FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona has announced a home-and-home football series between the Lumberjacks and Illinois State to be played during the 2017 and 2019 seasons.
The Oct. 7, 2017 match-up in Flagstaff at the Walkup Skydome will be the first between the Lumberjacks and the Redbirds. The two teams will complete the two-game series in 2019 in Normal, Ill. with a Sept. 21 game scheduled for Hancock Stadium.
"As a staff we like to challenge ourselves and adding a top FCS team like Illinois State to our slate allows NAU fans to experience a high level match-up in the Walkup Skydome," said head coach Jerome Souers. "Every year we strive to elevate our non-conference competition and this home-and-home series will do just that."
Illinois State is a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The back-to-back MVFC Champions are led by head coach Brock Spack. The Redbirds were the No. 2 overall seed in the FCS Playoffs last year and advanced to the quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons. ISU finished 2015 ranked No. 5 in the FCS STATS Poll.
Both the Lumberjacks and Redbirds had a finalist for FCS STATS Offensive Player of the Year last season. ISU's Marshaun Coprich – a senior last year – finished third overall in voting. NAU quarterback Case Cookus finished two spots behind him in fifth place.