GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T released its 11-game 2015 football schedule on Wednesday.
The schedule includes the return of Bethune-Cookman, who has won at least a share of the MEAC title four out of the last five seasons. It also includes a game against the University of North Carolina for the first time.
A&T, who won a share of the MEAC title in 2014, opens the season at Aggie Stadium on Sept. 5 (6 p.m.) against old CIAA rival Shaw University. The Aggies will meet the Bears on the football field for the 21st time, but for the first time since 1963 when the Aggies came away with a 69-0 win in Greensboro.
The following week will see the Aggies travel to Chapel Hill to face the North Carolina Tar Heels for the first time in school history. The Tar Heels will be the first ACC team the Aggies have faced since losing to Wake Forest 42-3 on Sept. 18, 2004. The Tar Heels are the first FBS school on the Aggies schedule since Louisiana-Lafayette in 2006. A&T head coach Rod Broadway is a 1977 graduate of UNC.
Non-conference play ends when the Aggies renew their Piedmont rivalry against Elon on Sept. 19. For the second straight season, the Aggies will travel to Elon where they were 17-12 winners in 2014. The Aggies have won the first two games in the current four-year series scheduled to conclude in 2016. A&T holds the all-time series lead, 6-4.
Conference play begins Oct. 3 as the Aggies travel to face the Hampton Pirates at Armstrong Stadium. The Aggies ended an eight-game losing streak to the Pirates last season with a 31-14 win at Aggie Stadium. A&T has not won at Armstrong Stadium in 15 years. The Aggies return to the Tidewater area the following week to face Norfolk State in Norfolk, Va., at 2 p.m. The Aggies and the Spartans have not played since 2012 when the Aggies earned a 30-9 Greatest Homecoming On Earth win.
Bethune-Cookman is also on the schedule for the first time in three years as the Wildcats face the Aggies at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Aggie Stadium. It is B-CU’s first trip to Aggie Stadium since 2011. One of Greensboro’s biggest annual events returns as the Aggies host Howard University for the Greatest Homecoming On Earth at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 24. A&T has won four straight homecomings.
After homecoming the Aggies will play two consecutive road games to close out their travel for 2015. A&T goes to Florida A&M on Oct. 31 before facing S.C. State in Orangeburg, S.C., on Nov. 7.
The Aggies final two games are at Aggie Stadium. Delaware State comes to Greensboro on Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. The Aggies then close out the regular-season against rival N.C. Central at 1 p.m.
The Eagles defeated the 24th-ranked Aggies 21-14 in Durham in 2014 to end the Aggies hopes of making the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The loss also put the Aggies (9-3, 6-2 MEAC) in a five-way tie for the MEAC crown. It was the Aggies first conference title in 11 years.
The Aggies have also put together three straight winning seasons for the first time since accomplishing the feat from 1999-01.