Appalachian State's first season under Coach Eliah Drinkwitz features a Halloween matchup with its bitter rival and a conference title game rematch.
The Sun Belt Conference announced the football schedule for the 2019 season on Friday. The Mountaineers, the reigning conference champions, will play two midweek games.
App State will travel to Louisiana for a Wednesday night game on Oct. 9. The game will be played on ESPN2. The Mountaineers beat the Ragin' Cajuns twice in 2018 — first, in the regular season, 27-17, and then in a 30-19 victory in the inaugural Sun Belt title game.
Later that month, Appalachian will play host to Georgia Southern on Oct. 31 for an ESPNU matchup. The Eagles won 34-14 against the Mountaineers, then ranked 25th in the AP Poll, in 2018. App State and Georgia Southern have played in midweek matchups in each of the last five seasons.
Appalachian starts off conference play against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 28. Following the Louisiana game, App State then hosts UL Monroe on Oct. 19 and travel to South Alabama on Oct. 26.
After playing Georgia Southern, App State will play three of its final four regular-season games on the road. Appalachian plays at Georgia State on Nov. 16, is at home against Texas State on Nov. 23, then closes the season at Troy on Nov. 30. Last year, App State closed out the 2018 regular season against Troy in Boone, with the Mountaineers winning, 21-10. The game decided the East Division winner and the host site of the Sun Belt title game.
App State's four non-conference matchups had long been announced. Appalachian will open the season with back-to-back home games against East Tennessee State (Aug. 31) and Charlotte (Sept. 7) before an away game at North Carolina (Sept. 21).
From there, the Mountaineers will go nearly two months before completing their non-conference schedule. App State travels to South Carolina on Nov. 9.
According to App State athletics, the game against ETSU will be a 30th anniversary celebration for former App State coach Jerry Moore; the game against Coastal Carolina will be Family Weekend; ULM's visit will coincide with homecoming; and the home finale against Texas State will be Senior Day.
App State and UNC have played only once in the past. That 1940 matchup was a 56-6 loss for Appalachian.
South Carolina has appeared more frequently on App State schedules. The two schools squared up nine times, and the Gamecocks own an 8-1 record in the series. The last game between the two schools came in 1988, with South Carolina winning, 35-9.
The 2019 schedule will be the second to feature two Power Five schools since joining the Sun Belt in 2014. In 2016, Appalachian went to Tennessee (a 20-13 overtime loss) and played host to Miami.
App State is coming off an 11-2 season, which featured a 45-13 victory against Middle Tennessee in the New Orleans Bowl. The Mountaineers have won four straight bowl games.
Game times for the 2019 season will be announced at later dates.