NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State's football team will visit SMU, the alma mater of Demons coach Bradley Dale Peveto, next Sept. 17, a week after the 2011 Demons play at LSU, athletic director Greg Burke said Wednesday.
The opportunity for the Mustang-Demon game arose after SMU and Baylor agreed to drop their 2011 game due to the new nine-game Big XII Conference schedule, said SMU spokesman Brad Sutton. Adding the game at SMU forced Northwestern to drop a first-ever football matchup with Texas-San Antonio slated for Oct. 22 in Turpin Stadium.
"Changing the 2011 football schedule was not in the forefront of my mind but this enticing opportunity presented itself and for many reasons, it made sense to change course," said Burke. "We have a big base of alumni in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It's an easy trip for our team and fans to make from north Louisiana and east Texas. It's an appealing matchup with a tradition-rich program.
"There's no doubt that this also is a financially-driven decision, as we are constantly planning for what will certainly be a challenging 2011-12 fiscal year for higher education in Louisiana," he said. "Coach Peveto fully understood those ramifications and how important the revenue from this game will be for our athletics budget next year, and I want to thank him and his team for stepping up and bearing a bigger burden to help the cause."
Peveto is an SMU alumnus and earned four letters for the Mustangs. Peveto played from 1982-86 at SMU, where he was a safety, special teams star and team captain while the Mustangs went 43-14.
"This isn't about me playing my alma mater, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say it's exciting personally and professionally, and our team is going to embrace the opportunity," said Peveto.
"The chance to play a landmark game for our Louisiana fans at LSU one weekend, and then to go to Dallas and showcase our team to our many fans in that area, is something we'll use as incentive as we prepare for the 2011 season.
"I understand we had a great turnout for our 2001 game at TCU in Fort Worth," said Peveto, referring to a contest won in overtime 27-24 by the Demons over the Horned Frogs. "We recruit heavily in Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding area. This is a big positive for us."