CEDAR CITY, Utah, Feb. 21 - Southern Utah's football team will face two bowl subdivision and nine Big Sky teams as the Thunderbirds embark upon their second season in the BSC in 2013. The 2013 season will also present a first for the T-Birds, as they play a 12-game schedule for the first time in school history.

The two FBS-level opponents are South Alabama and Washington State. The 2013 season will mark the fifth straight campaign that the Thunderbirds have faced two FBS opponents in a season and the second in a row they have faced a Pac-12 team. SUU will also play eight Big Sky conference games, as well as a non-conference game at fellow BSC member Sacramento State as part of a home-and-home agreement the two programs had prior to SUU joining the conference.

SUU opens the 2013 season at South Alabama on Thursday, August 29. The Jaguars will be in their first season as a fully-classified FBS program and as a member of the Sun Belt Conference this fall after two seasons as a non-classified program and two more as a transitional program.

The next week SUU will open its five-game home schedule on Sept. 7 when the Thunderbirds host Division II Fort Lewis, the only non-Division I opponent on the schedule. SUU and Fort Lewis have faced each other 30 times in the past. The two programs spent over two decades together as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference before SUU left the RMAC to move into its NCAA Division I transitional period in 1986 and they have continued to face each other on an occasional basis ever since.

It's back on the road the next week as SUU travels to Washington State for a Sept. 14 game that gives the team contests at Pac-12 schools in consecutive seasons. The Thunderbirds played at Cal last year. It will be the Thunderbirds' first game against Washington State in football.

The visit to Washington State begins a three-game road stretch that also takes the Thunderbirds to Sacramento State for the final non-conference game of the season on Sept. 21 and to Northern Colorado on Sept. 28 for the Big Sky opener.

SUU has faced Sacramento State the past two seasons, last year in a BSC game, and this year's match-up will be the 14th overall between the two programs.

SUU will be meeting Northern Colorado as a Big Sky opponent for the first time but the two teams did compete against each other in the Great West Football Conference prior to the Bears joining the Big Sky in 2006.

SUU hosts UC Davis in its Big Sky home-opener on Oct. 5, then hosts Portland State in what is shaping up to be the school's annual Homecoming Game on Oct. 12. The team then travels to Eastern Washington for an Oct. 19 game before returning home to host Idaho State on Oct. 26.

Following a bye week the Thunderbirds travel to Weber State on Nov. 9, then to Montana State on Nov. 16 before hosting Northern Arizona in the regular-season finale Nov. 23.

Southern Utah University Football
2013 Schedule

8-29      At South Alabama

9-7        Fort Lewis

9-14     At Washington State

9-21     At Sacramento State (non-conference game)

9-28     At Northern Colorado*

10-5    UC Davis*

10-12  Portland State (Homecoming, tentative)*

10-19  At Eastern Washington*

10-26  Idaho State*

11-2    Bye

11-9    At Weber State*

11-16  At Montana State*

11-23  Northern Arizona*

All Times TBA

* Big Sky Conference Game