Football releases 2022 schedule

Trips scheduled for Tulsa and Kentucky. Vanderbilt to travel to DeKalb.


Wes Sanderson

Junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi winds up to throw a pass in NIU’s 41-23 victory over Kent State in the MAC Championship Game on Dec. 4 in Detroit. (Wes Sanderson | Northern Star)

By Michael Stoll, Sports Reporter

DeKALB— The Huskies will look to defend the Mid-American Championship with a schedule that features two non-conference bouts with the Southeastern Conference and one with American Athletic Conference, as the 2022 football schedule was revealed Friday. 

NIU will begin their 2022 football season with four straight non-conference opponents, including hosting an SEC team at Huskie Stadium for the first time ever.

The season will open Sept. 3 hosting Eastern Illinois University, followed by a road game in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a week later. This will be the first-ever meeting between the Huskies and Golden Hurricanes.

After a week on the road, the Huskies will host Vanderbilt University on Sep. 17, before concluding their non-conference opening stretch at the University of Kentucky on Sep. 24, the first time the Huskies will ever play in Lexington, Kentucky, against the Wildcats. 

Head coach Thomas Hammock is ready to not just host an SEC school, but also compete and be ready for conference play. 

“I like the way the non-conference schedule sets up,” Hammock said in an NIU Athletics news release. “The non-conference schedule overall is a great litmus test to get ready for the MAC.” 

Defending the conference title

NIU will open conference play on the road against Ball State University on Oct. 1 before returning home to face the University of Toledo for the 115th homecoming game on Oct. 8. 

After Toledo, the Huskies will hit the road for two weeks to face Eastern Michigan University and Ohio University on Oct. 22. Following the team’s bout with the Ohio Bobcats, NIU will take a break as the conference switches to its weekday “MACtion” game slots. 

The Huskies will round out the season hosting three of the last four games at Huskie Stadium. The season finale is set for Nov. 26 against the University of Akron Zips. 

The 2022 MAC Championship is set to be played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, on Saturday, Dec 4. All game dates are set, but start times and broadcasting information have yet to be determined and will be announced at a later date.