Northern Illinois, Iowa Will Clash in '13 Opener

By Jimmy Johnson
Northern Illinois Huskies
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Lynch and the Northern Illinois Huskies will get their chance for redemption against the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2013.

Northern Illinois released its football schedule for this season, and will face the Hawkeyes on the road at Kinnick Stadium Aug. 31. Iowa opened its 2012 campaign by defeating the Huskies 18-17 at Soldier Field.

The Huskies will be on the road for two straight weeks, and will play the Idaho Vandals Sept. 14, before returning home Sept. 21 to host the Eastern Illinois Panthers in their home opener at Huskie Stadium.

Iowa won’t be the only Big Ten team on the Huskies’ ’13 schedule.  The Purdue Boilermakers will host Northern Illinois on Sept. 28. Former Kent State Golden Flashes head coach Darrell Hazell will get an early and familiar test when Northern Illinois visits West Lafayette, Ind.

“We’re excited,” said Huskies football coach Rod Carey in a press release. “We’ve had a good record on the road over the last couple of years and we’ll look to continue that success. We have some challenges ahead in 2013 with some great teams and we’ll look forward to meeting them individually and focus on taking one game at a time.”

Northern Illinois will play five home games in 2013, including their opener against Idaho, while hosting four MAC foes: the Central Michigan Chippewas, Toledo Rockets, Kent State Rockets and UMass Minutemen. The Huskies will face for MAC teams on the road – the Ball State Cardinals, Eastern Michigan Eagles and Akron Zips – but when they face the Western Michigan Broncos, the stakes might be a tad bit higher. Western Michigan hired former Huskies receiver and position coach P.J. Fleck as its head coach, and Fleck and Northern Illinois aren’t the best of terms. Former Huskies head coach Dave Doeren hired Fleck two seasons ago as his offensive coordinator. But hold the position for less than 24 hours, Fleck bolted to the NFL to be the wide receivers coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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