Illinois-Nebraska game moved to Friday night

May 22—CHAMPAIGN — Illinois and Nebraska might have lost their yearly football matchups when the Big Ten expanded to 18 teams and dropped divisions ahead of the 2024 season, but the Illini and Cornhuskers haven't lost their occasional Friday night showdowns.

The former Big Ten West rivals will play under the Friday night lights on Sept. 20 after both teams' conference opener at the Cornhuskers' Memorial Stadium was moved on Wednesday off of its original date of Saturday, Sept. 21. Kickoff has been set for 7 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb.

Illinois is 4-7 against Nebraska since it joined the Big Ten in 2011. Zero of those wins have come on Friday night. The Cornhuskers won 20-7 last season in Champaign and 28-6 in 2017 in Champaign where the only Illini points came on a pair of Chase McLaughlin field goals.

This season's Illinois-Nebraska showdown will be part of Fox's "College Football Friday" package. Fox has plans to air a Big Ten football game on nine Fridays in a 10-week span this coming season. Illinois-Nebraska will be the first.

Other matchups will put the Big Ten's new coast-to-coast offerings on full display. The Illinois-Nebraska game will be followed by Washington making a trip east to play at Rutgers on Sept. 27 and the Scarlet Knights heading west to play at USC on Oct. 25.

The decision to move the Illinois-Nebraska game will gives the Illini two non-Saturday games — so far — on their schedule. Illinois will open the 2024 season on Thursday, Aug. 29, against Eastern Illinois at Memorial Stadium in Champaign before two straight Saturday home games against Kansas on Sept. 7 and Central Michigan on Sept. 14 precede the trip to Nebraska.