Iowa Hawkeyes football team gets new 10-game schedule, with Maryland as opening-day opponent

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa is scheduled to begin the football season at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 5 as originally planned, with Maryland as its new opponent, under a revised schedule the Big Ten Conference released Wednesday.

The Hawkeyes are scheduled to play 10 games, against league competition only, concluding with a visit to Ohio State on Nov. 21. There are two open Saturdays in the schedule, with the Big Ten title game on Dec. 5 in Indianapolis.

Iowa's other nine opponents remain the same as before, with the game at Minnesota moved from Friday, Sept. 18, to Saturday the 19th.

All of this assumes that the COVID-19 pandemic won't cause further disruptions.

The Hawkeyes are scheduled to open their training camp Friday. The university announced it will not hold its annual Kids Day public practice.

It remains uncertain whether fans will be allowed to attend Iowa home games. That information will be released in coming days, the university said. Iowa halted football ticket sales June 30, after selling about 40,000 of them.

Iowa is scheduled to host five football games at Kinnick Stadium this fall, beginning Sept. 5 against Maryland, under a new Big Ten Conference slate announced Wednesday.

“We continue to face uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and others associated with our sports programs remains our number one priority,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a university news release. “I am confident in the medical protocols established by the Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Sports Medicine Committee, in addition to the continued oversight provided by our UI Hawkeye team physicians within the UIHC Department of Orthopedics and Epidemiology.

“The past few months have entailed numerous conversations between my conference colleagues, Commissioner Kevin Warren and our Big Ten presidents, as we have worked to navigate the challenges associated with this pandemic. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our donors, ticket holders, partners, and fans. Now that the football schedule has been announced, we will finalize our Kinnick Stadium seating plan and share that in the next few days. If we have the opportunity to play, we are excited about our challenging conference schedule and the five games in Kinnick Stadium.”

Iowa’s opening game marks the first time since 1980 the Hawkeyes will open the season against at Big Ten opponent. The Hawkeyes opened that season with a 16-7 win over Indiana in Kinnick Stadium.

The Big Ten announced July 9 that it was scrapping all non-conference competition in fall sports, the boldest step to that point by a major conference. For Iowa football, that meant losing home games against Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois and — most significantly — Iowa State.

The revised schedule replaces one of those home dates with Maryland.

“As a program, we have been looking forward to this day since the decision to play a conference-only schedule was announced,” Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Knowing when our games are scheduled will allow us to prepare for what is ahead on the field and support our players’ academic schedules off the field.

“Our players have shown patience and dedication during the most recent period of conditioning and off-season workouts, and now we are excited to begin the process of preparing for a football season. We are continuing to closely monitor the health and safety of our players and staff.”

Iowa finished 10-3 a year ago.

2020 Iowa Hawkeyes football schedule:

Sept. 5 – vs. Maryland

Sept. 12– at Purdue

Sept. 19 – at Minnesota

Sept. 26 – vs. Nebraska

Oct. 3 – vs. Northwestern

Oct. 10 – at Illinois

Oct. 17 – Open

Oct. 24 – at Penn State

Oct. 31 – vs. Michigan State

Nov. 7 – Open

Nov. 14 – vs. Wisconsin

Nov. 21 – at Ohio State

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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