LAKE CHARLES – McNeese football has announced its 2018 schedule that includes visits to Big Sky member Northern Colorado and FBS member BYU.

And for the first time since the 2010 season, the slate does not include a non-Division I opponent.

McNeese (9-2 in 2017) will play five home games beginning with the first on September 15 against Nicholls.

The Cowboys will open the season at Northern Colorado of the Big Sky Conference. It’ll be the first-ever meeting between the two schools and the first Big Sky Conference opponent since 2013 when McNeese defeated Weber State 43-6 in Lake Charles.

The Bears finished 3-7 this past season and 2-6 in conference play but ended the year with a 42-0 shutout win over Cal Poly.

McNeese will open Southland Conference play the following week (Sept. 8) with its first-ever visit to Houston Baptist followed by the home opener against Nicholls (Sept. 15).

After that, the Cowboys will travel to BYU for a “guarantee” game.

The Cougars finished the 2017 season with a 4-9 mark but won three of their last five games.

Back-to-back home games will follow against Stephen F. Austin (Sept. 29) and Abilene Christian (Oct. 6) before an Oct. 13 open date.

McNeese will then travel to San Antonio for an Oct. 20 SLC matchup against UIW and will return home for homecoming on the 27th against defending conference champion Central Arkansas.

The final three games will see the Cowboys visiting Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 3) and Northwestern State (Nov. 10) before closing out the regular season at home against Lamar (Nov. 17).

Kick-off times have yet to be determined.

2018 McNeese Football Schedule

Sept. 1 at Northern Colorado

Sept. 8 *at Houston Baptist

Sept. 15 Nicholls

Sept. 22 at BYU

Sept. 29 *Stephen F. Austin

Oct. 6 *Abilene Christian

Oct. 13 OPEN

Oct. 20 *at UIW

Oct. 27 *Central Arkansas (HC)

Nov. 3 *at Southeastern Louisiana

Nov. 10 *at Northwestern State

Nov. 17 *Lamar