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Tigers release 2017 football schedule

MEMPHIS, Tenn-Memphis’ 2017 campaign kicks off with Thursday Night Football at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe. The season opener is one of seven home contests for head coach Mike Norvell’s Tigers this fall.

Deposits for new 2017 season tickets for the Tigers’ seven-game home schedule are on sale now, and deposits to purchase those tickets can be made online at or by calling the Memphis Athletics Ticket Office at 901-678-2331.

Overall schedule highlights include:

· Seven home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for a second-straight season; first time Memphis played seven home games in consecutive seasons since 2007 and 2008

· As of this release, four games are set for television: Oct. 6 Connecticut, Oct. 19 Houston on ESPN; Oct. 27 Tulane on CBS Sports Network; Nov. 3 Tulsa one of the ESPN Networks (ESPN/2/U/News)

· Front and back-loaded home schedule, with Memphis playing three of its first four games (Aug. 30 vs. Louisiana-Monroe/Sept. 16 vs. UCLA/Sept. 23 vs. Southern Illinois) and the campaign’s final two games (Nov. 18 vs. SMU/Nov. 25 vs. East Carolina) at the Liberty Bowl

· Fourth-straight season Memphis opens and closes a campaign with home games (Aug. 30 vs. Louisiana-Monroe/Nov. 25 vs. East Carolina)

· First August start date since 2014 when Memphis opened that season against Austin Peay Aug. 30; overall, seventh time in program history the Tigers opens a campaign in August (3-3 all-time record in games played in August)

· Bye/open date comes in the 11th week of the season before the Tigers’ final two home games; in 2016, Memphis’ bye/open date came in the second week

· Season opener on Thursday of the Labor Day weekend for the first time since 2011 (Sept. 1, 2011, vs. Mississippi State)

· As for the long Labor Day holiday, Memphis has played on each day – with the exception of Friday – of college football’s opening weekend since 2000 (including 2017); Tigers have played two Thursdays (2011; 2017), 12 Saturdays (2000; 2002-04; 2007-08; 2010; 2012-16), two Sundays (2006; 2009) and two Labor Day Mondays (2001; 2005)

· Season opener on a Thursday is the first of a school-record five non-Saturday games in a season; other non-Saturday games are Oct. 6 at Connecticut (Friday), Oct. 19 at Houston (Thursday), Oct. 27 vs. Tulane (Friday) and Nov. 3 at Tulsa (Friday)

· American Athletic Conference schedule rotation brings on Connecticut, East Carolina and UCF in place of Cincinnati, Temple and USF

The following is a highlight of each Memphis’ opponent:

· Aug. 31: Louisiana-Monroe’s first trip to Memphis since 2000 and the Warhawks’ first visit as a member of the Sun Belt Conference; Louisiana-Monroe’s last trip to the Liberty Bowl was as a FBS independent

· Sept. 9: Tigers’ first meeting with UCF since 2013 and their first trip to Orlando since 2011; also earliest league opener for Memphis since 2008 (vs. Rice; Sept. 6, 2008)

· Sept. 16: UCLA’s first trip to play Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, but not the Bruins’ first trip to play in the Bluff City; UCLA played Alabama in the 1976 Liberty Bowl

· Sept. 23: Facing Southern Illinois for the first time in program history; fifth time in the last six seasons Memphis has a first-time foe on its schedule

· Sept. 30: Tigers’ first trip to play in the city of Atlanta since 1981 when Memphis posted a 28-15 win at Georgia Tech

· Oct. 6: Memphis’ second trip to Connecticut in program history; last played at the Huskies’ home in 2013

· Oct. 14: Tigers welcome Navy, the American Athletic Conference West Division champion, to the Liberty Bowl; Memphis defeated the 2015 AAC West champion, Houston, at the Liberty Bowl in 2016

· Oct. 19: Memphis plays at Houston on a short week (four days between games); since 2000, Memphis has a 5-2 record in “short-week” games, including wins the last two seasons over Cincinnati (2015) and Temple (2016)

· Oct. 27: Tigers try to extend win streak in the series with the Green Wave to 11-straight

· Nov. 3: Head coach Mike Norvell’s first trip to Tulsa, where he started his FBS coaching career; served as assistant for the Golden Hurricane from 2007-10

· Nov. 11: BYE/OPEN date; Memphis’ latest bye/open since 2002 when the Tigers’ bye/open date was Nov. 16

· Nov. 18: Memphis outscored SMU 162-17 in last three meetings (2014-16)

· Nov. 25: East Carolina makes first trip to the Liberty Bowl since 2011; match-up is the first between the two programs as American Athletic Conference opponents (last meeting was in 2012 in Conference USA)

The Tigers posted an 8-5 overall record and 5-3 American Athletic Conference in 2016. Memphis earned a Boca Raton Bowl berth, marking the program’s third-consecutive postseason invitation.

The 2017 Memphis football schedule is as follows:

Aug. 31 Louisiana-Monroe

Sept. 9 at UCF

Sept. 16 UCLA

Sept. 23 Southern Illinois

Sept. 30 at Georgia State

Oct. 6 at Connecticut (ESPN)

Oct. 14 Navy

Oct. 19 at Houston (ESPN)

Oct. 27 Tulane (CBSSN)

Nov. 3 at Tulsa (ESPN/ESPN2)

Nov. 18 SMU

Nov. 25 East Carolina