Special to The Times-Georgian

The University of West Georgia football program unveiled the schedule for the 2021 campaign Monday. It’s a 10-game slate to commemorate the 40th anniversary of NCAA football at UWG.

The Wolves kick things off with two non-conference games Sept. 2 (a Thursday) and Sept. 11. It all begins on the road in Jefferson City, Tennessee, against Carson-Newman. The home opener is against Morehouse at University Stadium in Week 2.

West Georgia will host Delta State for another non-conference game Sept. 18 before beginning the Gulf South Conference schedule vs. Shorter University in Rome on Sept. 25. UWG is back home Oct. 2 against West Alabama and then hits the road for back-to-back games at Mississippi College Oct. 9 and West Florida Oct. 16.

The Wolves close out October returning to Carrollton for Homecoming and North Greenville Oct. 23 for Homecoming. Another well-anticipated annual tradition is the Battle for the Peach Basket with rival Valdosta State. West Georgia goes to the home of the Blazers Oct. 30.

West Georgia has a bye on Nov. 6 before closing out the regular season at home Nov. 13 with a rematch against Delta State. The NCAA Division II Playoffs start Nov. 20.

Game times, ticket pricing and promotional home dates will be announced at a later date. Season tickets are expected to be available on June 1.

UWG head coach David Dean is excited about the 2021 schedule and beginning the journey toward a special fall campaign for West Georgia football. There was no Division II football for the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had an opportunity to play. Seeing the schedule kind of starts to put it in reality and making all the plans for our road trips and so forth,” Dean said. “I think it’s a good schedule. We’ve got some good teams that are coming in here. Hopefully, we’re going to have a lot of folks that are hungry for football and ready to get out here and watch these guys play.”

West Georgia will face a major test at the onset against Carson Newman, which reached the second round of the NCAA Playoffs in 2019.

“If you look back at the 2019 year when West Florida won the national championship, the only game they lost was Carson Newman in the opening game. So it’s going to be a big task, especially playing on the road,” Dean said. “I think our guys are going to be excited and ready to play and hopefully we’re going to play well. It’s a different type of offense. They run that split-back veer, which is something we don’t see a whole bunch. It’s going to be a challenge for our defense.”

Dean noted how even more daunting the season will be with the new transfer rules in place.

“To me, this is the toughest conference in Division II football. Top to bottom, anybody can beat anybody on any given day if you don’t play well. It’s going to be a challenge every week,” Dean said. “I know there’s going to be a lot of change, as far as what’s happening with all these transfer portals. I think all of the teams in the conference are all going to be different. They’re all going to be new and different faces. It’s going to be a week-to-week thing to see who we’re going to line up against.”