Northern Illinois University Athletics concluded “SchedulePalooza Encore” today when Sean T. Frazier, associate vice president and director of Athletics, announced that NIU will face the University of South Florida in a home-and-home football series in 2016 and 2017.
NIU will travel to Tampa for the first game of the series on Sept. 10, 2016, with the game in DeKalb scheduled for Sept. 23, 2017.
NIU and USF have played three times previously, most recently in the 2010 International Bowl in Toronto, Ontario, where the Bulls claimed a 27-3 victory on Jan. 3. The teams split a pair of games in 2001 and 2002, with the Huskies defeating USF 20-17 in DeKalb on Aug. 30, 2001, and the Bulls evening the series with a 37-6 victory in Tampa on Sept. 7, 2002.
USF is the second American Athletic Conference opponent added to the Huskies’ future schedules this week. On Tuesday, NIU kicked off SchedulePalooza Encore by announcing a home-and-home match-up with new AAC member Tulsa in 2022 and 2023.
NIU also released dates of a historic series with Vanderbilt that will bring an SEC opponent to Huskie Stadium for just the second time ever and the first time since 1997 when the Commodores play in DeKalb in 2022.
Frazier said scheduling USF made sense for several reasons.
“USF is a great future opponent for us,” Frazier said. “They’re a member of the American conference, a fellow Group of 5 league, that plays in an outstanding pro stadium in Tampa. We’ve had a lot of success recruiting in Florida over the last several years, and this is a chance for more exposure in that state and for our Florida natives to play in their home area. Not to mention it brings another quality opponent to Huskie Stadium when they come to DeKalb in 2017.”
NIU revealed four new home-and-home football series every day between July 29 and Aug. 1 during the original #SchedulePalooza, which took part of its name from the famous annual Chicago summer music event featuring multiple big-time acts.
Over four days, NIU announced future games with San Diego State in 2016 (home) and 2017 (away), Utah in 2018 (home) and 2019 (away), BYU in 2018 (away) and 2020 (home) and Maryland in 2020 (away) and 2021 (home). The Huskies also announced a series with Boston College in 2015 (away) and 2016 or 2017 (home).