MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan head coach Chris Ostrowsky unveiled the football team’s 2016 schedule Thursday.
The schedule includes six home dates, including a rivalry game against Michigan Tech in early November. The Wildcats will take on two teams, Grand Valley State and Ferris State, that qualified for the 2015 NCAA Division II Football Championship.
“We’re excited about participating in the GLIAC, which we feel is the best Division II league in America,” Ostrowsky said. “It’s as competitive of a schedule as we can possibly hope for, and we’re excited for the competition. One of the things I’m most excited about is the fact we get to play six home games again. The crowd and the community make the Superior Dome a fun place to watch college football.”
Northern Michigan opens the season Sept. 3 by traveling to Painesville, Ohio to square off with Lake Erie for the first time in program history. The Wildcats then host Angelo State, a team they haven’t met since topping the Rams in overtime of their 1987 NCAA quarterfinal game, in their home opener Sept. 10 at 4 p.m.
“It’s a cool dynamic to be playing Angelo State,” Ostrowsky said. “They were in the playoffs in 2014. They’re a great football program with a great history, and they help put our schedule on a different level.”
In week three, Northern Michigan will face one of its biggest tests of the season, taking on Grand Valley State Sept. 17 at Lubbers Stadium. The Wildcats have not taken on the Lakers, who reached the semifinal round of the 2015 NCAA Football Championship, since the 2013 campaign.
Northern Michigan returns to the Superior Dome to face Northwood Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. After a bye week, the Wildcats host Walsh Oct. 10 at 4 p.m.
After the Walsh game, Northern Michigan opens a season-long two-game road swing against Saginaw Valley State Oct. 8. The Wildcats then make a trip to Big Rapids, Mich. Oct. 15 for a date with back-to-back GLIAC champion Ferris State.
Northern Michigan welcomes three-straight opponents to the Superior Dome. First, the Wildcats take on Ohio Dominican Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. Then, they face off against Hillsdale Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.
Northern Michigan concludes its home slate with its rivalry game against Michigan Tech Nov. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be televised live on TV6/FOX UP.
The Wildcats close the season by making its second Ohio trip for a Nov. 12 match-up with Tiffin.
In 2015, Northern Michigan posted a 5-6 (4-6 GLIAC) record, the program’s best overall finish since 2010. Ten Wildcats earned all-GLIAC accolades, with one making the first team and three taking home second-team honors.
Times will be added to the schedule on NMUWildcats.com as they become available. Northern Michigan will host a promotion each home game. They are listed below:
Sept. 10 vs. Angelo State – Youth Sports Day
Sept. 24 vs. Northwood – Homecoming
Oct. 1 vs. Walsh – NMU Family Weekend
Oct. 22 vs. Ohio Dominican – Band Day
Oct. 29 vs. Hillsdale – Wildcat Halloween
Nov. 5 vs. Michigan Tech – Senior Day
(COURTESY NMU ATHLETICS)