NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier capped off Huskie Football SchedulePalooza by announcing that the Huskies will play the University of Maryland in a home-and-home series in 2020 and 2021.
On Sept. 25, 2021, Maryland, now a member of the Big Ten Conference, will become the first team from that league to play in Huskie Stadium. The series will begin the previous season when the Huskies travel to College Park to take on the Terps at Byrd Stadium on Sept. 12, 2020.
Frazier said the Maryland series puts an exclamation point on a great week of announcements that has captured the interest of the NIU fan base.
“This series with Maryland is a fantastic way to close out an incredible week of scheduling announcements,” Frazier said. “Huskie fans have been waiting for a Big Ten team to visit Huskie Stadium, and so many have vivid memories of the last time Maryland played here. That 2003 game really ignited our fan base, and I hope this announcement and SchedulePalooza have done the same for a new generation of NIU fans.”
“I like what we have been able to accomplish in scheduling with these series so far,” he continued. “We will play quality opponents both on the road and at home, and all of these games help us get where we need to be when it comes to positioning ourselves for the future under the College Football Playoff. There is still work to be done. Every good concert deserves an encore, right? Well so does SchedulePalooza! Stay tuned!”
NIU has revealed a new home-and-home football series on each of the last four days during SchedulePalooza.
On Tuesday, NIU kicked off the event by announcing a home-and-home series with San Diego State in 2016 and 2017. Wednesday, the Huskies released dates for games versus BYU in 2018 and 2020, and on Thursday NIU added match-ups in 2018 and 2019 versus Utah.
The SchedulePalooza series include a pair of “firsts,” with Maryland the initial Big Ten and Utah the first Pac-12 Conference team now scheduled to play in Huskie Stadium.
While Maryland will make its first trip to Huskie Stadium as a member of the Big Ten, the 2021 game will not be the team’s first visit to DeKalb.
On August 28, 2003, NIU and the No. 15 ranked Terps played a memorable overtime thriller before a sold-out crowd at Huskie Stadium and a national television audience. The Huskies’ 20-13 victory, on a Josh Haldi to Dan Sheldon touchdown pass and a pass break up by Randee Drew that clinched the win, propelled NIU to a 10-2 season that also featured victories over Iowa State and Alabama.
The next year, NIU dropped a 23-20 decision at No. 22 Maryland to open the season. In a game that involved a controversial ending, time ran out on the Huskies’ potential game-winning drive after NIU came back from a 15-point third-quarter deficit. UM also claimed a 30-6 season-opening home win over the Huskies on August 31, 1996 in Joe Novak’s debut as head coach. Maryland leads the series overall, 1-2.
SchedulePalooza will lead directly into the start of preseason camp for the NIU football team as the Huskies open practice on Saturday, Aug. 2. NIU’s 46 wins over the last four seasons are the second-highest total in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Huskies take a school and MAC record 26-game home stadium winning streak into the 2014 season opener versus Presbyterian at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.
Season tickets, as well as single game tickets and away game tickets, can be purchased through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the NIU Convocation Center, online at www.NIUHuskies.com/tickets or by calling 815-753-PACK (7225).