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Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Eastern Michigan announces football schedule, opens with Thursday game at Ball State

By Staff

The Mid-American Conference announced its football schedules on Thursday, assigning Eastern Michigan a Thursday, Aug. 30, season-opener at Ball State.

It's one of two Thursday night games for the Eagles, who will also play a 6 p.m. game at Ohio on Nov. 1. That game, which will be broadcast by ESPNU, is the only one on the EMU schedule with a set kickoff time.

The Eagles, who went 6-6 last season and began spring practice with their best chance to end a quarter-century bowl drought, end the regular season with a Friday game at Rynearson Stadium, hosting defending MAC champion Northern Illinois on Nov. 23. That game could be chosen for an ESPNU broadcast, depending on the MAC division races.

Related: Complete schedule

Following their opener at Ball State, the Eagles host Illinois State on Sept. 8 before hitting the road for a pair of Big Ten stadiums at Purdue (Sept. 15) and Michigan State (Sept. 22).

An off week and a streak of three straight home games follows. EMU will host Kent State (Oct. 6), Toledo (Oct. 13) and Army (Oct. 20).

The Eagles then travel to Bowling Green (Oct. 27) and Ohio before hosting Central Michigan (Nov. 10), playing at Western Michigan (Nov. 17) and hosting Northern Illinois.