When the Missouri Western football takes the field at the new Spratt Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, more will be different than just the surroundings.

The Griffons announced the 2016 football schedule on Tuesday and for the first time in three years, will open their season against a new opponent.

That Thursday contest will feature Nebraska-Kearney after Western opened the previous two seasons against Central Missouri.

The much anticipated 47th season in Griffon football history features five home games, including Family Day and the Military Appreciation Game on Sept. 17 against Central Missouri, the Hall of Fame Game on Oct. 1 against Northeastern State, Homecoming on Oct. 15 against Pittsburg State and Senior Day on Nov. 5 against Emporia State.

Western will play its six road games at Missouri Southern, Central Oklahoma, Lindenwood, Fort Hays State, Washburn and Northwest Missouri State.

The 2016 season will be the 20th as head coach for Jerry Partridge. The all-time wins leader at Western enters the year with a 145-76 career record, the most wins among active MIAA coaches and third all-time in the MIAA.

Last season, Partridge led the Griffons to a 6-5 record, the program’s 11th consecutive winning season and Partridge’s 16th overall.

MIAA Football Media Day will be held Aug. 2 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets for the 2016 season will go on sale in August.