FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama will kick of its second season as a Division I program at home this week with a special Thursday night game against the Missouri Valley Conference member, Western Illinois. The WIU Fighting Leathernecks play what is arguably the most rugged conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), previously

known as NCAA Div 1-AA. Five of its teams are in the pre-season AFCA and STATS Top 20 FCS rankings, including defending national champion, North Dakota State. Three others, including Western Illinois, also received votes in the STATS poll. This means UNA can count on WIU being a seasoned and formidable opponent.

WIU returns 6 starters on offense and 4 on defense from a team that went 5-6 last year with some tough-luck losses.

UNA returns eight offensive starters, including starting quarterback Christian Lopez. The UNA defense returns two starters with 12 returning defensive players who saw significant playing time on last year’s team that went 7-3 and closed with four consecutive wins in its first year playing in the FCS.

General Admission tickets (visitor’s side) are be $15. Home side tickets are $15 for outer Bench seats and $20 for Prime Bench seats.

Game time is 7pm.