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updated: 9/24/2013 6:59 PM

Northwestern adds NIU to 2014 football dates

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  • Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell runs with an interception against Syracuse at Ryan Field. Northwestern announced Tuesday it will play host to Northern Illinois next season.

      Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell runs with an interception against Syracuse at Ryan Field. Northwestern announced Tuesday it will play host to Northern Illinois next season.
    Associated Press/Sept. 7, 2013

 
From Daily Herald News Services

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.

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.

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