Braves Release 2012 Football Schedule
PEMBROKE – Five home games, including the fourth edition of the Two Rivers Classic against Fayetteville State, as well as a pair of evening kickoffs, highlight the 10-game 2012 football schedule released by UNCP athletic department officials on Wednesday afternoon.
The slate features nine games against NCAA Division II foes, as well as three-straight home games in the month of October, including a Homecoming contest against region rival Newberry on October 27. The schedule includes a first-time opponent in Virginia-Lynchburg as well.
"(The schedule) is probably going to be very similar to last year," said UNCP head coach Pete Shinnick. "We played 11 NCAA Division II teams last year, and the nine NCAA Division II teams we play next year have the opportunity to be pretty good. I think the most important part of next year's schedule is how we open up. We open up with three pretty good football teams from the state of North Carolina. Considering we lost to two of those teams last year, we have our hands pretty full."
The Braves will open up the new campaign against Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association teams in consecutive weeks, first traveling to Winston-Salem State to battle the Rams on September 1, and then opening up the home schedule on September 8 against Fayetteville State in the Two Rivers Classic. The Rams, who are 2-0 all-time against UNCP, are coming off a 13-1 season and a trip to the NCAA Semifinals, while the Broncos finished the most current campaign with a 4-6 record despite ranking ninth nationally in pass defense. Fayetteville State is 0-3 all-time against the Braves.
A two-game road trip will greet the Black & Gold in mid-September as UNCP treks for stops at both Wingate and Virginia University-Lynchburg out of the NAIA. The Bulldogs tallied a 29-23 overtime win in Pembroke last season en route to a 5-6 record, while the Dragons registered three wins in their inaugural season. Wingate is 3-1 against the Braves all-time, including a 2-0 record in Irwin Belk Stadium.
The lights of Grace P. Johnson Stadium will greet UNCP's return to Pembroke on September 29 as the Braves suit up to battle Catawba, with a road contest at Tusculum slated for the following week. The Black & Gold will open up a three-game home stand on October 13 against Charleston (W.Va.), continue the stay in Pembroke against Carson-Newman on October 20 and close out the home schedule with an October 27 Homecoming contest against Newberry.
Following an open weekend on November 3, the Braves will make the long trek to Wheeling, W.Va., to lock horns with West Liberty.
The Braves will close out their spring practice season on Saturday with their sixth annual spring game at Grace P. Johnson Stadium. Kickoff has been set for 11 a.m. and admission is free.