Southern Miss drops Ohio State, adds Kentucky for 2024 football opener

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss announced Tuesday that it has changed the opponent for its 2024 football season opener.

Southern Miss was supposed to play at Ohio State on Aug. 31, but will now go to Kentucky instead.

Ohio State will begin its season at home against Akron. The Buckeyes are now scheduled to play one non-conference game against an Ohio school for each of the next four seasons: vs. Akron (2024), Ohio (2025), Kent State (2026) and Bowling Green (2027).

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Both Southern Miss and Ohio State mutually agreed to cancel the game to modify their respective schedules, and were part of a schedule trade. Akron and Kentucky were originally supposed to play each other in the 2024 season opener.

Southern Miss last played Kentucky in 2017 in Lexington, in the second half of a home-and-home series. Kentucky won that game, 24-17, but Southern Miss defeated the Wildcats 44-35 in Hattiesburg in 2016.

Southern Miss and Ohio State have never played each other in football.

Southern Miss’ other non-conference games in 2024 are at home against Southeastern Louisiana and South Florida, and at Jacksonville State. The four non-conference games are all in a row to begin the season.

Adding Kentucky will also mark the 10th time in 12 seasons that Southern Miss has played a Southeastern Conference opponents. The Golden Eagles are also scheduled to open the 2025 season at home vs. Mississippi State, and play at Auburn in 2026.