By Doug Halberstadt
This year, the Northern Illinois University Huskies football team will open their season at home. The Huskies will host the Army Black Knights at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, in DeKalb.
Last season, the Huskies were a perfect 8-0 in the Mid-American Conference. In sharp contrast, they were only able to compile a .500 record (3-3) in their six non-conference games. One of those losses came against the University of Illinois. In week three of last year, the Huskies traveled south to Champaign and dropped a heartbreaker to the Fighting Illini 28-21.
This year in week three, they’ll face another Big Ten Conference opponent. This season, they’ll take on last year’s Big Ten co-champion, the University of Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers were 11-2 in 2010, and lost in the Rose Bowl to TCU 21-19.
The game between the Huskies and the Badgers will be played in an unlikely locale. Instead of a home game at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, or a trip north to Camp Randall, the two teams will invade Soldier Field for a Saturday afternoon contest. The kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Sandwiched in between the Black Knights and the Badgers is a trip to Lawrence, Kan., to face the Jayhawks. Kansas is coming off a rough 2010 campaign. They only managed three wins in their 12 games last year.
NIU will have one more non-conference game against Cal-Poly Saturday, Sept. 24, in DeKalb. They open up their MAC Conference schedule on the road against Central Michigan Saturday, Oct. 1. The two teams faced one another in week eight of the 2010 season. The Huskies won that game 33-7.
The Huskies’ first conference game at home won’t be until Saturday, Oct. 8, when Kent State comes to town. The two teams did not meet in 2010.
General admission adult tickets are $24. Senior citizens (62 and older) and children (eighth grade and younger) can purchase tickets for the reduced rate of $18 each.
Individual game tickets must be purchased in person at the NIU ticket office, online at ticketmaster.com or via phone at 800-745-3000.
From the Aug. 10-16, 2011, issue