CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa football team has released its 2013 schedule that features six home games in the UNI-Dome and 12 contests total.
"We have put together a competitive schedule that will appeal to our fans," UNI Associate Athletics Director Steve Schofield said."The opportunity to play six home regular season games in the UNI-Dome has not happened since 2008. We are happy to give our fans an extra home game to support the Panther football team."
UNI head coach Mark Farley said he is looking forward to the challenges presented with the 2013 schedule.
"Our team is extremely anxious to play again and is working to prepare for the 2013 schedule," Farley said. "Some of the best teams in FCS football are on this schedule as well as an excellent Iowa State squad."
UNI will open the 2013 season Aug. 31 at Iowa State. The Panthers have opened at Iowa State in 2003, 2004 and 2011 under coach Farley.
Family Weekend is set for Sept. 7 when the Panthers play host to the Drake Bulldogs. UNI and Drake last met in the 2007 season. The Panthers scored wins over the Bulldogs in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The 2005 game was played in the UNI-Dome, while the 2006 and 2007 meetings were in Des Moines.
UNI's bye week will occur on Sept. 14.
Following the open weekend, UNI will travel to Greeley, Colo., to take on the University of Northern Colorado Bears on Sept. 21. The game is a part of a home-and-home agreement with the Bears returning to Cedar Falls in the 2014 season. UNI and UNC have never met on the football field.
The Panthers will play host the McNeese State Cowboys in the UNI-Dome on Sept. 28. UNI and McNeese State have met 10 times previously with the Panthers holding a 6-4 lead in the series. The last meeting occurred on Sept. 4, 1999, when UNI tallied a 41-17 victory in the UNI-Dome. McNeese State competes in the Southland Conference.
UNI will begin Missouri Valley Football Conference play at two-time defending national champion North Dakota State on Oct. 5.
UNI will return to the UNI-Dome for a pair of games on Oct. 12 (Southern Illinois) and Oct. 19 (South Dakota). The Panthers' annual Homecoming game will be Oct. 12 vs. the Southern Illinois Salukis.
The Panthers will then make back-to-back trip to teams that reached the 2012 FCS playoffs. The Panthers will travel to Brookings, S.D., to match up against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Oct. 26. UNI will then head to Normal, Ill., to take on the Illinois State Redbirds on Nov. 2.
UNI will play host to the Youngstown State Penguins in the UNI-Dome on Nov. 9.
The Panthers will play their final road game of the 2013 regular season on Nov. 16 at Missouri State.
UNI will honor its seniors on Nov. 23 when the Western Illinois Leathernecks come to the UNI-Dome to wrap up the regular season.
In 2013, the FCS playoff field will be expanded to 24 teams. The top eight teams will be seeded, receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams that qualify will bid to host first-round games. The NCAA's FCS playoffs begin Nov. 30.To purchase UNI football season tickets contact the UNI ticket office at 319-273-4849.
2013 UNI Football Schedule
Date Opponent Site
Aug. 31 at Iowa State Ames, Iowa
Sept. 7 Drake (FAMILY WEEKEND) UNI-Dome
Sept. 14 OPEN
Sept. 21 at Northern Colorado Greeley, Colo.
Sept. 28 McNeese State UNI-Dome
Oct. 5 at North Dakota State* Fargo, N.D.
Oct. 12 Southern Illinois* (HOMECOMING) UNI-Dome
Oct. 19 South Dakota* UNI-Dome
Oct. 26 at South Dakota State* Brookings, S.D.
Nov. 2 at Illinois State* Normal, Ill.
Nov. 9 Youngstown State* UNI-Dome
Nov. 16 at Missouri State* Springfield, Mo.
Nov. 23 Western Illinois* (SENIOR DAY) UNI-Dome
Nov. 30 FCS Playoffs - First Round TBD
Dec. 7 FCS Playoffs - Second Round TBD
Dec. 13-14 FCS Playoffs -Quarterfinals TBD
Dec. 20-21 FCS Playoffs - Semifinals TBD
Jan. 4 FCS National Championship Frisco, Texas
* - indicates Missouri Valley Football Conference game
Home Games in Bold
Times to be determined