Northwestern football will host Massachusetts at Ryan Field on November 16, 2019, the program announced Wednesday afternoon.
It will be the first meeting ever between the two programs.
UMass, which won the FCS Championship in 1998, began the transition to FBS in 2011. In five seasons of FBS play, the Minutemen have gone 10-50. They spent the first four of those in the MAC, but left prior to last season and currently compete as an Independent.
2017 will be Mark Whipple’s fourth season in his second stint as head coach of the Minutemen. He previously coached UMass from 1998-2003.
The most interesting aspect of this announcement is the date of the game. If I’m not mistaken, the last time Northwestern played a late-season non-conference game was when it beat Rice in November 2011.
UPDATE: I’m super dumb and forgot about Notre Dame in 2014 somehow. S/o Fake Fitz.
2019 will be the second straight year with a November non-conference game. As a reminder, Northwestern will host Notre Dame on November 3, 2018.
Ideally, UMass will have improved to competency by 2019. If you’re interested, check out Bill C.’s preview of the Minutemen’s 2017 season as Whipple continues to rebuild.