Cramton Bowl to host ninth annual FCS Kickoff

The artificial turf renovation is complete at Cramton Bowl just in time for the football season.
The artificial turf renovation is complete at Cramton Bowl just in time for the football season.(Sports Turf Company)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 11:55 AM CST|Updated: Aug. 24, 2023 at 7:07 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Mercer University and the University of North Alabama are set to meet in the ninth annual FCS Kickoff game at the historic Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery on Aug. 26th.

Brent Dearmon will be making his head coaching debut for North Alabama. The Lions are coming off a 1-10 season and will be looking to bounce back in 2023 in a big way. UNA recently made the transition to FCS after a successful run at the Division II level. The Lions won three straight national championships from 1993-95.

“Participating in the FCS Kickoff is a showcase opportunity for North Alabama athletics and the university as a whole,” said UNA Director of Athletics Dr. Josh Looney. “Bringing the new-look Lion football program to Alabama’s capital city, while participating in a nationally-televised game, offers an incredible platform to display the newest Division I football team and fastest-growing university in the state. We are thankful to Johnny Williams and ESPN for the invitation to kick off our 2023 season in Week 0 and join this outstanding event.”

Last season Mercer had one of the top offenses in the nation, setting numerous team and individual records. The Bears led the Southern Conference with 38.2 points per game. Mercer was ranked in the AFCA top 25 all season for the first time in school history. The program achieved its highest ranking ever at number 11 and finished the season ranked 21st.

“We’re excited to be playing in the first college football game of the season,” said Mercer head coach Drew Cronic. “This is a great opportunity to showcase our football program and the entire FCS.”

The game is set to kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and you can purchase tickets here. If you can’t make it to the game, it can be seen on ESPN.

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