Seven Home Games Highlight 2014 Redbird Football Slate
Feb. 10, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. - Home field advantage helped the Illinois State football team secure a perfect 5-0 record at Hancock Stadium in 2013 and Redbird fans will have the opportunity to catch even more games in the newly-renovated facility this fall, as seven home games highlight an 11-game schedule for the Redbirds in 2014.
All 11 games will be played against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents, with three home non-conference tilts scheduled before the start of Missouri Valley Football Conference action commences. The seven regular-season games will be the most played at Hancock Stadium since 2003, when the Redbirds played seven games at home during a 12-game regular-season schedule.
"Having seven home games is big for us, because we have a great facility to play in, and our home fans make this a great place to play for us and a tough venue to play in for our opponents," ISU head coach Brock Spack said. "We haven't had that many games at home since we've been here as a staff, and it will be nice for our players to experience that kind of schedule. Last year, we only had five home games partly because of the construction schedule, so it will be nice for our fans to have seven to watch this year at home."
Illinois State will open the 2014 campaign Saturday, Sept. 6, when it hosts Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) member Mississippi Valley State at Hancock Stadium. The matchup will be the first between the Redbirds and the Delta Devils on the gridiron.
The Redbirds then welcome in-state rival Eastern Illinois for the 103rd meeting of the Mid-America Classic, which is set to be played on Sept. 13 as part of Family Weekend at ISU. 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 52-41-9.
Following an off week, ISU will then wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule with a Sept. 27 contest against Austin Peay on CommUniversity Day. The two teams last met in 2009, when the Redbirds defeated the Governors by a score of 38-7 to give Spack his first win as head coach.
The Redbirds will then play eight-straight games against Missouri Valley Football Conference foes, beginning with an Oct. 4 Homecoming game against South Dakota State. The Redbirds and the Jackrabbits have not played since 2011, due to the rotation of team schedules by the MVFC, and have split the all-time series 2-2.
ISU will then play three out of its next four games on the road, beginning Oct. 11 at Indiana State and continuing on Oct. 18 against in-state rival Western Illinois. The Redbirds will return to Hancock Stadium Oct. 25 for a home tilt against Missouri State, before hitting the road the following week to take on Northern Iowa at the UNI Dome on Nov. 1.
The schedule will conclude with two out of the last three games at home for the Redbirds, with a Nov. 8 matchup versus Youngstown State starting the stretch run. ISU will then travel to South Dakota for its final road contest of the season, before wrapping up the regular season Nov. 22 against in-state foe Southern Illinois, Nov. 22, as part of Senior Day festivities.
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