ESPN+ Opens College Football Season with More Than 25-Game Slate for Week One

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ESPN+ Opens College Football Season with More Than 25-Game Slate for Week One

  • Six Teams Ranked in the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll Top 25 to Appear
  • Defending FCS National Champion and No. 1 North Dakota State Season Opener
  • Kansas Home Opener in Primetime; Favorites from MAC and Sun Belt Showcased

With the 2018 college football season kicking off, fans can watch more games and more teams than ever with the launch of ESPN+, the premium direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) and ESPN. The inaugural season-long college football slate on ESPN+ will include more than 200 games, with week one alone featuring 27 games over the course of three days (Aug. 30-Sept.1) all available to subscribers via the ESPN App.

The addition of ESPN+ expands the overall portfolio of college football coverage, providing a platform for even more conferences to gain exposure on the national level. Over the course of the season multiple conferences will take center stage including, Big South, Conference USA, the Ivy League, Ohio Valley, MAC and Sun Belt all of which have extensive rights agreements for multiple sports to appear on ESPN+ alongside thousands of events each year, as well as MEAC, MVFC, Northeast, PSAC, Southern, Southland, and SWAC.

As part of a larger deal with the University of Kansas  that includes nearly 200 live events, ESPN+ will carry the Jayhawks season opener against Nicholls on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

In addition, fans will have access to teams expected to top their conferences this season. Ohio—picked to finish first in the MAC East Division—will host Howard at 2p.m. and Arkansas State—a top pick to take their division in the Sun Belt—will meet Southeast Missouri State at 7p.m. Both games are a part of the Saturday line-up.

Top-Ranked FCS Programs Showcased

Six of the NCAA FCS Coaches Poll Top 25 teams will appear during week one, including defending FCS national champion North Dakota State in their opener against Cal Poly on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Other notable ranked  match-ups include:

  • 5 Kennesaw will travel to Georgia State to kick things off on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. This will be the first meeting of the two young football programs who separated by just an hour’s drive time in Georgia.
  • 10 Samford will host Shorter on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Samford bulldogs were picked as the pre-season favorite to win the Southern Conference.
  • Butler travels to No. 24 Youngstown State on Saturday, Sept. 1, for a 1 p.m. kick-off.
  • The Citadel will travel to the South Carolina upstate to face No.11 Wofford on Saturday at 6 p.m. The in-state rivals have met 72 times with the Bulldogs leading the series at 41-27-1.
  • Rounding out the weekend, No. 20 Illinois State will host St. Xavier State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Players to Watch
In addition to six ranked teams, the schedule also features some impressive student-athletes to keep an eye on this season.

The Walter Payton Award is given annually to the most outstanding offensive player in the Division I FCS. Players on the 2018 Walter Payton Award Watchlist that appearing on ESPN+ in week one include:

  • Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, QB, Jr., 6-2, 180
    • 2017: 2,294 yards, 22 TDs; 746 rushing yards, 2 TDs;
  • Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State, RB, Sr., 5-11, 216
    • 2017: 234 carries, 1,216 yards, 12 TDs; 15 total TDs;
  • Chandler Burks, Kennesaw State, QB, Sr., 5-10, 187
    • 2017: 1,103 rushing yards, 18 TDs, 1,307 yards passing yards, 9 TDs
  • Tevin McCaster, Youngstown State, RB, Sr., 5-10, 195
    • 2017: 221 carries, 1,066 yards, 13 TDs;
  • Daniel Smith, Campbell, QB, So., 6-0, 200
    • 2017: 1,272 rushing yards, 12 TDs; 1,889 passing yards, 18 TDs
  • Easton Stick, North Dakota State, QB, Sr., 6-2, 221
    • 2017: 2,466 passing yards, 28 TDs, 663 rushing yards, 12 TDs

ESPN+ College Football Schedule – Week 1

Date Time Game Network
Thu, Aug 30 7 p.m. Central Connecticut State at Ball State ESPN+
Chowan at Campbell ESPN+
No. 5 Kennesaw State at Georgia State ESPN+
Southern Illinois at Murray State ESPN+
Morehead State at Eastern Kentucky ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Shorter at No. 10 Samford ESPN+
8 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana-Monroe ESPN+
Savannah State at UAB ESPN+
Fri, Aug 31 6:30 p.m. Monmouth at Eastern Michigan ESPN+
Sat, Sep 1 1 p.m. Shippenburg at Clarion ESPN+
2 p.m. Howard at Ohio ESPN+
Butler at No. 24 Youngstown State ESPN+
3:30 p.m. Marshall at Miami (Ohio) ESPN+
Cal Poly at No. 1 North Dakota State ESPN+
6 p.m. Newberry at Western Carolina ESPN+
The Citadel at No. 11 Wofford ESPN+
Limestone at Gardner-Webb ESPN+
South Carolina State at Georgia Southern ESPN+
Fordham at Charlotte ESPN+
Shaw at Hampton ESPN+
6:30 p.m. Nicholls at Kansas ESPN+
7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at South Alabama ESPN+
Southeast Missouri State at Arkansas State ESPN+
Jackson State at Southern Mississippi ESPN+
Bethune-Cookman at Tennessee State ESPN+
7:30 p.m. Mars Hill at East Tennessee State ESPN+
St. Xavier at No. 20 Illinois State ESPN+

*FCS Coaches Poll Rankings as of August 15, 2018; Not all ESPN+ games are exclusive

About ESPN+:
ESPN+ is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. Programming on ESPN+ includes thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and multiple other sports from more than 15 conferences), hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, , exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic soccer (Serie A, FA Cup, MLS, English Football League, UEFA Nations League, Eredivise, USL and more), rugby, cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time.

ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN App, the leading sports app and the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans, delivering a rich, personalized experience that curates all of ESPN’s incredible content around each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also be available through ESPN.com.

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