Illinois will still kick off its 2021 football season in Dublin as the Big Ten schedules release features few changes

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune
·1 min read

CHICAGO — Illinois will still be headed overseas to kickoff its 2021 season.

The Illini’s season opener against Nebraska on Aug. 28 is planned to proceed as scheduled in Dublin, Ireland, according to Big Ten schedules released Friday. COVID-19 protocols had altered many college sports teams’ plans last season and stirred speculation that international travel in 2021 might be altered.

The game will be new coach Bret Bielema’s debut with the Illini.

Other minor changes to the Illini schedule include an off week moving from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16 and the game against Wisconsin being bumped to Oct. 9 from Oct. 23.

Illinois’ game at Penn State will take the Oct. 23 slot instead of previously scheduled Oct. 16.

Northwestern, which is coming off a Big Ten West Division championship and bowl victory, will play its home game against Purdue on Nov. 20 at Wrigley Field, according to ESPN.com. The Big Ten release did not mention this game as changing venues.

The Wildcats were expected to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field last season but that game was played at Ryan Field because of COVID-19 rules and games being played without fans.

Northwestern and Illinois played at Wrigley Field in 2010. It was the first college football game played at the ballpark since 1938.