LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell head football coach Joe Susan unveiled his team's 2018 schedule Thursday afternoon.

The Bison will host five games at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium during their 133rd season of competition. Nine of their 2017 opponents are on the 2018 slate, with Villanova and Penn taking the place of Marist and Cornell.

"Our 2018 schedule is outstanding," Susan said. "Our non-conference schedule is challenging, with opponents from the CAA, NEC, Ivy League and Big South. Our league schedule is always exciting, and we look forward to a very competitive Patriot League football season."

Bucknell opens its 2018 campaign by hosting William & Mary on Sept. 1. Last season, the Bison and Tribe met for the first time since 1996 in Williamsburg, Va.

Bucknell then welcomes Sacred Heart to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium for the second-straight season. The Bison, who emerged victorious in the 2017 contest behind a last-second field goal, will face off against the Pioneers on Sept. 8.

After playing its first two games at home, Bucknell hits the road for a season-long three-game stint. The Bison travel to Penn (Sept. 15), Villanova (Sept. 22) and Holy Cross (Sept. 29) before they return home to play Colgate (Oct. 6). They haven't faced Villanova since 2005 and last took on Penn in 2010.

A year ago, Bucknell and Monmouth met for the first time in Lewisburg, Pa. The Bison are slated to travel to West Branch, N.J. on Oct. 13 to square off against the Hawks, who enjoyed their best season in program history in 2017.

Bucknell then hosts Lafayette on Oct. 20 for its Homecoming game. After hitting the road to take on Lehigh (Nov. 3) and Georgetown (Nov. 10), the Bison close the 2018 campaign against Fordham on Nov. 17 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

Bucknell went 5-6 (2-4 Patriot League) in 2017, posting the Patriot League’s best nonconference winning percentage. The Bison graduate 19 seniors, including nine regular starters and six of their eight 2017 all-Patriot League selections.

Bucknell's 2018 opponents went a combined 50-72 a year ago, with Colgate (7-4), Monmouth (9-3) and Penn (6-4) finishing above .500. Monmouth and Lehigh qualified for the 2017 NCAA FCS Championships.

2018 Schedule
Sept. 1: William & Mary
Sept. 8: Sacred Heart
Sept. 15: at Penn
Sept. 22: at Villanova
Sept. 29: at Holy Cross*
Oct. 6: Colgate*
Oct. 13: at Monmouth
Oct. 20: Lafayette* (Homecoming)
Nov. 3: at Lehigh*
Nov. 10: at Georgetown*
Nov. 17: Fordham*

* Patriot League; times to be announced