Western Kentucky released its 2013 football schedule today.

The Hilltoppers (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference, 2012) will play seven home games and five nonconference games.

The season opens Aug. 31 with a rematch against Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville. Western Kentucky defeated UK 32-31 in overtime last season in Lexington.

The Tops have five nonconference games, including the addition of Morgan State, which was announced Thursday.

The Bears from Baltimore finished 3-8 in 2012 and went 2-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision. Morgan State ended the season on a five-game losing streak after posting wins over Sacred Heart, North Carolina A&T and Savannah State early on. They will visit Houchens-Smith Stadium on Sept. 21.

With the departures of Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee and North Texas from the Sun Belt to Conference USA, and the addition of Georgia State and Texas State to the SBC, WKU will play seven conference games.

Western Kentucky opens the league schedule with a road trip to South Alabama on Sept. 14. The Oct. 3 game at Louisiana-Monroe will be played on a Thursday and televised live by ESPNU.

This year’s contest with Louisiana-Lafayette will be played at Houchens-Smith Stadium either Tuesday, Oct. 15 or Wednesday, Oct. 16 and be televised live by either ESPN or ESPN2. The game will be the first football telecast from Bowling Green on either networks, WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said through a release.

The Hilltoppers’ 12 opponents for 2013 went a combined 59-88 last season. Four of the teams posted winning records, all four of which went to a bowl game, posting a 2-2 mark in the postseason.

Western Kentucky’s five nonconference opponents went a combined 20-40 in 2012.

“This is a very exciting schedule with two nationally televised conference games and a nonconference schedule featuring two opponents from both the Southeastern Conference and the United States service academies,” Stewart said. “This schedule, coupled with the excitement coach (Bobby) Petrino has created and the experienced staff he has assimilated, have resulted in tremendous anticipation for our 2013 football season.”

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