The Illinois State Redbirds and the North Alabama Lions have scheduled a home-and-home football series for 2024 and 2025, FBSchedules.com has learned.
A copy of the football game agreement with the University of North Alabama was obtained from Illinois State University via a state Freedom of Information Act request.
The series will begin with Illinois State traveling to face North Alabama at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2024. The series will conclude the following season on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2025 when the Redbirds host the Lions at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill.
The 2024 contest will mark the first-ever gridiron meeting between Illinois State, a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and North Alabama, a current member of the Big South Conference. North Alabama will begin play in the ASUN Conference in the fall of 2022.
The addition of the home-and-home series gives both Illinois State and North Alabama three scheduled non-conference opponents for the 2024 season and two for the 2025 season. NCAA rules permit Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools to play a 12-game season in both 2024 and 2025, so both can add one additional non-conference opponent in 2024 and two in 2025.
Illinois State is 2-1 so far this season with wins over Butler, 49-7, and Eastern Illinois, 31-24. North Alabama has started their fall 2021 campaign winless at 0-3.