The South Dakota State University football team will play the University of Minnesota twice in the span of five seasons, officials announced Tuesday.

The two schools had already agreed to play each other in the 2015 season opener, but that game has been moved from a Saturday to Thursday, Sept. 3. SDSU and Minnesota also have agreed to a 2019 season-opening matchup on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Both games are scheduled to be played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

"Games against schools like the University of Minnesota provide our players with the opportunity to compete at the highest level against a school they may have grown up wanting to play for,” said senior associate athletic director Rob Peterson. "It also provides our fan base with an opportunity to travel a relatively short distance to support their Jackrabbit football team.”

SDSU and Minnesota last met during the 2009 season, with the Golden Gophers pulling out a 16-13 victory on their home field. Minnesota leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1905, by a 7-0 count.

The Jackrabbits now have five games against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents scheduled for future years.
Sept. 21, 2013 — at Nebraska
Aug. 30, 2014 — at Missouri
Sept. 3, 2015 — at Minnesota
Sept. 1, 2018 — at Iowa State
Aug. 29, 2019 — at Minnesota

South Dakota State plays at UNI Saturday.


This addition with SDSU is because of significant changes Minnesota is making to future football schedules.

The Gophers have reached an agreement with the Minnesota State Fair to open their regular season the Thursday night before Labor Day at TCF Bank Stadium for the next four years starting in 2013. The contests were originally scheduled for the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Minnesota will host UNLV in 2013, Eastern Illinois in 2014, South Dakota State in 2015 and New Mexico State in 2016.

The Gophers have also decided to cancel a home-and-home series with the University of North Carolina. Minnesota would have traveled to North Carolina next season and hosted the Tar Heels in 2014.

The Gophers have also added Kent State to its 2015 home schedule and South Dakota State to its 2019 home schedule.

Minnesota travels to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in Big 10 Conference play at 11 a.m. Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.