The Big Ten announced Sunday that Penn State (3-5) will play its “championship weekend” game Saturday against Illinois (2-5) at Beaver Stadium.
Kickoff will be at 5:30 p.m. for the contest, which will be televised by FS1.
When the Big Ten announced Sept. 16 that fall football would return, it allowed for eight scheduled games in eight weeks, with a ninth game set up for all teams on Dec. 19, the date of the conference championship game.
The original plan was to have each of the seven teams in the East Division play the West Division team in the corresponding position in the standings. But the league decided to go with two intra-division matchups that had been postponed for COVID-related reasons – Minnesota at Wisconsin and Michigan State at Maryland.
Ohio State and Northwestern lead off the day at noon in the Big Ten championship game.
Penn State, Rutgers, and Iowa were the only teams to play each of the eight scheduled games.
After the Nittany Lions’ 39-24 win over Michigan State on Saturday, coach James Franklin expressed frustration over the Big Ten’s delay in announcing Week 9 plans.
“It’s going to affect our Sunday preparation because we usually would be breaking people down [Saturday night] so that we can be prepared for our Sunday practice,” he said. “But obviously we don’t know what Sunday holds yet. We’re waiting to hear about that, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
The Fighting Illini will be led by an interim head coach following the firing Sunday of Lovie Smith. Smith went 17-39 overall, and 10-33 in the Big Ten, during his five-year tenure.