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Maryland football will return to DeKalb for NIU rematch

Published: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 7:15 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 11:31 p.m. CDT
(AP file photo)
Former Northern Illinois football player P.J. Fleck (82) and the rest of the NIU team celebrate a 20-13 overtime upset of Maryland on Aug. 28, 2003, in DeKalb. NIU announced Friday that the Huskies will play Maryland in 2020 and 2021.

The game didn’t turn out well for the Maryland football team the last time the Terrapins visited Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

But it didn’t take Northern Illinois University athletic director Sean Frazier much to talk to the Terps into another trip.

SchedulePalooza came to a close Friday, with the school announcing the Terrapins will come to Huskie Stadium on Sept. 25, 2021 – more than 18 years after the Huskies beat Maryland, 20-13, in overtime in DeKalb. In 2020, the teams will meet in College Park.

Frazier said Maryland – which is joining the Big Ten this year – can use exposure in the Midwest more than worrying about a potential loss.

“When you’re at this particular level, anybody can beat anybody anytime,” Frazier said. “So it’s not about that. For them to be joining the Big Ten and nestled in the Midwest, it’s important for them to get on the other side of the dime and into Midwest venues. We’re one of the few teams with a great location and a great tradition and a worthy opponent.”

The Terrapins won both meetings between the teams in College Park, in 1996 and 2004.

Frazier said the game came about thanks to his close relationship with Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson.

“Kevin Anderson is a great AD and an even better friend,” Frazier said. “I’ve known him pretty much my entire career.”

The announcement was the fourth such in as many days – the school made public future games against San Diego State, Brigham Young and Utah as well – as part of a SchedulePalooza initiative, in which clues were released on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

And although SchedulePalooza is over, Frazier said there are more announcements on the horizon – although he said he couldn’t give specific schools or a specific timetable.

“Right now I fell really good about some of these other contests and other schools we’ve contacted,” Frazier said. “Not all of it’s done, but what we wanted to do was get these group of schools out that we feel honored that they’re coming to our house. But it’s not over. This is an ongoing moving target.”

The Terrapin file

Last year: 7-6

Last bowl game: The team lost to Marshall, 30-21, in the Military Bowl in 2013, their last game as a member of the Atlantic Coastal Conference before joining the Big 10 this year.

Against NIU: Maryland is 2-1 in the all-time series, winning, 23-20, the last time the schools met in 2004. The year before, the Huskies won, 20-13, in overtime, in DeKalb.

MAC attack: The Terrapins are 8-3 all-time against the MAC according to college football database stassen.com. Their last game against a MAC school was a 51-24 win against Eastern Michigan in 2008.

The good: The Terrapins seemed to turn a corner under third-year coach Randy Edsall, starting 4-0 – including a 32-21 win at Edsall’s old team, UConn.

The bad: The Terrapins suffered through a three-game skid in the middle of the season, losing by double digits to Wake Forest (34-10), Clemson (40-27) and Syracuse (20-3) – the last two of which were at home.

The ugly: Maryland didn’t fare well at eventual national champion Florida State, losing an early October game, 63-0, in Tallahassee, the same week they entered the AP top 25 poll for the first time in Edsall’s tenure.

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