Illini’s New 2022 Schedule Includes First Trip to Indiana Since 2013

Instead of playing a third straight game inside Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, Illinois’ 2022 schedule now includes a rare visit to Indiana.

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Football Writer/Analyst

January 12, 2022

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois’ 2022 football schedule will look a little different than previously anticipated.

One of the three crossover conference games for the Illini from Eastern Division of the Big Ten Conference has been swapped in order to avoid a third straight trip to Penn State for Bret Bielema’s program. In addition to its six conference games out of its own Western Division, Illinois will now host Michigan State and play Michigan and Indiana on the road.

The Illini’s first road trip to Bloomington to play Indiana since 2013 will be the league opener for both schools on Sept. 3, which is a change for Illinois as they were originally supposed to open Big Ten play with Bielema’s first return trip to Wisconsin since taking over the Illini program. The Illinois-Wisconsin game in Madison is now slated for Oct. 1. Indiana is coming off a highly disappointing 2021 campaign that began with the Hoosiers ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll but saw them finish 2-10 overall and winless in league play.

The league office released its revised conference slate on Wednesday morning on Big Ten Network in order to account for consistent repeat East-West matchups due to the 2020 championship weekend games that were put together as part of the nine-game conference-only slate during the pandemic season.

If changes were not made, Illinois would’ve been making a third straight trip to State College, Penn. as Illinois, which had interim head coach Rod Smith, lost 63-21 in the 2020 season finale that saw Bielema on the Illini sidelines as a guest on the first day his hiring was announced. The Illini pulled off a 20-18 upset over the then-No. 7 Penn State in Happy Valley this past season in a dramatic nine overtime contest.

The revised schedule doesn’t change the amount of home games for the Illini program as they’ll host seven home game inside Champaign’s Memorial Stadium including all three non-conference contests. Year two of the Bielema era begins with a Week Zero matchup on Aug. 27 against Wyoming, which finished last season at 7-6 including a 52-38 win over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise. The first road trip for Virginia in the initial season of new head coach Tony Elliot will be in Champaign when they play the return game of the home-and-home contract on Sept. 10. Illinois will host FCS Chattanooga on Sept. 24. The Illini’s Big Ten home games in 2022 will be Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Iowa.

 

Illinois Original 2022 Schedule

Aug. 27 - vs. Wyoming

Sept. 3 - at Wisconsin

Sept. 10 - vs. Virginia

Sept. 17 - Open

Sept. 24 - vs. Chattanooga

Oct. 1 - vs. Michigan State

Oct. 8 - vs. Minnesota

Oct. 15 - at Penn State

Oct. 22 - Open

Oct. 29 - at Michigan

Nov. 5 - vs. Purdue

Nov. 12 - vs. Iowa

Nov. 19 - at Nebraska

Nov. 26 - at Northwestern

 

Illinois’ Revised 2022 Schedule

Aug. 27 - vs. Wyoming

Sept. 3 - at Indiana

Sept. 10 - vs. Virginia

Sept. 17 - Open

Sept. 24 - vs. Chattanooga

Oct. 1 - at Wisconsin

Oct. 8 - vs. Iowa

Oct. 15 - vs. Minnesota

Oct. 22 - Open

Oct. 29 - at Nebraska

Nov. 5 - vs. Michigan State

Nov. 12 - vs. Purdue

Nov. 19 - at Michigan

Nov. 26 - at Northwestern

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