Nebraska agrees to 3-game series with NIU

Nebraska will face 2013 Discover Orange Bowl participant Northern Illinois three times in the coming years, including a 2016 date at Chicago's Soldier Field.

The two schools announced the agreement Monday. Northern Illinois will host Nebraska at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2016, and the Huskers will host the Huskies in 2017 (Sept. 2) and again in 2019 (2019).

The two teams have met twice before, with Nebraska walloping Northern Illinois in Lincoln in 1989 and 1990. Northern Illinois has faced Big Ten members Iowa and Wisconsin at Soldier Field in recent years.

"This should be a great series, not only for both football programs, but for Husker fans as well," Nebraska associate athletic director Jeff Jamrog said in a prepared statement. "Northern Illinois has a record that speaks for itself over the past few years, particularly with qualifying for a BCS bowl this year. Our fans have the opportunity to go to Chicago and see a game at Soldier Field, and also get to see an outstanding opponent come to Lincoln twice."

Nebraska's 2016 non-league schedule is now complete with the visit to Chicago combined with home games against Fresno State (Sept. 3), Tennessee (Sept. 10) and Wyoming (Sept 17). NIU, the first MAC team to reach a BCS bowl, is on the cusp of becoming one of the "it" programs from the non-automatic qualifying leagues. This is a good addition for Nebraska.

Nebraska also announced it has completed its 2014 non-league slate with a Sept. 6 game against FCS McNeese State. The Huskers also host Miami (Sept. 20 and Florida Atlantic (Aug. 30) and visit Fresno State (Sept. 13) that year.