Having faced each other five times previously, Eagles will play at Missouri Valley Football Conference member in 2015 and then host the Panthers at "The Inferno" in 2016
Matching two of the top teams historically in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Eastern Washington University will renew its football rivalry with Northern Iowa from the Missouri Valley Football Conference when the two teams square off in 2015 and 2016. Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves and his counterpart at Northern Iowa, Troy Dannen, made the announcement on Friday (Jan. 17).
The first meeting will occur Sept. 12, 2015, in the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The second matchup will be Sept. 17, 2016, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
"We look forward to a tremendous two-game series with a perennial FCS contender in Northern Iowa,” said Chaves. “Scheduling is always challenging, but the willingness of both schools to play should be a benefit to FCS as a whole.”
The series will feature two of the most successful programs in FCS history. UNI has appeared in the FCS playoffs on 16 occasions and tallied 19 wins, while EWU has made 10 appearances with 13 wins and a national title in 2010. The Panthers rank fifth in FCS history in appearances and seventh in wins, while EWU is right behind in 13th and 10th, respectively.
Northern Iowa and Eastern Washington have met on five previous occasions – all in Cedar Falls -- with the Panthers winning all five matchups. Three of those contests occurred in the FCS playoffs (1985, 1992, 2005).
The Panthers won all four of their non-conference games in 2013, including a 28-20 upset at Iowa State to open the season. However, they had a five-game conference losing streak – including three consecutive overtime losses – to finish 7-5 on the season and 3-5 in league.
Eastern finished 12-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs for the second-straight year. The Eagles, the 2010 NCAA Division I champion, were 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference for the first time in school history.
In all, UNI has won 16 conference titles in its storied history and Eastern has captured seven.
Oregon (9/5/15) and Montana State (9/19/15) are the other two non-conference games currently on EWU's 2015 schedule, and EWU is scheduled to play Washington State the following season (9/3/16). Chaves said he is still in need of one game for the 2016 season, and is hoping to schedule a home-and-home series with another FCS foe for that season and a return game in 2017. The finalized 2014 schedule has yet to be announced.
Series History versus Northern Iowa
#1985 - L - 14-17 – A
1989 - L - 21-47 – A
#1992 - L - 14-17 – A
1994 - L - 17-27 – A
#2005 - L - 38-41 – A
#NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs