NEWARK, Del. — The University of Delaware and have agreed to a two-game contract for football games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

NDSU will host the Blue Hens in the season opener Sept. 1, 2018, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. Delaware will host the Bison at Delaware Stadium in Newark on Sept. 14, 2019.

These will be the first two meetings between Missouri Valley Conference leader North Dakota State and Delaware, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“We look forward to a tremendous challenge,” said Delaware fourth-year head coach Dave Brock. “We are excited to bring one of the elite programs in the nation to Delaware Stadium and look forward to that first meeting in 2018. Both administrations did a great job pulling together and making this happen.”

“I’m excited for our team and our fans to see a new opponent from a strong conference in the CAA,” said third-year NDSU head coach Chris Klieman. “The return trip to Delaware is going to be a great test for us. They’re a Top 10 team in attendance and it is one the best environments in the FCS.”

Delaware won the FCS national championship in 2003 with a 15-1 record as a member of the Atlantic 10. The Blue Hens joined the CAA in 2007 and were national runners-up in 2007 and 2010.

NDSU has won 20 straight FCS playoff games and five straight national titles since a 2010 quarterfinal overtime loss at Eastern Washington, which beat Delaware in the national championship.

One of the two teams has played in each of the last six FCS national championship games and in 8 of the last 13.

“We are thrilled to begin this football series with North Dakota State,” said Delaware Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak. “I know that Coach Brock and his team and certainly our fans will be excited to see the Blue Hens square off against a program that has been at the forefront of FCS football over the last five years. Two great football programs with longstanding traditions from different regions meeting up is a great thing for college football.”

“Delaware is one of the more storied programs in FCS football and has a great tradition and fan base,” said NDSU director of athletics Matt Larsen. “We are excited for Bison Nation to see their team on the East Coast for the first time.”

North Dakota State will be Delaware’s first Missouri Valley Conference opponent since hosting South Dakota State on Sept. 11, 2010.

Both teams annually rank among the national FCS leaders in home attendance. NDSU ranked No. 7 nationally in home attendance with a mark of 18,497 in 2015 while Delaware ranked ninth with an average home total of 15,826 a year ago.

Delaware will open the 2016 season on Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. Delaware State at Delaware Stadium.