Murray State, Austin Peay schedule 12-game football series

By Kevin Kelley -

The Murray State Racers and the Austin Peay Governors have scheduled a 12-game, home-and-home football series that concludes in 2037, has learned.

Murray State and Austin Peay squared off on the gridiron last season on Oct. 15 in a non-conference matchup. Austin Peay defeated Murray State in that contest, 52-17, at Fortera Stadium in Clarksville, Tenn.

The contest in 2022 between the two arch-rivals was the first of a 12-game, home-and-home series, according to a copy of the contract that was executed last July and obtained from Murray State University via a state open records request.

Per the contract, the series will resume with the second game at Roy Stewart Stadium in Murray, Ky., during the second week of the 2027 season. If played on a Saturday, the date of the game would be Sept. 11.

The series will then extend for another 10 years, with games played during Week 2 at Austin Peay in even seasons and at Murray State in odd seasons, according to the contract. Here is how the entire series will look, barring any future changes to the NCAA calendar:

  • Oct. 15, 2022 – at Austin Peay (game played)
  • Sept. 11, 2027 – at Murray State
  • Sept. 9, 2028 – at Austin Peay
  • Sept. 8, 2029 – at Murray State
  • Sept. 7, 2030 – at Austin Peay
  • Sept. 6, 2031 – at Murray State
  • Sept. 11, 2032 – at Austin Peay
  • Sept. 10, 2033 – at Murray State
  • Sept. 9, 2034 – at Austin Peay
  • Sept. 8, 2035 – at Murray State
  • Sept. 6, 2036 – at Austin Peay
  • Sept. 12, 2037 – at Murray State

Murray State and Austin Peay are both former members of the Ohio Valley Conference and met annually in conference matchups between 1963 and 1996 and then again from 2007 through 2021. Murray State begins play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference this season, while Austin Peay is a member of the United Athletic Conference, which is the new name for the ASUN-WAC football alliance.

The two schools, separated by only about 66 miles, first met on the gridiron in 1953 and have played 56 contests overall in a series that is currently led by Murray State, 36-20. Athletics competitions between the two schools are currently dubbed Popeye’s Battle of the Border.

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So teams can still play each other even if they’re not in the same conference! Amazing!

Glad these teams are continuing their rivalry despite going their separate conference-affiliated ways.