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Illinois’ game against Maryland moved to Friday night

It’s a wonky schedule this year overall.

The Big Ten announced on Tuesday that Illinois’ September game against Maryland will be played on a Friday night.

The game is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17.

In a statement, head coach Bret Bielema said: “We are very excited to be in a national prime time spot for our Maryland game. It is another opportunity to showcase our team, university, campus, and the best fans in college football.”

The front half of this year’s schedule will be unlike what we’re all used to as of late. This year’s season opener is in Champaign against Nebraska on Aug. 28 — that was supposed to be the Ireland game before it was shifted back stateside. That’s followed by a pair of non-conference games (UTSA, at Virginia), before two conference games, with the front six capped against Charlotte on Oct. 2.

Maryland’s trip to Memorial Stadium will be its first in program history.

The conference said it will announce game times and TV stations for the first three weeks of the season in the coming days.