Big Ten football is back after virus delayed start of season

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MADISON, Wis. (NewsNation Now) — Big Ten Conference football returns Friday night as Illinois plays Wisconsin after a pandemic-delayed start to the season.

The season was originally postponed in August. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren had released an open letter later that month saying fall sports, including football, would not be coming back this fall. Officials confirmed the season was back in September.

In total, seven games will be held this weekend including all 14 Big Ten teams. Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day said the delay could lead to some questions about his team.

“I feel like it’s been so long since we played a game,” said Day. “Sometimes you don’t know, just trying to figure out what kind of team you have.” 

There is one game that features two top 25 teams as Minnesota hosts Michigan Saturday night. 

“Obviously, it’s a different year, going right into Big Ten play. There’s an excitement that we’re going right into playing an extremely talented well-coached football team in Michigan,” Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan said. “Again, there was uncertainty if we were even going to be able to play. We were all at home for months. We weren’t even able to be around each other. So to start the year off, to be able to play football, is something that we’ve very grateful for.” 

In addition to Friday night’s game, the contests on Saturday are: the Ohio State vs. Nebraska; Rutgers is going to Michigan State; Penn State playing Indiana; Iowa against Purdue; Michigan vs. Minnesota; Maryland against Northwestern.  

Each team will only play eight games in 2020 and the opponents are all from the Big Ten Conference.  

The Pac-12 announced the resumption of its football, basketball and winter sports seasons in September.

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