NIU to play at Mississippi State in 2025, at Iowa in 2029

By Kevin Kelley -

The Northern Illinois Huskies (NIU) will play at the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 2025 and at the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2029, FBSchedules.com has learned.

Copies of contracts for football games with Mississippi State University and the University of Iowa were obtained from Northern Illinois University via a state Freedom of Information Act request.

Northern Illinois will travel to take on Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2025. The Huskies will receive a $1.4 million guarantee for playing the game, according to the copy of the contract.

The 2025 contest between Northern Illinois and Mississippi State will mark their first-ever meeting on the gridiron.

Mississippi State is the third scheduled non-conference opponent for NIU in 2025. The Huskies are also scheduled to host Holy Cross on Aug. 30 and Maryland on Sept. 6 at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, Ill.

The addition of Northern Illinois tentatively completes Mississippi State’s 2025 non-conference schedule. The Bulldogs are scheduled to open the season at Southern Miss on Aug. 30 and will also host Arizona State on Sept. 6 and Alcorn State on Sept. 13 in Starkville.

Northern Illinois will travel to play the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2029. Per the copy of the contract, Iowa will pay Northern Illinois a $1.7 million guarantee for the game.

Northern Illinois and Iowa first met on the gridiron in 1985 and have played a total of 10 contests. The Hawkeyes won the most recent matchup in 2018 in Iowa City, 33-7, which improved their record in the series to 9-1.

The two schools are also scheduled to meet in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2026. That contest was rescheduled from the 2020 season due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The only other non-conference opponent scheduled for Northern Illinois in 2029 is a home contest against Missouri on Sept. 29, which is part of a three-game series that begins in 2028 and concludes in 2032.

NIU is the first scheduled non-conference opponent for Iowa for the 2029 season.

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