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Illinois announces 8 p.m. kickoff for 2015 Friday night season opener vs. Kent State

Spring practices begin, Illini are 174 days away from their home opener at Memorial Stadium.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Illinois Senior Associate Athletic Director Mike Waddell announced on Twitter, Illinois will kickoff their 2015 season under the lights against Kent State at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4.

It will be the first non-Saturday home game at Memorial Stadium since Nov. 22, 2001, when the Illini defeated in-state rival Northwestern on Thanksgiving Day to clinch the 2001 Big Ten championship. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Illinois did not play a home game at night last season in Champaign, with six of its seven home games starting at 11 a.m. The lone one that didn't start before noon ended in the evening, with Illinois defeating Texas State 42-35 in a 3 p.m. kickoff time that was marred by a near two-hour rain delay.

The Illinois high school football season will be in its second week when Illinois hosts the Golden Flashes.

Illinois spring practices begin today with the first of 15 workouts. The annual Illinois football Orange and Blue Spring Game will take place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 18 at 5 p.m. live on BTN.

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