WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.-   A matchup against an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision, a game against in-state rival Princeton and a full Big South slate highlight Monmouth's 2018 Football Schedule.

 The Blue & White will open the season on September 1, 2018, when they head to Ypsilanti, Michigan for the first-ever meeting with Eastern Michigan. It will mark the third game for the Hawks against an FBS foe and the third game against an opponent from the Mid-American Conference. The Hawks will host a total of six teams, including non-conference games against Hampton, Wagner, and Bucknell. Campbell, Charleston Southern, and Kennesaw State will all travel to Kessler Stadium for Big South home games.

 "The Big South schedule is always very difficult," said Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan. "Every team has talented players,  they are well- coached and competitive. The addition of Campbell to the Big South schedule intensifies all of those factors. Our non-conference schedule features a FBS opponent for the third time in program history, a return home game against future Big South member Hampton and our first contest against Princeton," said Callahan. "Additionally we are excited to start a series back up with Wagner along with facing regional opponents like Bucknell and Lafayette."

 Monmouth opens up the second season in the newly constructed Kessler Stadium on September 8th against Hampton, a team which will join the Big South in 2019. Last year the Hawks defeated the Pirates in overtime in the first meeting between the two. MU makes back to back quick road trips after the Hampton contest, starting with a game against Lafayette out of the Patriot League at Fisher Stadium. The Hawks defeated the Leopards 31-12 in the opening game of Kessler Stadium in 2017. The following week MU will travel across the state to play Princeton out of the Ivy League. It will be the first game between the two teams whose campuses are separated by just 40 miles. 

 The Hawks' longest rivalry gets rekindled in week five when Wagner College comes to Kessler Stadium on Sept. 29. MU and Wagner had played for 23 consecutive seasons until the Seahawks broke off the series in 2016, with Monmouth holding a 13-10 series advantage. MU has won four straight against the Staten Island school, including a 31-16 win in 2015. 

 After a week-six bye, MU will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule when Bucknell comes to West Long Branch for the first time. Last season Monmouth edged the Bison 35-13 in Lewisburg en route to a perfect 4-0 record against Patriot League opponents. The quest for the 2018 Big South Championship begins on Oct. 20 when new Big South member Campbell makes its first visit to Kessler Stadium. The Fighting Camels joined the Big South after the last 10 seasons as a member of the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. MU heads down to Presbyterian to face the Blue Hose on Oct. 27 in the fifth overall matchup between the two schools. The home team has won all four of the previous matchups, including Monmouth topping PC 42-21 last season in West Long Branch.

 The final three games of the season include back to back home contests against two teams that have combined to win at least a share of the last four Big South Titles in Charleston Southern and Kennesaw State. Monmouth clipped the Buccaneers last season in Charleston by a 23-20 score, the first win for the Hawks in the series. Last season the Hawks and the Owls came into the final week of the season both nationally ranked and vying for the Big South Title. The 2018 edition of the game will take place in West Long Branch, with each team coming off of playoff appearances in 2017. Monmouth will wrap the 2018 regular season as it has three of its first four seasons in the Big South against Gardner-Webb. The Hawks will head to Boiling Springs, NC to face the Runnin' Bulldogs on November 17th.

All kickoff times are still yet to be announced and dates are subject to change due to television scheduling.  

 Monmouth, which was ranked as high as 22nd during the 2017 campaign, wrapped up its 25th year of football with the program's first FCS Playoff Berth. The Hawks finished 9-3 overall, second in the Big South Conference and went 5-0 in its first season at the brand new Kessler Stadium. Senior Mike Basile finished sixth in the final voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented to the nation's top FCS defensive player while freshman running back Pete Guerriero finished ninth in the voting for the Jerry Rice Award (FCS Top Freshman). MU Head Coach Kevin Callahan has been named as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The Hawks had a program record 12 all-conference performers, including nine first-team selections. 

2018 Monmouth Football Schedule

Date

Opponent (Conference)

Location

2017 Record

Series Record

9/1

Eastern Michigan (Mid-American)

Ypsilanti, MI

5-7

FIRST MEETING

9/8

Hampton (Mid-Eastern)

West Long Branch, NJ

6-5

1-0 Monmouth

9/15

Lafayette (Patriot)

Easton, PA

3-8

1-1, Tied

9/22

Princeton (Ivy League)

Princeton, NJ

5-5

FIRST MEETING

9/29

Wagner (NEC)

West Long Branch, NJ

4-7

13-10 Monmouth

10/6

OPEN DATE

10/13

Bucknell (Patriot League)

West Long Branch, NJ

5-6

1-0 Monmouth

10/20

Campbell (Big South)

West Long Branch, NJ

6-5

FIRST MEETING

10/27

Presbyterian (Big South)

Clinton, SC

4-7

2-2, Tied

11/3

Charleston Southern (Big South)

West Long Branch, NJ

6-5

3-1, CSU

11/10

Kennesaw State (Big South)

West Long Branch, NJ

12-2

3-0 Kennesaw St.

11/17

Gardner-Webb (Big South

Boiling Springs, NC

1-10

3-1 Monmouth


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