The Big Ten announced Friday that five football games in 2018 have been scheduled for weeknight kickoffs. One of those games is a conference showdown between Penn State and Illinois.
Previously scheduled for Sept. 22, Penn State-Illinois will now be played on Friday, Sept. 21. The game is at Illinois.
The first moved game is Northwestern at Purdue, an early Big Ten game. That game will now be played on Thursday, Aug. 30. Of the five games announced Friday, it’s the only one that has been moved to a Thursday. The rest have been moved to Friday.
Here’s the complete list of the moved 2018 Big Ten games:
Big Ten football: 5 2018 games moved to new dates
Thursday, Aug. 30
Northwestern at Purdue
Friday, Aug. 31
Utah State at Michigan State
Western Kentucky at Wisconsin
Friday, Sept. 21
Penn State at Illinois
Friday, Oct. 26
Indiana at Minnesota
Penn State-Illinois 2018 game moved to Friday
Future Schedule Update: Big Ten has moved 2018 #Illini home game vs. Penn St. to Friday night, Sept. 21 (originally scheduled for Sept. 22)
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) October 20, 2017
The Big Ten’s expansion to Friday nights has been met with pushback. That includes at Penn State, which on Nov. 2, 201,told the conference that it would not host games on Friday nights.
That’s still the case, but the Nittany Lions will be playing on the road on a Friday night in 2018.
Penn State has informed the Big Ten that we will not host football games on a Friday night. pic.twitter.com/6SH1tcvrw4
— Penn State Athletics (@GoPSUsports) November 2, 2016
Wisconsin and Michigan State have familiarity playing on Friday nights. The Spartans opened six consecutive seasons on a Friday night from 2011 to 2016.
The Badgers opened this season on a Friday night, routing Utah State, 59-10.
As a result of the Big Ten’s new television agreement, six games involving Big Ten teams — including three conference games — originally were scheduled for Friday nights this season, opposite high school football. Four were played, but two others were rescheduled for Saturdays.
Illinois has played twice this season on Friday night — losing at South Florida and at home to Nebraska.