MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University Football has released their 2020 football schedule which is highlighted by a full slate of 11 games against NCAA Division II opponents and six games inside the Superior Dome.
The 2020 season kicks off with the Wildcats visiting McKendree University on September 5. This past year, NMU hosted the Bearcats for the season opener and captured a 30-9 victory. McKendree finished 2019 at 5-6 on the season.
NMU opens the home slate the next weekend, September 12 and hosts Central Washington University. CWU is making their first trip to the Superior Dome in a game that will be the first matchup between the schools. Central Washington was 7-4 last season and finished the year receiving votes in the National Poll.
On September 19, the Wildcats open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play by visiting Davenport University. DU was 5-5, and 3-5 in the GLIAC. The last game at Davenport saw the the Wildcats take DU to overtime.
The Wildcats return home the next week and continue GLIAC play with Saginaw Valley State University on September 26 during Homecoming Weekend. SVSU started the 2019 season 4-1 before ending the year with a 5-6 season record.
October begins with NMU heading to Wayne State University October 3. Wayne State bested NMU last season in the Superior Dome but the Wildcats defeated WSU 34-24 at Wayne State the last time the teams played in Detroit, Michigan.
On October 10, the team takes a break from GLIAC play and begins a three-week home stand, started by taking on former league foe Ohio Dominican University in the Superior Dome. The Panthers finished 2019 7-3 on the season and 6-1 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. ODU played in the NCAA Division II Showcase Game of the Week two times last year. NMU has dropped the last two meetings by a total of one touchdown in both games.
Northwood University comes to town the next week for Band Day on October 17 which resumes GLIAC play for the Wildcats. Northwood finished 1-10 but scored the fifth-most points in the GLIAC last year. Three of the past four meetings have come within one score.
The homestand comes to a close October 24 when the Wildcats welcome rival Michigan Technological University to the Superior Dome in the annual battle for the Miners Cup.
NMU will then head to Ashland University on October 31. Ashland was 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC last season.
On November 7, NMU hosts Grand Valley State University in what will also be Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day for the Wildcats. GVSU was 8-3 on the season, 7-1 in the GLIAC.
The season comes to a close at Ferris State University November 14. The Bulldogs were 8-0 in the GLIAC and were 12-1 on the season, falling to NCAA Division II National Champion West Florida University in the Semifinals.
The 2020 opponents combined to go 70-50 during the 2019 season.
The Wildcats will enter the 2020 season fielding a team full of young experience as they featured the youngest game day roster in the GLIAC. NMU featured just 26 student-athletes in their junior or senior season, leading to 29 freshman and sophomores getting playing time in the season finale compared to just 15 upperclassman. NMU is expected to return the vast majority of the team, including seven All-GLIAC honorees, and looks to build on the experiences they gained during 2019.