Michigan State football opener at Northwestern moved to late-night on Friday, Sept. 3

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Michigan State football will kick off the 2021 season a day earlier — with a Friday primetime matchup just north of Chicago.

The Spartans’ opener at Northwestern was moved to a 9 p.m. start Sept. 3 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois to begin Mel Tucker’s second season. The game will be televised on ESPN.

It was one of six kickoff times announced Thursday. MSU will return home to host Youngstown State on Sept. 11 (Big Ten Network), then travel to Miami (Fla.) on Sept. 18 (ABC or ESPN). Both of those games start at noon.

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Michigan State coach Mel Tucker leads his team onto the field before MSU's 29-20 win over Northwestern at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker leads his team onto the field before MSU's 29-20 win over Northwestern at Spartan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.

Following a bye week, the Spartans host Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 2. MSU returns to Big Ten play Oct. 9 at Rutgers, then travel to Indiana on Oct. 16 – both noon kickoffs. Broadcast networks have not yet been assigned.

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There is no kickoff time set for the Spartans’ home game with Michigan on Oct. 30 or any of their remaining games - Nov. 6 at Purdue, Nov. 13 at home vs. Maryland, Nov. 20 at Ohio State or Nov. 27 at home vs. Penn State.

MSU went 2-5 in Tucker’s debut season, which included wins over Northwestern and U-M.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football opener at Northwestern moved to 9 p.m. Sept. 3