After not facing each other in football since 2005, Northwestern will host Northern Illinois on Sept. 6, 2014, at Ryan Field, officials for both universities announced Tuesday.
Northwestern, currently 4-0 and ranked No. 16 in the nation in the USA Today Coaches poll, is 6-0-1 against the Huskies in the series.
NIU vs. NorthwesternNorthwestern is 6-0-1 against Northern Illinois in this college football series, with all games played in Evanston.
9/10/2005: NU 38, NIU 37
8/31/2000: NU 35, NIU 17
9/29/1990: NU 24, NIU 7
9/26/1987: NU 16, NIU 16
9/28/1985: NU 38, NIU 16
9/25/1982: NU 31, NIU 6
9/20/1975: NU 10, NIU 3
Northwestern's 2014 football schedule
Aug. 30: CALIFORNIA
Sept. 6: NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Sept. 20: WESTERN ILLINOIS
Sept. 27: at Penn State
Oct. 4: WISCONSIN
Oct. 11: at Minnesota
Oct. 18: NEBRASKA
Nov. 1: at Iowa
Nov. 8: MICHIGAN
Nov. 15: at Notre Dame
Nov. 22: at Purdue
Nov. 29: ILLINOIS
Note: NIU's full schedule has not been released.
Source: NIU, NU athletics
The Huskies, 3-0 this year and 37-8 since the start of the 2010 campaign, have captured back-to-back Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships in 2011 and 2012.
"This is a truly exciting time," said Jim Phillips, Northwestern's vice president for Athletics and Recreation in a statement released to the media.
"Both Pat Fitzgerald and I have said repeatedly that Northwestern is committed to challenging itself in nonconference play, in addition to the always rigorous Big Ten slate.
"We're excited to add the two-time defending MAC champions and 2013 Orange Bowl participants, and an in-state program that I have the deepest respect and admiration for."
The game will be the eighth all time between the teams, with every game played in Evanston.
Sean Frazier, NIU's associate vice president and director of athletics, said the Northwestern game is the first step to improve the Huskies' future football schedules.
In addition, NIU head coach Rod Carey said college football fans throughout the state will appreciate the matchup.
"(I am) really excited about the game, as I know our fans will be," he said. "It's a great opportunity for fans in Chicago to see two really fine football programs play."
In the last NIU-Northwestern game in 2005, the Huskies scored with six seconds left, but a 2-point conversion attempt fell short and Northwestern held on for the 38-37 victory.
The two teams combined for 1,033 yards of total offense, led by backs Garrett Wolfe of the Huskies and Tyrell Sutton of Northwestern. Wolfe carried the ball 34 times for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Sutton totaled 214 yards on 30 carries with 4 TDs.