The defending Historic Black College and University (HBCU) national champion North Carolina A&T Aggies and the four-time defending Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) champion Jacksonville State Gamecocks will square off in the 2018 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. The game will be televised on ESPN with kickoff time to be set at a later date.
Last year’s Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff Champions, the Jacksonville State University (JSU) Gamecocks, haven’t lost an Ohio Valley Conference game since 2013. In 2017, the Gamecocks posted a 10-2 overall record and advanced to the FCS playoffs. JSU has won four straight OVC football championships, going 32-0 in conference play during that span. Since 2003, JSU has won seven OVC football championships.
“Jacksonville State is thrilled to open the season in the Guardian FCS Kickoff again in 2018,” Jacksonville State University director of athletics Greg Seitz said. “After playing in the inaugural game last year, we feel it is one of the premier events in all of FCS football and is a great stage for us to showcase our program and FCS football to a national audience. We had a great experience in Montgomery in 2017 and we are excited to be able to give our fans the opportunity to see us play in a setting that is close to Jacksonville.”
The North Carolina A&T Aggies finished the 2017 season with a perfect 12-0 record and won their second Celebration Bowl in three years, defeating Grambling State 21-14. The Aggies have won six HBCU National Championships, including 1951, 1968, 1990, 1999, 2015 and 2017.
“We are pleased to be playing in the FCS Kickoff,” Earl Hilton, North Carolina A&T director of athletics said. “Participating in the game is an indication of how prominent North Carolina A&T State football has become over the past few years. The Aggies are playing in this showcase event because we are one of the best teams on the Division I-FCS level and that is a testament to how hard our players, coaches and administrators are working. I want to thank the organizers for choosing to put our great university, North Carolina A&T State, on this enormous stage. A&T looks forward to playing Jacksonville State, a program that has exemplified what it means to be a nationally-ranked top-10 team on a consistent basis.”