Any preliminary preparations the UNI football team has made for next month's opener against Illinois State can be scrapped.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference released an updated schedule Wednesday after league member Indiana State opted out of the spring season last week. Under the new schedule, the mid-season bye has been elimated. MVFC teams will now play eight consecutive weeks before the FCS playoffs begin on April 24. The new schedule has a built in April 17th rescheduling date for games that potentially could be canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

Under the old schedule, UNI was supposed to host Illinois State on Friday, Feb. 19. That 7 PM game is still on the docket, but the Panthers' new opponent is South Dakota State. The game will likely have postseason implications. UNI was ranked third and the Jackrabbits fifth in the fall STATS preseason poll.

The two teams have played each other five times in the last three seasons, twice in the playoffs. UNI is 3-2 in those meetings.

The Panthers play at Youngstown State April 27th, then return home to face No. 9 Illinois State on March 6 in the UNI-Dome.

After battling the Redbirds, UNI plays three of its next four games on the road. The Panthers travel to Southern Illinois on March 13, Western Illinois on March 27 and South Dakota on April 3. They host Missouri State on March 20.

UNI is scheduled to close its regular season at home, hosting three-time defending national champion North Dakota State on April 10.


UNI FOOTBALL 2021 SPRING SCHEDULE
FRI., FEB. 19:vs. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE7 PM
Fri., Feb. 27:at Youngstown State11 AM
SAT., MARCH 6:vs. ILLINOIS STATE4 PM
Sat., March 13:at Southern IllinoisNOON
Sat., MARCH 20:vs. MISSOURI STATE4 PM
Sat., March 27:at Western IllinoisTBA
SAT., APRIL 2:at South Dakota6 PM
SAT., APRIL 10:vs. NORTH DAKOTA STATE4 PM
*Sat., April 24:FCS PlayoffsTBA
**BOLD = Home Games at UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls**
**Schedule Is Subject To Change, Both Dates and Times**
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