave the state of Tennessee for the first time in over a month with a short trek to rival Murray State on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff from Stewart Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. UT Martin is looking to notch its sixth consecutive victory over the Racers, as the Skyhawks have averaged 54.6 points per game over the past five meetings.
UT Martin will play its final non-conference game of the schedule on Saturday, Oct. 22 with a road matchup at FBS member Georgia State. The matchup will serve as the first meeting between the two programs while marking the third and final FBS game of the schedule.
October concludes with a matchup against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 29. Kickoff from Graham Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m. UT Martin is looking for the team’s first home victory against Eastern Kentucky since 2010 while winning two of the last three matchups overall.
A trip to the Land of Lincoln will showcase a matchup against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 5. Kickoff from O’Brien Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the Skyhawks winning four of their last six contests against the Panthers.
UT Martin will host Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the home finale with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. The Skyhawks hold a series advantage over the Redhawks while winning nine of the last 11 matchups.
The Skyhawks will wrap up the regular season with a showdown at 2015 national runner-up Jacksonville State on Saturday, Nov. 19. UT Martin will look to knock off the two-time defending OVC champs and snap their perfect 16-0 conference record over the past two seasons with a 1 p.m. contest.
The FCS Playoffs will begin on Nov. 26 with the top eight seeds earning a bye to the Second Round on Dec. 3.
Season ticket packages and single-game ticket sales for Skyhawk football will begin on Monday, July 18.
2016 UT Martin Football Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 1 at Cincinnati TBA
Saturday, Sept. 10 at Hawai’i TBA
Saturday, Sept. 17 vs. Bacone College 2 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 vs. Tennessee Tech* 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1 at Tennessee State* 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 8 vs. Austin Peay* (HC) 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 at Murray State* 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 22 at Georgia State TBA
Saturday, Oct. 29 vs. Eastern Kentucky* 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 at Eastern Illinois* 1 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 vs. Southeast Missouri* 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19 at Jacksonville State* 1 p.m.