April 12, 2004
The University of Connecticut football team announced the addition of a seventh home game for the 2004 season on Monday. The Huskies will now face Murray State on Saturday, Sept. 4 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The Racers will replace a scheduled road contest on Sept. 2 at Western Michigan.
"I think that this is a fantastic opportunity," UConn head coach Randy Edsall said. "There are not a lot of programs that get to play seven home games in front of their loyal fans and Im excited that we will have that chance. I am already looking forward to kicking off the season against Murray State on September 4th."
The scheduling will mark the first time in school history that the Huskies have played seven home games in a single season. UConn will be the only school in the BIG EAST Conference to play seven home games in 2004 and one of just 16 schools nationally to do so, seven of which play in the Southeastern Conference. With the new schedule alignment, UConn will have the luxury of playing six of its first seven games on its home turf at Rentschler Field.
"We are pleased to give UConn fans an unprecedented seventh opportunity to see their Huskies play at home," Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway said. "There is tremendous excitement about the upcoming season - our entry into the BIG EAST Football Conference, seven home games including five on Saturdays, and four national television appearances. We are thrilled to have this outstanding schedule for our fans to enjoy."
The Racers, hailing from Murray, Kentucky, were 4-8 overall last fall and 3-5 in Ohio Valley Conference action, a year after claiming their eighth OVC title in 2002 to advance to the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. The Racers return two All-OVC performers, in defensive end Marcus White, who led the team with nine sacks and 18 TFLs in 2003, and Louisville transfer Laroni Gallishaw, a kick returner and corner back who helped MSU rank fourth in the nation for Division I-AA last fall in passing defense at 142.0 yards per game. It will be the first meeting between the teams and marks UConns third game against a school from the Bluegrass State, joining a 1999 contest at Kentucky and a 2000 tilt at future BIG EAST member Louisville.