CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release)– The University of Illinois has announced a future home-and-home series with North Carolina, as well as three other non-conference games to complete the 2015, 2016 and 2017 football schedules.
“We have worked very hard at securing future football opponents and we're happy to be able to include a peer institution in North Carolina," said Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "We want to keep an opponent from one of the five major conferences on the schedule and maintain seven home games each season, even with the challenges posed when the Big Ten moves to nine conference games. This series accomplishes that goal.”
Illinois Football Future Schedule Additions/Changes:
• Illinois added a home-and-home series with North Carolina in 2015 & ’16, with the Illini traveling to Chapel Hill on Sept. 19, 2015, and the Tar Heels coming to Champaign on Sept. 10, 2016.
• Previously announced 2015 non-conference games against Kent State and Western Illinois were each moved one week earlier to accommodate the UNC series. The Fighting Illini will now host Kent State on Sept. 5, 2015 (previously announced as Sept. 12), and Western Illinois on Sept. 12, 2015 (previously announced as Sept. 19).
• In addition to UNC coming to Champaign, the 2016 schedule was completed with Murray State (Sept. 3, 2016) and Western Michigan (Sept. 17, 2016) also visiting Memorial Stadium. The Big Ten schedule shifts from an eight-game conference slate to nine games starting in 2016, meaning each school will have only three non-conference games beginning with the 2016 season.
• The 2017 schedule was completed with the addition of a home game against Ball State on Sept. 2, 2017. Previously announced games at South Florida (Sept. 9) and at home against Western Kentucky (Sept. 16) round out the 2017 non-conference slate.
• Future schedules are now complete through 2017. Big Ten schedules have not been released beyond 2017 and only one non-conference game has been announced by Illinois for 2018, home vs. South Florida on Sept. 15. No non-conference games have been announced beyond 2018.
• All Illinois future schedules as they stand today can be found here.
The 2013 Fighting Illini (2-1) host Miami (Ohio) on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT and tickets are on sale now. Next week, Illinois will travel to Nebraska to open Big Ten play before their second of two bye weeks, which is followed by the Illini’s Big Ten home opener on Oct. 19 against Wisconsin. Coca-Cola Family 4-Pack tickets for the prime-time game against the Badgers are available for just $99.
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