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Illinois, Northwestern reveal 2021 football schedules

The teams face each other in the annual rivalry game on Nov. 27 in Champaign. 

Illinois and Northwestern will face off for the Land of Lincoln trophy on Nov. 27 in Champaign.
Illinois and Northwestern will face off for the Land of Lincoln trophy on Nov. 27 in Champaign.
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Illinois hopes to start its 2021 football season in Ireland as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Northwestern will remain at home for its first game.

The Big Ten released schedules for the upcoming season on Friday, with the Illini facing Nebraska in Dublin on Aug. 28. The Wildcats open against Michigan State on Sept. 4 at Ryan Field.

The teams face each other for the Land of Lincoln trophy in their annual rivalry game on Nov. 27 in Champaign.

Northwestern’s home football game against Purdue on Nov. 20 will be played at Wrigley Field, according to ESPN. The Wildcats were scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field last season before the schedules changed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Six Big Ten football games will be played at different sites than originally planned and dates for many matchups have been changed on the revised 2021 conference schedule.

The Big Ten shortened its 2020 season to eight games because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and six games were played at the same location as the previous year. The changes to the 2021 schedule avoid having the same home team three years in a row for those games.

The games with new locations: Michigan State at Indiana on Oct. 16; Wisconsin at Purdue on Oct. 23; Michigan at Michigan State on Oct 30; Purdue at Nebraska on Oct. 30; Indiana at Michigan on Nov. 6; and Nebraska at Wisconsin on Nov. 20.

Two rivalry games were moved back to their traditional spots at the end of the regular season. Iowa plays at Nebraska on Nov. 26 and Wisconsin visits Minnesota on Nov. 27.

Each team’s nine conference opponents remain the same from the original schedule.