UNI Panthers

UNI football schedule: Spring season set to begin in February

Panthers open MVFC schedule at home against Illinois State

Northern Iowa Panthers players run off the field following an FCS playoff win over San Diego at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Fa
Northern Iowa Panthers players run off the field following an FCS playoff win over San Diego at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa’s spring football season has finally come into focus.

When the Missouri Valley Football Conference announced the postponement of its fall season to the spring on Aug. 7 it did so without a spring start date or any knowledge of how the NCAA would reconcile moving the 24-team FCS Playoffs into 2021.

Tuesday the FCS’ spring season began to feel real when the NCAA Division I board of directors voted for a trimmed down 16-team FCS playoffs that will begin April 24. The FCS championship game will return to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and be played sometime between May 14-16.

Along with reducing the playoff field, the board of directors voted to allot one automatic bid to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion, leaving only five at-large bids for its spring playoff.

The MVFC moved quickly after the board of directors vote and has kept its original eight-game conference schedules intact — only adjusting the order of games to mitigate against early season outdoor games.

Week 1 is scheduled for Feb. 20. The last week of the regular season is April 10. Playoff pairings will be announced on April 18.

UNI football schedule

Feb. 20 — Illinois State

Feb. 27 — at South Dakota

March 6 — Missouri State

March 13 — at Western Illinois

March 20 — at Southern Illinois

March 27 — at Youngstown State

April 3 — Bye

April 10 — North Dakota State

April 17 — South Dakota State

No kickoff times have been announced and decisions on fan attendance will be decided before the season by each university dependent on local and state guidelines.

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