MACON, Ga. — The Mercer football program, making the transition to the Southern Conference in 2014, opens the season Aug. 28 against Reinhardt in Macon.
This marks the second consecutive year the Bears will open the season hosting the Eagles. Last year, Mercer used a last-second field goal a season ago to defeat Reinhardt 40-37.
The Bears are coming off an impressive 2013 campaign, posting an 8-0 record at Mercer University Stadium, including four wins against Division III or NAIA schools. Mercer tied Auburn and Sam Houston State for the most home wins in the country
Mercer, which played in the Pioneer Football League in 2013, will play seven more games at home in 2014, including its SoCon debut Sept. 6 against Furman.
“This is an outstanding schedule for our program and our fans,” Mercer Head Coach Bobby Lamb said. “Making the move to the Southern Conference is a huge leap, but we look forward to facing the challenge. Our fans and game day atmosphere is one of the best in the country and we expect them to show up this fall and be the difference.”
After stepping out of conference for games against Stetson Sept. 13 and Ave Maria Sept. 20, the Bears will play back-to-back league games on the road, traveling to VMI Sept. 27 and Samford Oct. 4. Mercer will also play conference games at home against Western Carolina Oct. 18 and The Citadel Nov. 1, while traveling to Chattanooga Oct. 25 and Wofford Nov. 22 to close the regular season.
The Bears will also welcome Austin Peay to town Oct. 11, before playing their final home game against Warner on Nov. 15.
Mercer finished the 2013 season ranked No. 1 in the country at the FCS level in red zone offense, No. 2 in rushing offense at 277.9 yards per game and No. 4 in passing yards per completion at 15.37.
Lamb has a contract contract through the 2019 season. He has three seasons of 10 or more wins, appeared in three FCS national championship games as a player and coach and been a part of 30 FCS playoff games.