Redbird Football Completes 2013 Schedule
Feb. 20, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State football program completed its 2013 schedule Wednesday, with the addition of a Sept. 21 matchup at Hancock Stadium against Abilene Christian.
The Redbirds will play an 11-game schedule in 2013, with five games at home and six on the road. ISU will be looking to secure its fifth-straight winning season and will hope to advance to the FCS playoffs for the second-straight year. Game times will be announced as they become available.
"It's been tough to find an 11th game, which is kind of becoming the culture right now in FCS football," head coach Brock Spack said. "However, we are excited to add a good program like Abilene Christian to the schedule to complete our 2013 slate. They are making the transition to FCS football and are typically a very skilled, fast team. We are going to have our hands full next season and it's going to be a very difficult schedule for us."
Illinois State will open the 2013 campaign Thursday, Aug. 29, when it travels to Muncie, Ind., for a matchup with Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) foe Ball State. The Cardinals and the Redbirds have met 16 times previously, with Ball State owning an 11-5 lead in the series. The two teams last met in 1993, a 45-30 defeat for the Redbirds on the road. Ball State, a member of the Mid-American Conference (West Division), is also scheduled to visit Hancock Stadium on Aug. 28, 2014, for the season opener.
The Redbirds will then have a bye week, before travelling to Charleston, Ill., for the 102nd meeting of the Mid-America Classic between Illinois State and Eastern Illinois. The game will continue the oldest FCS football rivalry in the State of Illinois and the 13th-oldest at the FCS level, with the Panthers leading the all-time series 51-41-9.
ISU will then wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule, when it welcomes in Abilene Christian on Sept. 21 for the home opener and the first game to be played in the newly-renovated Hancock Stadium. The Wildcats are making the jump in 2013 to the Division I FCS level, but will not play a full Southland Conference schedule until 2014.
The Redbirds will then play eight-straight games against Missouri Valley Football Conference foes, before having a bye on Nov. 23 in the final weekend of regular-season play. ISU will open MVFC play with a road contest on Sept. 28 at Missouri State, which will complete a stretch where the Redbirds play three out of their first four contests on the road.
ISU will then play four out of its next five games at Hancock Stadium, beginning with the 2013 Homecoming game Oct. 5 against in-state rival Western Illinois. A road game at Youngstown State will follow Oct. 12, before the Redbirds host Indiana State on Oct. 19 as part of CommUniversity Day. The Redbirds will then host South Dakota on Oct. 26 as part of Family Weekend at ISU and will close out the home portion of the schedule, Nov. 2, on Senior Day against Northern Iowa.
The final two games of the regular season will take place on the road, with a Nov. 9 contest against two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State at the Fargodome. ISU will then wrap up the regular season on Nov. 16 in Carbondale, Ill., against in-state foe Southern Illinois.
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