February 11, 2014 11:00AM
Pittsburg State University officials announced the Gorillas' 2014 football schedule today (Feb. 11). Pitt State will play an 11-game MIAA schedule against all football-playing members of the conference, with five games slated at home at Carnie Smith Stadium and the remaining six as road contests. The Gorillas home slate includes the season opener – against Northeastern State University – on Sept. 6. This will mark the second straight year that Pitt State will make its season debut at home, after opening on the road for three consecutive seasons from 2010-12. The Gorillas also will face Fort Hays State University on Family Day on Sept. 27, Emporia State University for Homecoming on Oct. 11, the University of Nebraska-Kearney for the Hall of Fame game on Oct. 25 and the University of Central Missouri for Senior Day on Nov. 8. Pitt State will face back-to-back road games in September against Lindenwood University (Sept. 13) and Washburn University (Sept. 20) as well as a return trip to St. Joseph, Mo., to face Missouri Western State University on Oct. 3. November road trips include match-ups against Missouri Southern State University (Nov. 1) and the University of Central Oklahoma (Nov. 15) in the regular season finale. Pitt State's two September home games will have 7 p.m. (CDT) start times, while the remaining October and November contests will kick off at 2 p.m. After 12 seasons of facing Northwest Missouri State University at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., the series returns to campus sites in 2014 and 2015. The Gorillas and Bearcats will meet at Maryville, Mo., on Oct. 18. In 2015, Northwest will come to Carnie Smith Stadium on the corresponding date (Oct. 17). All other 10 match-ups in 2014 will flip locations in 2015, giving Pitt State six home games at Carnie Smith Stadium. Pitt State posted a 10-2 record in 2013, the program's 20th season with 10 or more victories. The Gorillas posted a 90-28 victory over Southwest Minnesota State University in the Mineral Water Bowl at Excelsior Springs, Mo., on Dec. 7 after narrowly missing the 24-team NCAA Division II playoff field. Pitt State was ranked No. 19 in the final 2013 AFCA/Division II Top 25 poll following the season. "We are excited to finalize our 2014 and 2015 schedules," athletics director Jim Johnson said. "After having unbalanced MIAA schedules the past two years it will be nice for the Gorillas to face all their conference opponents in the regular season. "The decision to return the Northwest series to campus sites was not an easy one with the positive recruiting and exposure aspects of playing the game in Kansas City as well as our great relationship with the Chiefs. That said, our tremendous relationship with the city of Pittsburg and our loyal fans implores us to play as many games at Carnie Smith Stadium as possible. We have been fortunate to play before sellout crowds all year long in each of the last two seasons, essentially at 125 percent of capacity with standing room only seating. Hosting a sixth game in 2015 in many respects is a great reward to all of our many stakeholders. "We certainly want to thank the Chiefs organization, the Hunt family, and, in particular, Gary Spani and his staff for the hospitality over the past 12 seasons. Playing at Arrowhead certainly is a great experience for all involved, but we feel the experience of playing at Carnie Smith Stadium also is an experience that is second to none on a Division II campus."