Though North Dakota is soon leaving the Big Sky Conference, the Fighting Hawks don't plan to be strangers.
Montana announced a home-and-home series against the soon-to-be members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference for 2024 and '25 on Wednesday, as well as the completion of the 2019 schedule with the addition of Monmouth at home.
Monmouth fills the Grizzlies' fourth nonconference slot in 2019, a special season in which FCS programs are allowed to schedule 12 regular season games instead of 11. NCAA rules permit an extra game in years when there are 13 Saturdays between Labor Day weekend and the weekend before Thanksgiving. It most recently occurred in 2014 and happens again in 2019 and 2024.
The Griz will host the Monmouth Hawks on Sept. 21 of 2019 in a vacancy previously reserved for Liberty. The Flames announced their intentions to move to FBS just after finalizing a since-nullified contract with UM.
Montana has never faced Monmouth, a school in West Long Branch, New Jersey that competes in the Big South Conference. The Hawks were 4-7 last year.
Montana's 2019 schedule opens at South Dakota in Vermillion on Aug. 31. The Griz then host North Alabama on Sept. 7 in the Lions' second season in the FCS ranks before traveling to Oregon on Sept. 14 to face the Pac-12's Ducks.
"It's a rare opportunity to be able to schedule four nonconference games," said Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam in a department release. "The 2019 schedule gives us another all D-I slate of games and an opportunity to test ourselves against a Pac-12 team at Oregon."
The Grizzlies' 2024 12-game schedule will include a trip to UND and Grand Forks on Sept. 7. The Hawks will be a full member of the Missouri Valley starting in 2020.
UND completes the home-and-home series with a trip to Missoula in 2025 on Sept. 13.
North Dakota joined the Big Sky in 2012 but will realign with other Dakota schools in the Midwest-based Summit League for most of its athletic programs in the 2018-19 season. The Hawks' football program will continue to play a Big Sky schedule in the 2018 and '19 seasons as an independent member, making them ineligible for a conference championship.
The Grizzlies are 14-8-1 all-time against North Dakota, and 3-1 since UND joined the Big Sky in 2012.
The 2024 and 2025 home-and-home series against UND are the first nonconference games on Montana's schedule in each of those seasons.