Northern Illinois University and Florida State University will meet on the gridiron for the second time when the Huskies travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles on Saturday, September 22, 2018, NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier announced Thursday.
The game replaces a home contest with Idaho previously set for that weekend. The Huskies are also scheduled to play at Iowa (Sept. 1) and at BYU (Oct. 27) and to host Utah (Sept. 8) in non-conference action in 2018.
“While this is an opportunity for NIU to take on a great opponent in a fantastic location, the bottom line is this contract was motivated by the financial challenges our university is facing due to the lack of a state budget in Illinois,” Frazier said. “Thanks to our partners and friends at FSU, this game will benefit us financially at a critical time, while giving NIU one of, if not the, most challenging Group of Five non-conference schedules in the country. Thanks to Rod Carey and the football staff for understanding our departmental financial needs as we make this change. ”
The only previous game between NIU and Florida State memorably took place January 1, 2013 in the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida, when the Huskies became the first Mid-American Conference team to play in what were then known as “Bowl Championship Series” games. The Jordan Lynch-led Huskies trailed just 17-10 with 9:55 to play in the third quarter before falling 31-10 to the No. 12 FSU team that would go on to win the national championship just one year later.
Frazier said sacrificing home games is not something he wants to do, but is necessary in the current financial climate. NIU will collect an overall guarantee of $1.6 million and have already received the first third of three installments.
“As we endure a third year without a state budget in Illinois, these types of games will become more important,” he said. ”If this budget situation continues, we will look at even more opportunities to go on the road for ‘buy’ games at the expense of home games, as we continue to work to consistently fill Huskie Stadium.”