Despite rumors of conference changes possibly on the horizon, the Central Arkansas Bears football has a home-and-home series with Samford.
The two teams have agreed to a series which begins Sept. 14, 2024, at Samford University at Seibert Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.
The series will conclude in 2025 when the Bulldogs make a return trip Sept. 13, 2025, to Estes Stadium.
The 2024 game in Birmingham is currently UCA’s only scheduled game for 2024, whereas 2025 already has Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse North Dakota State slated for Sept. 20, 2025, at The Stripes.
The two teams met twice previously with Samford picking up a win on both occasions.
An eventual 7-4 UCA Bears team fell 45-16 on Sept. 3, 2015, to start the season.
The Bulldogs forced two UCA turnovers, while also forcing the Bears into 24 third down opportunities with UCA converting just 11 of those opportunities.
The following year, Samford came to Conway and handed a talented, eventual 10-3 Bears squad a 35-29 win.
Despite outgaining the Bulldogs on offense 577 yards to 257 yards, UCA had three costly turnovers as well as being forced into 25 third down situations.
Again, the Bears only converted 11 of those opportunities.
In addition to the newly added home-and-home with Samford, UCA has a home-and-home scheduled with Missouri State starting Sept. 11, 2021 and concluding Sept. 1, 2022.
Also on the nonconference slate for UCA in 2021 is a trip to Arkansas State for the second consecutive year.
The Bears and Red Wolves met in Jonesboro Oct. 10, 2020, with Arkansas State winning 50-27.
UCA also has Arkansas-Pine Bluff written for 2021 as the final nonconference game of the season, which will be played Sept. 18 at Estes Stadium.
In 2022, the Bears are scheduled to go back to Ole Miss on Sept. 10.
UCA and Ole Miss last played Sept. 1, 2012, with the Rebels winning 49-27.
And then, the final known nonconference game at this point is a 2023 trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on Oklahoma State.
The Bears last traveled to Stillwater on Sept. 12, 2015, with a 32-8 loss to the Cowboys.
Additionally, UCA coach Nathan Brown has replaced outgoing defensive coordinator Chad Williams, who is returning to his alma mater at Southern Miss to take over as the cornerbacks as an assistant coach.
Williams spent three seasons on Brown’s staff, with the final two years of his stint serving as UCA’s defensive coordinator.
Replacing Williams is a familiar face in Matt Kitchens.
Kitchens more recently served a three-year stint under former South Alabama coach Steve Campbell as the team’s safeties and special teams coordinator.
Prior to his South Alabama stint, Kitchens served in the same role at UCA for three seasons under Campbell from 2015 to 2017.