Nebraska will hit the road for its first Friday night football game under the new Big Ten television agreement with ESPN/ABC and Fox in 2017. Per a Big Ten release, the Huskers will face off with Illinois on Friday, Sept. 29. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30.
The Big Ten announced its decision to move a certain number of games each season from Saturday to Friday night last week. The decision was met with mixed emotions by fans but Nebraska head coach Mike Riley was OK with the change.
“My very first thought, and I guess I’m showing my age, but back in the day when high schools played on Friday and colleges on Saturday and the pros on Sunday, probably that’s pretty good,” Riley said. “Realistically, in this day, it’s absolutely probably a very good move, and it’s going to give our conference a chance to give more of our teams exposed everywhere, which our conference has done the best job of any conference in the country doing that.”
Riley was also not overly concerned about the interference with Nebraska high school football.
“I’m sure the high schools will maintain their followings,” Riley said. “It’s not like it’s going to be every Friday night in Lincoln, or six times a year or anything like that. So it’s not going to affect anybody really big-time long-term. It’s very, very natural. It was coming.”
Here’s a full list of the Friday night games for 2017:
- Fri., Sept. 1: Washington at Rutgers
- Fri., Sept. 1: Utah State at Wisconsin
- Fri., Sept. 8: Ohio at Purdue
- Fri., Sept. 29: Nebraska at Illinois
- Fri., Oct. 13: Northwestern at Maryland
- Fri., Oct. 27: Michigan State at Northwestern
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.