VALDOSTA, Ga. - Nine games in the state of Georgia highlight the 2015 Valdosta State football schedule, as announced by Blazer Head Coach David Dean Tuesday.
The Blazers travel out of the state just during the season, in the 10th week of the season when they travel to Cleveland, Miss. to face Delta State on November 7 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Every remaining game on the VSU schedule will be played within 300 miles of Valdosta as, outside the game at DSU, Valdosta State's longest trip of the regular season will be to Rome, Ga. to play Shorter on Thursday, October 22.
"It will be a huge advantage to us to play so many games close to home," said Dean during the announcement. "We recruit so much of the state each year and this will give us the opportunity to play the majority of our games where the recruits will be able to see us. Additionally, it allows so many of our players to have family and friends to be able to see them close to home instead of having to travel out of state to do so."
Valdosta State opens its season with a pair of teams that are traditionally among the top programs in their respective conferences. The Blazers travel to Albany, Ga. on September 5 to play Albany State before visiting Powder Springs, Ga. the following week to face off against Winston-Salem State at McEachern High School.
"Albany State and Winston-Salem State will be a pair of tough tests early in the season," Dean continued. "Both of those games are important from a regional standings standpoint and feature games against teams that are always among the top two or three squads in their conferences.
"Albany State is always a great environment, no matter where we play them. Both teams bring a lot of fans and is a great environment to play in. It's also an important game in terms of seeing how the Gulf South Conference and SIAC match-up early in the year.
"Meanwhile, the Winston-Salem State contest is a great opportunity for our Atlanta alumni to be able to see us play without having to travel a long distance. We know the facility and will be more adept at what is going to happen on gameday up there."
Following Winston-Salem State, Valdosta State has its only bye week before playing its final non-conference game of the year when it hosts Cumberland at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium on September 26 at 4:00 p.m., a game that will also feature VSU's Parents' Weekend. The following week, the Blazers open Gulf South Conference play as they host North Alabama at 2:00 p.m. before hitting the road again on October 10 when they travel to Carrollton, Ga. to face West Georgia in a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.
VSU returns home the following weekend when they host Mississippi College at 2:00 p.m. for the first time in Bazemore-Hyder Stadium since the 1995 season and, after the Shorter game, host West Alabama on Saturday, October 31 at 2:00 p.m.
Following the trip to Cleveland, Miss., Valdosta State closes out its schedule as it hosts Florida Tech at 3:00 p.m. for Homecoming.
"Fans are going to see a lot of parity in the Gulf South Conference this year," Dean concluded. "Delta State, North Alabama, West Georgia and Florida Tech all return a lot of talent off of teams that had a ton of success last year. It's going to be a challenge week-in and week-out, no matter who we are playing."
*VSU Sports Information