It’s Homecoming weekend, and we’re excited to welcome thousands of alumni and friends back to the Macon campus to help cheer on the Bears. On Nov. 12, the No. 11-ranked Mercer Bears will face the No. 16-ranked Furman Paladins at 3 p.m. at Five Star Stadium. Here are three things to know before you go.

1. Pregame activities center on Black Field

Two women stand on either side of a corn hole board. The woman on the left tosses a bean bag.
Fans play corn hole on Black Field before the Bears’ game against ETSU on Oct. 15. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Black Field is the place to be for tailgating. Festivities start at 10 a.m. and include the Fall Line Bear Garden, where fans ages 21 and older may enjoy locally brewed craft beer, and Dr Pepper Fansville, where kids can jump and play on inflatables. Make sure to catch the Bear Walk at 12:30 p.m. as Toby and Tot lead the cheerleaders, marching band and football team to the stadium. In addition, college football games will be broadcast on a video wall for fans’ viewing.

2. Jupiter Coyote headlines the Ford Concert Series

Four rock band musicians on stage play their instruments
Jupiter Coyote will headline the Ford Concert Series on Nov. 12. Photo courtesy Jupiter Coyote

Mercer fans are treated to free live music while they tailgate as part of the Ford Concert Series. This week’s concert kicks off at 11 a.m. with country musician Dillon Carmichael, and Macon-based rock band Jupiter Coyote will take the stage at 12:45 p.m. The band refers to its music as “mountain rock,” which it describes as a mix of Southern Appalachian boogie and bluegrass-infused funk rock. You’ll find the stage on Black Field.

3. The Bears are rested and ready

A football player in a orange jersey with the number 4 on it throws the football.
Bears quarterback Fred Payton throws a pass during the ETSU football game on Oct. 15 at Five Star Stadium. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

The Bears are coming off a bye week and ready to roar on the field. Keep your eyes on quarterback Fred Payton and wide receiver Devron Harper, who have proven to be a dynamic duo. Harper was named Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 31 for his performance in the Bears’ 55-14 win at VMI on Oct. 29, when he set a school record with 293 all-purpose yards. In addition, Payton set a school record for most passing touchdowns in a season with 24 after he threw three touchdown passes on Oct. 22 at No. 8 Chattanooga. His passing touchdowns on the season are the most in the SoCon and third most in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Mercer vs. Furman

  • When: 3 p.m. Nov. 12
  • Where: Five Star Stadium
  • Tickets: $11 through Nov. 11; then $15-$25, buy online at
  • On TV: ESPN+ and Nexstar on WMUB
  • On Radio: Mercer Sports Network – 100.9 The Creek FM or

Feature photo by Christopher Ian Smith


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