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Northern Illinois Drops From BYU Schedule After MAC Postpones Fall Sports Season

Photo courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – BYU is going through all the emotions in regards to putting together a schedule for this fall.

On Saturday, BYU lost another team from its 2020 schedule. This time a road game to face the Northern Illinois Huskies is gone from BYU’s 2020 slate.

The Huskies league, the Mid-American Conference (MAC), announced on Saturday that they are postponing its fall sports competition to the spring.

“The decision is grounded in the core values of the Conference that prioritize student-athlete well-being, an area the MAC has traditionally taken a leadership role,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “Clearly, we are charting a conservative path – and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete.  Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence.  I am heartbroken we are in this place. However, I take comfort and want to give assurance to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we have their best interest at heart, and we will make every effort to provide competitive opportunities in the spring.”

According to reports, Northern Illinois University was planning on withdrawing from the season on its own had the MAC not made this decision. But after losing many guaranteed Power 5 money games, the MAC fell in line with the Huskies and decided to postpone the season.

The MAC is the first FBS conference to postpone its football season.

Northern Illinois and BYU were scheduled to play on Saturday, October 24th in DeKalb, Illinois. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game venue was going to be in Bridgeview, Illinois at a soccer stadium named SeatGeek Stadium. Then it moved to NIU’s campus and now it is no more.

This was supposed to be the second game of a two-game series between the two programs. The first meeting was in Provo two years ago where the Huskies upset the Cougars by a score of 7-6.

BYU now has six games remaining on its 2020 schedule. The news of Nothern Illinois going by the wayside comes days after BYU added a week one matchup against the Navy Midshipmen on Labor Day night.

Along with Navy, BYU has games scheduled against Utah State, Houston, Boise State, San Diego State, and North Alabama from the FCS ranks.

2020 BYU Football Schedule

Sept. 7th (Monday)  at Navy

Oct. 2nd (Friday)  UTAH STATE

Oct. 16th (Friday)  HOUSTON

Nov. 6 (Friday)  at Boise State

Nov. 14  SAN DIEGO STATE

Nov. 21  NORTH ALABAMA

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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