NIU’s 2020 football season schedule has been released


Jarrett Huff | Northern Star

View of the East side of Huskie Stadium Sept. 24, 2019 in DeKalb.

By James Krause

DeKALB — The Mid-American Conference announced the 2020 Football season schedule Wednesday, finalizing dates for NIU’s upcoming games.

NIU will start the year with a pair of non-conference games, hosting the Rhode Island University Rams in the season opener on Sep. 5

Among NIU home games this season will be four conference games, a non-conference opener and an already-announced move to the Chicagoland area for one contest. Two home conference games in November will be played on Tuesday nights, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10, on national television.

“We’re certainly excited about the schedule,” Hammock said in an NIU Athletics news release. “It’s a quality schedule if you look at the non-conference with Maryland, Iowa and [Brigham Young University], and then open up with Rhode Island. Then we get right into our conference schedule with Eastern Michigan in the third game of the season.”

The Huskies will head out on the road for their first away game Sept. 12 to face the University of Maryland Terrapins  in College Park, Maryland.

The Huskies’ MAC schedule will start Sep. 19 with a road game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Rounding out the month of September will be a Sept. 26 visit to Iowa City  to face the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

On Oct. 3 NIU will return to DeKalb for back-to-back MAC home games, hosting the Kent State University Golden Flashes and the Central Michigan University Chippewas Oct. 10. The CMU game has been designated as the Homecoming game to celebrate NIU’s 114th Homecoming.

The Huskies head back on the road Oct. 17 to face the Ball State University Cardinals in the Battle of the Bronze Stalk. NIU was on a 10-game win streak against Ball State before losing to the Cardinals last season.

The final non-conference game for NIU comes on Oct. 24 in one of its marquee contests, hosting BYU at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. The 20,000 seat soccer stadium will host the first NIU football game in the Chicagoland area since 2016.

Returning to Huskie Stadium on Nov. 3, the Huskies meet the University at Buffalo Bulls for the first time since beating them 30-29 in the 2018 MAC Championship game. The game will also be NIU’s first of three contests to be held on Tuesday nights.

The second Tuesday night contest falls on Nov. 10 with the Huskies heading to Kalamazoo, Michigan to face the Western Michigan Broncos.

To end its home schedule, NIU will host the University of Toledo Rockets on Nov. 17 in a contest that could have large scale implications on the MAC West Division.

Wrapping up the regular season Nov. 28, the Huskies will meet the Bowling Green State University Falcons in Bowling Green, Ohio on the final day of the MAC season.

The date for the MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit has not been finalized, taking place either Dec. 4 or Dec. 5. The start times for games will be announced at a later date.