The University of Maine football team opens its season against Delaware at Alfond Stadium on Sept. 2, 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The University of Maine’s football team will play Colonial Athletic Association newcomers Hampton and Monmouth this season as part of their eight conference games, according to the newly released schedule.

Hampton (Virginia) and Monmouth (New Jersey) were both in the Big South Conference last season.

The Black Bears will also play three non-conference games, as well as their eight CAA contests, as UMaine’s Jordan Stevens makes his head coaching debut on Sept. 3 at the University of New Mexico.

Stevens replaced Nick Charlton, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Football Bowl Subdivision team the University of Connecticut.

UMaine was 6-5 a year ago, 4-4 in the CAA.

New Mexico, which will pay UMaine a $350,000 guarantee, is one of two FBS schools on UMaine’s schedule. Boston College is providing UMaine with a $400,000 guarantee when the two schools play on Sept. 17.

UMaine plays in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Sandwiched in between those two games is a non-conference game on Sept. 10 against Colgate, a perennial Patriot League and FCS playoff contender.

New Mexico was 3-9 a year ago, 1-7 in the Mountain West conference.

Colgate was 5-6 but 5-1 in the Patriot League and Boston College finished at 6-6, 2-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

BC was scheduled to play East Carolina in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 but a COVID-19 outbreak at BC resulted in a cancellation of the game.

UMaine will open conference play on Oct. 1 after having a weekend off when it hosts CAA co-champion Villanova (10-3, 7-1 in the CAA). Villanova reached the FCS playoffs where it beat Holy Cross 21-16 before losing to South Dakota State 35-21 in the quarterfinals.

UMaine will travel to Hampton on Oct. 8. Hampton was 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the Big South last season.

Monmouth invades Orono the following week, Oct. 15, and is coming off a 7-4 season including a 6-1 Big South record.

UMaine will then travel to Stony Brook (5-6, 4-4) on Oct. 22, host Richmond (6-5, 4-4) on Oct. 29 and will play November games at Rhode Island (7-4, 4-4) on Nov. 5 and at Albany (2-9, 1-7) the following Saturday before its annual battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket against archrival New Hampshire (3-8, 2-6) in Orono on Nov. 17.

UNH will also have a new head football coach this year in Rick Santos, who is replacing the retired Sean McDonnell.

UMaine played four of its 2022 conference opponents last fall.

UMaine beat URI (45-24), Albany (19-16) and UNH (33-20) and lost to Stony Brook (22-17).

James Madison, which shared the regular season title with Villanova, has left the conference to move up to the FBS and play in the Sun Belt Conference.

The CAA announced earlier this week that North Carolina A&T will join the conference from the Big South next fall.