Atlanta, GA-The Clark Atlanta University Panthers will open their 2011 football schedule with a Georgia Dome match-up against the neighboring Panthers of Georgia State University, Thursday, Sept. 1st, highlighting a game that brings together an Atlanta-based Division I program and one of the nation’s leading Division II Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“This partnership is a win-win for both universities and good for the city of Atlanta,” Clark Atlanta Athletic Director Dr. Tamica Smith Jones affirmed. “Panthers will pack the house and Panthers will have a victory.”
This match-up sets the stage for others to see the quality of Clark Atlanta’s football program and its university that is nestled in the heart of metro Atlanta and headlines a three home game stretch slated to open its football season.
“It is an exciting opportunity for our football program and our community,” added CAU Head Coach Darryl McNeil.
Dr. Jones released the Panthers 10-game schedule this week featuring a new Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play structure, five home games, two non-conference contests and a second appearance in the St. Louis Gateway Football Classic (9/24) against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
In his second year at the helm of the football program, McNeil noted that, “This is a great schedule for all Panther fans and supporters. Last year we traveled the whole month of September so it will be good to play at home for most of the season.”
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) introduced a new East/West Divisional format beginning in the 2011 season that tabs CAU in the Eastern Division along with Albany State University, Benedict College, Fort Valley State University and AUC rival Morehouse College.
Fort Valley, at home, Sept. 17th, begins divisional play for the Panthers followed by Morehouse on the road Oct. 1st. The Panthers dropped both games for losses in the 2010 campaign. CAU Homecoming will be October 8th, against Miles College before traveling to Benedict College Oct. 15th.
Thereafter, the Panthers will compete in a home-away format for the rest of the season concluding with Albany State (10-22) and two non-divisional competitions against Tuskegee (10-29) and Stillman (11-5). The East/West division winners will vie for the conference championship November 12th.
This year’s schedule, according to Dr. Jones, “provides balance in competition, gives our fans more opportunities to support the Panthers at home, and enhances our student-athletes’ experience by playing in two dome games.”
Although the Panthers finished last season 4-6, their nationally ranked defense landed in four NCAA Division II statistical categories including the top spot in pass defense, No. 2 in tackles for losses, No. 11 in total defense and No. 26 in total sacks.
“Our motivation is to win the East Division in the 2011 season,” added McNeil.
Clark Atlanta University Panthers 2011 Football Schedule
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION
September 1 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA (Georgia Dome)
September 10 LANE COLLEGE Atlanta, GA
September 17 FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY ** Atlanta, GA
September 24 University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
(St. Louis Gateway Football Classic) St. Louis, MO
October 1 Morehouse College ** Atlanta, GA
October 8 MILES COLLEGE (HOMECOMING) Atlanta, GA
October 15 Benedict College ** Columbia, SC
October 22 ALBANY STATE UNIVERSITY ** Atlanta, GA
October 29 Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL
November 5 STILLMAN COLLEGE Atlanta, GA
November 12 SIAC Championship TBD