CHAPEL HILL - North Carolina and Illinois have agreed to a two-year home-and-home football series to be played in 2015 and 2016. Carolina will play host to the Illini in Kenan Stadium on Sept. 19, 2015, and will travel to Champaign on Sept. 10, 2016.
"Coach Fedora and I have been in discussions for several months about our future non-conference football opponents. We both felt Illinois would be an attractive matchup for both schools and would be a tremendous experience and opportunity for our student-athletes, staff and fans," said North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. "This series is an opportunity to bring a quality Big Ten program to Chapel Hill, while also providing a unique travel experience for our student-athletes."
Carolina and Illinois have met just twice on the gridiron with the most recent contest occurring in 1987. The Tar Heels won both of the previous matchups, including a 27-0 win in Champaign in 1971, and a 34-14 victory in Chapel Hill in 1987.
Carolina has not faced a Big Ten program since a loss at home to Wisconsin in 2005.
Carolina also has completed its 2014 non-conference schedule with the addition of home games against Liberty (Aug. 30) and San Diego State (Sept. 6). The Tar Heels will also play non-conference road games at East Carolina (Sept. 20) and at Notre Dame, which were previously announced. The date of the Notre Dame game will be released by the ACC at a later time.
Carolina's only prior meeting with San Diego State came in the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl. Led by Bowl MVP Ronald Curry, the Tar Heels defeated the Aztecs, 20-13, as both teams struggled to move the ball under extremely windy conditions.
Carolina and Liberty have never faced each other in football.
Home: Liberty (Aug. 30), San Diego State (Sept. 6), Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, NC State
Away: East Carolina (Sept. 20), Notre Dame (TBD), Clemson, Miami, Virginia, Duke
Home: Illinois (Sept. 19), Wake Forest, Miami, Virginia, Duke
Away: NC State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh
Neutral: South Carolina (Sept. 5 in Charlotte)
Home: NC State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh
Away: Illinois (Sept. 10), Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Duke