The Florida International Golden Panthers will host the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in 2013 and 2014, FIU announced today.
Both games will be played at FIU Stadium on Sept. 14, 2013 and Sept. 6, 2014. The two schools played twice when FIU was in Division I-AA. Bethune-Cookman won both games, 31-0 in 2002 and 24-14 in 2003.
“It’s an opportunity to establish another rivalry with an in-state school,” said Head Coach Mario Cristobal. “Coach (Brian) Jenkins has done a great job with that program. I am looking forward to hosting them in 2013 and 2014.”
“This is a great game for our fans and alumni,” FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia said. “Bethune-Cookman is an outstanding University. It is always good to be able to play against schools from Florida.”
FIU was previously set to open the 2013 season at home against Texas A&M, but the Aggies have bought out of the game. The Golden Panthers will host UCF on Sept. 7 and Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 14. They will then travel to face Louisville on Sept. 21.
In 2014, FIU will open at UCF on Aug. 30, and will then host three straight non-conference games for the second consecutive season: Bethune-Cookman (Sept. 6), Pittsburgh (Sept. 13), and Louisville (Sept. 20).
Florida International is currently a member of the Sun Belt Conference, but will be joining Conference USA in 2013.
Note: Article updated to reflect Texas A&M’s cancellation of their 2013 game at FIU.