MACON, Ga. – The Mercer football program and head coach Bobby Lamb officially released the 2014 schedule Tuesday morning that features seven Southern Conference games and seven home contests at Mercer University Stadium.
After returning to the gridiron in style in 2013 and setting the NCAA record for wins by a first-year program, the Bears will make the transition to the Southern Conference in 2014 to compete in one of the premier FCS leagues in the country.
"This is an outstanding schedule for our program and our fans," said Lamb. "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."
For the second-straight year, Mercer will open the season at home against Reinhardt, playing host to the Eagles on Thursday, Aug. 28. The Bears used a last-second field goal a season ago to defeat Reinhardt 40-37 and set the stage for Mercer's historic year.
The Bears are coming off a dominant season at home in 2013, posting an 8-0 record at Mercer University Stadium and tying Auburn and Sam Houston State for the most home wins in the country. Mercer will play seven more games at home in 2014, including its SoCon debut Sept. 6 against Furman.
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 been cemented as the leader of the Bears after the university inked the legendary head coach to a 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.