DeKALB, Ill. – The defending Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois University Huskies will get a jump on the 2022 football season by moving the season opener versus Eastern Illinois up two days, to Thursday, September 1. The revised date was announced along with kickoff times and television information for six different games on the 2022 schedule.

The Huskies and Panthers will kick off the 2022 season at Huskie Stadium in just 98 days with kick off set for Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m. on ESPN+. The game will mark the 39th meeting between the teams in a series that dates back to 1902. NIU also learned Thursday that its game at Tulsa on Saturday, September 10 will kick off at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN+. 

“We’re excited to start the season with a Thursday night game at Huskie Stadium,” said NIU head coach Thomas Hammock. “This gives us the opportunity to start camp earlier, get to work and get our team ready to play Eastern Illinois. We want to start fast and get the season underway as soon as we can to continue to build on the momentum of last year. Playing on Thursday night to kick off the Labor Day Weekend will be an awesome opportunity for the students, faculty and staff as well as the community to come out, provide a great atmosphere for our team and help get the season off to a great start.”

Kickoff times for NIU’s home games versus Vanderbilt (Sept. 17) and Toledo (Oct. 8) have been set for 2:30 p.m. The game with the Commodores marks just the second visit for a Southeastern Conference opponent to Huskie Stadium; that game will air on CBS Sports Network. NIU plays host to Toledo in the 115th Homecoming game with the network to be announced 12 days in advance.

The Huskies’ November MACtion games will once again see NIU football in the national spotlight. The NIU-Central Michigan game on Wednesday, November 2 will kick off at 6 p.m. and air on ESPN2 or ESPNU. One week later, the Huskies’ game at Western Michigan (Nov. 9) is set for a 6 p.m. (CT) kickoff on ESPN2, ESPNU or CBS Sports Network. Finally, the Huskies’ Mallory Cup game versus Miami on Wednesday, November 16 will start at either 6 or 7 pm and air on ESPN2 or ESPNU. 

The MAC and ESPN also announced that the 2022 MAC Championship game at Ford Field in Detroit will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 3 and will be broadcast on ESPN.