WKU Hilltoppers Release Full 2021 Football Schedule
Courtesy of WKU Athletics
DALLAS, Texas — With the finalization of the Conference USA portion of the schedule, WKU Football announced its complete 2021 lineup on Wednesday afternoon.
2021 WKU Football Schedule (2020 record in parenthesis)
Sept. 4 – UT Martin (7-5 in 2019)
Sept. 11 – at [RV] Army (9-3)
Sept. 18 – BYE WEEK
Sept. 25 – #11 Indiana (6-2)
Oct. 2 – at Michigan State (2-5)
Oct. 9 – UTSA* (7-5)
Oct. 16 – at Old Dominion* (1-11 in 2019)
Oct. 23 – at FIU* (0-5)
Oct. 30 – Charlotte* (2-4)
Nov. 6 – Middle Tennessee* (3-6)
Nov. 13 – at Rice* (2-3)
Nov. 20 – Florida Atlantic* (5-4)
Nov. 27 – at Marshall* (7-3)
WKU will face a non-conference schedule in 2021 with a combined opponent record of 24-15 from their previous seasons. In 2019, UT Martin finished third in the FCS’ Ohio Valley Conference with a 5-2 mark in league play. Meanwhile, [RV] Army went 9-3 with a 24-21 loss to West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl and #11 Indiana finished second in the Big Ten East Division, behind national runner-up Ohio State. And although Michigan State went 2-5 in 2020, the Spartans had won six or more games in 12 of the previous 13 campaigns.
It will be the first-ever meeting between the Hilltoppers and Michigan State, marking WKU’s first trip to the state of Michigan since a 17-14 loss at Eastern Michigan in 1971. The Hilltoppers will look to improve upon an 0-3 all-time mark against the Hoosiers, as Indiana will become the first Power Five program to play twice at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Previously, the Hoosiers defeated WKU by a score of 38-21 in Bowling Green in 2010.
In addition, the Hilltoppers are 3-0 against the Black Knights, including a 19-7 victory by WKU in 2019. The Hilltoppers and Skyhawks will rekindle a rivalry that has not been played in 20 years. WKU is 4-0 all-time against UT Martin, with all four matchups as consecutive season-openers from 1997-to-2000; WKU won those four contests with a combined score of 196-to-17.
Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers will face the other six teams in C-USA’s East Division (vs. Charlotte, at FIU, vs. Florida Atlantic, at Marshall, vs. Middle Tennessee and at Old Dominion) as well as West Division foes Rice and UTSA to make up their eight-game league schedule. WKU is 1-0 all-time against the Roadrunners – which was a 45-7 victory at Houchens-Smith Stadium in 2014 – and 2-0 against the Owls, with 49-10 and 46-14 wins in 2015 and 2016.
C-USA’s 17th annual Championship Game, between the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, December 4. It is important to note that all games are subject to date changes and some dates are expected to move in order to accommodate television selections. A schedule of televised games with kickoff times will be released at a later date.
Head coach Tyson Helton will be in his third season at the helm of the Hilltopper program after producing a 14-11 mark (including 10-5 in C-USA play) and reaching two bowl games in his first two years. WKU finished the 2020 campaign with a 5-7 overall record, including a 39-21 loss to Georgia State in the 22nd Annual LendingTree Bowl. The Hilltoppers were only 1-of-16 college football teams in the nation to play in 12 or more games during the COVID-19-affected year.