Penn State Football To Play First Friday Night Clash At Illinois Next Season
The Nittany Lions will officially play their first Friday night clash at Illinois on September 21, 2018 after the Big Ten announced today the road trip game will be held that night instead of Saturday, September 22 as originally scheduled.
The conference announced last fall it planned to start holding Friday night games, beginning with six Friday night matchups during the 2017 season. At that time, the athletics department issued a statement clarifying Penn State isn’t willing to host Friday night games at home in Beaver Stadium.
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
“Penn State has informed the Big Ten that we will not host football games on a Friday night. We are receptive to an occasional day game on the day after Thanksgiving,” the athletic department said last November. “We support the conference’s desire to expand exposure for Big Ten football on national platforms, providing additional content at high-demand times, and we’ve agreed to play no more than one away game each year on a Friday night.”
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
If Athletics stays true to their word, this matchup between Penn State and Illinois will be the only Friday night game for the 2018 Nittany Lions.
The Big Ten also moved the dates of four other conference games for the 2018 season. Northwestern will now play Purdue on Thursday, August 30 to open the season. Utah State and Michigan State will meet Friday, August 31, as will Western Kentucky and Wisconsin. Indiana’s away game at Minnesota is scheduled for Friday, October 26.
Penn State opens its 2018 Big Ten campaign against the Illini in Champlaign before hosting Ohio State the following week in what will almost assuredly be the White Out game. The Nittany Lions last played Illinois in 2015, prevailing 39-0 at home in Beaver Stadium. Penn State leads the all-time series 18-5.