For agreeing to play a home-and-home against Northern Illinois in 2018 and 2019, Utah will receive ... the opportunity to play Northern Illinois in 2018 and 2019.
Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill told The Tribune on Monday afternoon that NIU did not provide Utah any special incentive financial or otherwise to visit DeKalb in 2018. Rather, the Huskies provide Utah with the type of respectable-but-beatable opponent that Utah is looking to add each year in addition to an FCS opponent.
"This year's schedule is really, really hard," said Hill of a slate that one ESPN insider rated as the toughest in the nation. "... We want to balance a competitive schedule with getting wins and building confidence."