Courtesy of Bryce Hoynoski, Bethune-Cookman Athletics
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman Football will embark on its fourth season as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – and second in the Raymond Woodie Jr. era, with a challenging 2024 schedule that includes five contests against first-year head coaches, the farthest road contest for B-CU since 2018, four games in the friendly confines of Daytona Stadium, and a Florida Blue Florida Classic matchup against the defending Cricket Celebration Bowl champions.
The Wildcats will open the 2024 slate August 31 at Raymond James Stadium with their first-ever matchup with the American Athletic Conference’s USF. The Bulls finished 7-6 in their first season under head coach Alex Golesh, including an impressive 45-0 victory over Syracuse in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl.
B-CU’s home opener at Daytona Stadium is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, against another first-time foe – Mercer. The Bears finished the 2023 season at 9-4, earning a berth in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The Bears defeated Garner-Webb, 17-7 in the first round before falling to the South Dakota State, which would go on to the FCS title game.
Game three will see the Wildcats heading to Kalamazoo, Michigan to face Western Michigan – their third-straight first-time opponent, on September 14 in B-CU’s farthest road contest of the season. It is the farthest opponent in distance travelled for B-CU since the Wildcats took on Nebraska in 2018.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Wildcats will return home to host Clark Atlanta and first-year head coach Teddy Keaton for the first of a pair of two-game homestands. It will mark the first meeting between the Wildcats and Panthers since 1965, when B-CU defeated Clark, 56-26 as part of the Gateway Classic in Jacksonville.
The Wildcats return to Daytona Stadium a week later (September 28) to open SWAC play against Alabama State. the Wildcats came mere plays away from defeating the Hornets in 2023, eventually falling by a score of 19-14 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Following a week six bye week, the Wildcats will travel to Huntsville, Alabama on October 12 to take on an Alabama A&M team that saw B-CU rush for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-14 Senior Day win in the 2023 home finale.
On October 19, the Wildcats will open the second half of the schedule on the road in Itta Bena, Mississippi, as B-CU takes on Mississippi Valley State in search of a third consecutive win over the Delta Devils.
Homecoming is set for Saturday, Oct. 26, as B-CU hosts Jackson State in the first of two-straight games at Daytona Stadium to wrap up the 2024 home slate.
B-CU opens the month of November with Senior Day on November 2, as the Wildcats welcome in Grambling State, following the departure of head coach Hue Jackson, in the 2024 home finale.
On November 9, B-CU will head to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to take on Southern University in their first trip to A.W. Mumford Stadium since 1981. The Wildcats are in search of their first ever win against Southern – this time facing a Jaguars team under the leadership of first-year head coach Terrence Greaves.
The 2024 road finale is set for November 16, as B-CU travels to Houston for their third-straight contest featuring a first-year head coach, this time against Texas Southern (who as of January 3 is still in search of a head coach). The Tigers finished 3-8 in 2023, narrowly defeating the Wildcats, 34-31 at Daytona Stadium on Homecoming 2023.
The 2024 Florida Blue Florida Classic will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Wildcats will serve as the home team as they look to return to their winning ways against defending 2023 SWAC and Celebration Bowl Champions, Florida A&M. For the first time since 2018, the Rattlers will be without Willie Simmons as head coach, after Simmons accepted the position of running backs coach at Duke on January 2.
Fans can view the full 2024 football schedule HERE.