Created:Friday, March 1, 2013 2:25 p.m.CDT
Updated:Friday, March 1, 2013 2:53 p.m.CDT

2013 football schedule released

Northern Illinois will have just one home game the first seven weeks of the 2013 season. The Huskies have three midweek contests. (Daily Chronicle file photo)

Northern Illinois' 2013 schedule will include just one home game the first seven weeks of the season.

The Huskies will host FCS Eastern Illinois Sept. 21, the lone Huskie-Stadium contest before the Oct. 12 MAC opener vs. Akron. NIU has won 21 consecutive games at Huskie Stadium.

“With only three of the first nine games at home, the 2013 schedule presents a great challenge for our team,” NIU head coach Rod Carey said in a news release. “We look forward to meeting the challenge head on. With just five home games, we expect and need Huskie Stadium to be filled every time we are there. We’ve had quite a run at home, and we need great fan support to keep our streak alive with the quality of opponents coming to Huskie Stadium this year.”

NIU will open its 2013 Mid-American Conference slate at Kent state – the team the Huskies defeated in last season's MAC Championship Game - on Saturday, Oct. 5 in Kent, Ohio.

The Huskies' schedule currently includes three midweek contests, all of which will be televised on one of the three ESPN networks.

NIU will host Ball State on Wednesdyay, Nov. 13, a game which will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Huskies travel to Toledo Wednesday, Nov. 20 (ESPN2) for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff, and will host Western Michigan Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

NIU opens the season at Iowa, the lone team to defeat them in the regular season in 2012, on Aug. 31. The Huskies travel to Idaho Sept. 14, and will close out its non-conference slate at Purdue Sept. 28. NIU has an open date Sept. 7.

The MAC will release a full schedule with kickoff times and TV appearances later this spring.

NIU's 2013 Schedule

Aug. 31 – at Iowa

Sept. 7 – Open

Sept. 14 – at Idaho

Sept. 21 – Eastern Illinois

Sept. 28 – at Purdue

Oct. 5 – at Kent State

Oct. 12 – Akron (Homecoming)

Oct. 19 – at Central Michigan

Oct. 26 – Eastern Michigan

Nov. 2 – at UMass

Wednesday, Nov. 13 – Ball State (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Wednesday, Nov. 20 – at Toledo, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Nov. 26 – Western Michigan, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Friday, Dec. 6 – MAC Championship Game, 7 p.m. Ford Field

• All games on Saturday unless noted

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?