The University of Maine football team will have a 12-game schedule in 2019, including two interesting matchups against Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
The Black Bears will travel to play Georgia Southern, which moved up from the Football Championship Subdivision — in which UMaine competes — to the FBS in 2014, on Sept. 7, and will visit Liberty University in Virginia for an Oct. 19 contest.
UMaine will receive a $325,000 guarantee from Georgia Southern and $300,000 from Liberty University, which is in its first year in the FBS after moving up from the FCS.
Georgia Southern, which owns three FCS playoff victories over the Black Bears, is 7-1 this season (4-0 in the Sun Belt Conference) and is coming off a 34-14 win over No. 25 Appalachian State.
Georgia Southern beat Bowling Green 58-27 in the GoDaddy Bowl.
Liberty University, an FBS independent, takes a 4-3 record into a Saturday game at the University of Massachusetts. The Flames beat former UMaine quarterback and assistant coach Bob Wilder’s Old Dominion team 52-10 and also own wins over New Mexico, Troy and Idaho State. The Flames have lost to Army, North Texas and New Mexico State.
The athletic director at Liberty is former UMaine and Baylor University AD Ian McCaw, and former UMaine All-American running back Josh Mack, who transferred there, will be eligible to play after sitting out this season.
UMaine has two other nonconference games against FCS opponents as the Black Bears open the season at home Friday, Aug. 30, against Sacred Heart of the Northeast Conference and visit Colgate of the Patriot League on Sept. 21.
Colgate is 7-0 including wins over New Hampshire, William & Mary and Cornell. Sacred Heart is 5-3 this season.
Among its Colonial Athletic Association games, UMaine will host Towson (Sept. 14), Richmond (Oct. 12), William & Mary (Oct. 26) and Rhode Island (Nov. 16), and visit Villanova (Sept. 28), Albany (Nov. 2), Elon (Nov. 9) and New Hampshire (Nov. 23).
UMaine’s bye week will be the first weekend in October.
“It’s good. The schedule is spread out a little more. I like where the bye is,” UMaine head coach Joe Harasymiak said. “The FBS games are spread out a little bit, and it’s always nice to open at home.”
UMaine, which has only four home games among 11 contests this season, will play five home games next year.
“It’s good to play a couple FBS teams,” sophomore quarterback Chris Ferguson said. “There’s always a good atmosphere, and my sister, Lizzy, is a freshman at Liberty this year. She plays lacrosse. so it will be cool to get down there. She’s excited about that one, too.”