CUSA Media Day Football

Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton talks with reporters during Conference USA college football media day Thursday in Frisco, Texas.

Western Kentucky announced Monday a future nonconference football matchup with Southeastern Conference member Georgia in the 2026 season.

The Hilltoppers will travel to Georgia on Sept. 12, 2026, to face the Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium. WKU will receive $1.9 million guaranteed for the game, a source said.

“We always seek to compete against the best, and there’s no doubt that traveling to Georgia and playing in that kind of environment is a tremendous and exciting challenge,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said in a news release. “The state of Georgia is a recruiting hotbed and strong focus for our coaching staff, so this is a significant opportunity for everyone involved. We’re also very pleased to face one of the nation’s top programs in a regional matchup that will allow our fans to travel with us and support the program, which is always one of our key factors when scheduling future games.”

Additionally, WKU also announced Monday a home game against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 7, 2024, at Houchens-Smith Stadium. The Daily News also learned via a source the Colonels will receive $325,000 for the game in Bowling Green.

This will be the Hilltoppers’ second all-time meeting with Georgia, following the 2006 season opener. The Bulldogs won that matchup 48-12.

WKU has played at least one SEC opponent in 13 of the last 15 seasons, including this year’s upcoming trip to Arkansas on Nov. 9. The Hilltoppers also now have future games scheduled with Auburn, Alabama and Georgia.

Georgia’s $1.9 million guaranteed to WKU matches the money Alabama and Auburn will respectively pay out to the Hilltoppers.

The 2024 home game against FCS program Eastern Kentucky will be the 87th all-time meeting between the two programs in a series that dates back to 1914.

They last met in 2017, with WKU pushing its all-time edge in the series to 48-35-3 with a 31-17 victory in Bowling Green.

In addition to the announcement of the Georgia and Eastern Kentucky games, WKU also announced Monday date changes for two previously announced future contests.

The Hilltoppers will host Austin Peay on Aug. 27, 2022, and WKU will visit Auburn on Nov. 19, 2022.

WKU opens the 2019 campaign under first-year head coach Tyson Helton with a home game against Central Arkansas on Aug. 29 at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

WKU’s future nonconference opponents are:

2020 – Chattanooga (Sept. 5), at Indiana (Sept. 12), Liberty (Sept. 19), at Louisville (Sept. 26).

2021 – UT-Martin (Sept. 4), at Army (Sept. 11), Indiana (Sept. 25), at Michigan State (Oct. 2).

2022 – Austin Peay (Aug. 27), at Hawaii (Sept. 3), at Indiana (Sept. 17), Troy (Oct. 1), at Auburn (Nov. 19).

2023 – South Florida (Sept. 2), Houston Baptist (Sept. 9), at Alabama (Sept. 16), at Troy (Sept. 23).

2024 – at South Florida (Aug. 31), EKU (Sept. 7).

2025 – at Liberty (Sept. 6), Cincinnati (Sept. 20).

2026 – at Georgia (Sept. 12), at Cincinnati (Sept. 26).{&end}

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