Troy and Duke will play a home-and-home football series beginning in 2013, Troy Athletics Director John Hartwell announced on Tuesday. The Trojans will travel to Durham, N.C., in 2013 and the Blue Devils will make the trip to Troy in 2014.
The date for the game at Wallace Wade Stadium will be announced once the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sets its league schedule.
The series with the Blue Devils was prompted by the early departures of Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic from the Sun Belt Conference. The Trojans will now have seven league games in 2013 and five non-conference contests.
"We knew there was a strong possibility of Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic leaving the league early," Hartwell said. "It was important for our football program to be proactive and have a scheduling plan in place for when it happened. The series with Duke is exciting for our program as we have the opportunity to play a quality ACC team on the road and then get another home game against an opponent from an automatic qualifying conference."
Duke's trip to Troy in 2014 will be the first ever by a member of the ACC to Veterans Memorial Stadium and the second by a school from a BCS automatic qualifying conference in a three-year period. Troy hosted Mississippi State in front of a Veterans Memorial Stadium record crowd in 2012. Troy also hosted Missouri in 2004 and Oklahoma State in 2007; both were Trojan victories.
Troy's Sun Belt Conference schedule will feature home games against ULM, South Alabama and Texas State. The Trojans will travel to Arkansas State, Georgia State, Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette. The dates of the Sun Belt contests will be announced at a later time.
"Ideally we'd like to have four Sun Belt home games, however we know this is just a one-year situation due to the early departures of Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic," Hartwell said. "We certainly tried to make the best of the situation by securing the series with Duke which also provides us with a home game against a BCS conference school in 2014."
Troy's 2013 slate is one of the toughest in school history as it features games against seven opponents who played in a bowl game in 2012, including three of its five non-conference opponents (Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Duke).
Troy's other non-conference games for the 2013 season include home games against UAB (Aug. 31) and Savannah State (Sept. 7); the game with Savannah State was signed over the summer of 2012. The Trojans will travel to Mississippi State (Sept. 21) and Ole Miss (Nov. 16) in addition to the game at Duke.
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