Northern Illinois University and UNLV will play a home-and-home football series in 2014 and 2015, completing the Huskies' non-conference schedule for 2014, NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier announced Wednesday.
NIU and UNLV will play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Sept. 13, 2014 with the Rebels making a return trip to DeKalb and Huskie Stadium on Sept. 5, 2015. The games will be the fourth and fifth ever played between the schools, and the first since 1995. NIU has defeated the Rebels in all three previous meetings.
The Huskies will open the 2014 campaign at Huskie Stadium on Thursday night, August 28 versus Presbyterian College, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) which competes in the Big South Conference. On Saturday, Sept. 6, NIU takes on Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston in a meeting of the state's top Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The game will be the first between the teams since 2005. The Huskies travel to Las Vegas for the game versus UNLV on Sept. 13, and close out their non-conference slate at Arkansas on Sept. 20. That game will mark NIU's first contest versus a Southeastern Conference opponent since 2008 when the Huskies dropped a 13-9 decision at Tennessee.
"I'm pleased to announce the completed non-conference football schedule for 2014," Frazier said. "Las Vegas is certainly an attractive destination and the game there enables us to promote the NIU brand in a different part of the country against a quality Mountain West opponent. In addition, bringing teams like UNLV to Huskie Stadium will be an essential element of our scheduling philosophy going forward. "
Frazier said he is working to bring balance to NIU's future non-conference schedules that will ensure the Huskies play a minimum of six games in DeKalb. NIU is also pursuing future contests at Chicago's Soldier Field.