Crowd surfing: A closer look at the FBS stadiums

Crowd surfing: A closer look at the FBS stadiums

If you’re a college football fan in Champaign-Urbana, Memorial Stadium is a must-see destination this fall. But what if you want to catch a game in Provo, Utah? Or Lubbock, Texas? How about Piscataway, N.J.? Before the season starts this week, college football writers Bob Asmussen and Matt Daniels take a closer look at each of the 128 FBS stadiums:

American Athletic
Central Florida Knights
Home: Bright House Networks Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 45,323
Avg. 2013 attendance: 42,084
First game: Sept. 15, 2007. Texas beat Central Florida 35-32.
Largest crowd: 48,453 against Miami (Fla.) on Oct. 17, 2009. The Hurricanes beat the Knights 27-7.
Did you know? It’s known as the Bounce House. The aluminum seats and floor beneath the seats are bouncy. When “Zombie Nation” is played before the game, with the crowd jumping, it makes the press box rock back and forth.  
Illinois connection: Current Illinois special teams coordinator Tim Salem coached in 33 games there from 2004 to ’11 as an offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator with the Knights. 

Connecticut Huskies
Home: Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 40,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 30,932
First game: Aug. 30, 2003. Connecticut beat Indiana 34-10.
Largest crowd: 42,704 against Michigan on Sept. 21, 2013. The Wolverines beat the Huskies 24-21.
Did you know? A little more than a month after opening, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band rocked out in front of more than 60,000 fans during a two-night gig in mid-September 2003.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois quarterback Chandler Whitmer is 5-3 in eight career games at Rentschler entering his senior season this fall.  

East Carolina Pirates
Home: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Greenville, N.C.)
Playing surface: Tifway 419 Bermuda grass
Capacity: 50,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 43,985
First game: Sept. 21, 1963. East Carolina beat Wake Forest, which had Brian Piccolo, 20-10.  
Largest crowd: 50,610 against North Carolina on Oct. 1, 2011. The Tar Heels won 35-20.
Did you know? Was called Ficklen Stadium until 1994 when Ron and Mary Ellen Dowdy donated $1 million toward expansion of the stadium. The venue was the site of Marshall’s last game on Nov. 14, 1970 before the tragic plane crash crippled the Thundering Herd program.
Illinois connection: Illini have never played at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium but are 4-0 against the Pirates, including a 30-0 triumph in the 1994 Liberty Bowl.

Memphis Tigers
Home: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis, Tenn.)
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 59,308
Avg. 2013 attendance: 28,537
First game: Sept. 18, 1965. Mississippi beat Memphis 34-14.
Largest crowd: 65,885 against Tennessee on Nov. 9, 1996. The Tigers upset the sixth-ranked Volunteers 21-17.
Did you know? The venue that is a memorial to World War I, World War II and Korean War veterans has hosted The Rolling Stones twice (1975 and 1994).
Illinois connection: Illinois is 1-1 at the stadium, losing 21-15 to Alabama in the 1982 Liberty Bowl that was Bear Bryant’s last game before prevailing 30-0 against East Carolina in the 1994 Liberty Bowl. Tony Eason’s 423 passing yards against the Crimson Tide are still a Liberty Bowl game record.

SMU Mustangs
Home: Gerald J. Ford Stadium (Dallas)
Playing surface: Mondo Turf
Capacity: 32,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,725
First game: Sept. 2, 2000. SMU beat Kansas 31-17.
Largest crowd: 36,742 against Army on Dec. 30, 2010. The Mustangs lost 16-14 to the Black Knights during the Armed Forces Bowl.
Did you know? Gerald J. Ford Stadium is named for an SMU alum and benefactor, not the former president.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Schultz was TCU’s offensive coordinator during the Horned Frogs’ first five games against the Mustangs at Ford Stadium, compiling a 4-1 record in such games from 2000 until 2008.

South Florida Bulls
Home: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 65,890
Avg. 2013 attendance: 34,702
First game: South Florida beat Citadel 45-6 on Oct. 3, 1998.
Largest crowd: 69,383 against Florida State on Sept. 29, 2012. The Seminoles beat the Bulls 30-17.
Did you know? Raymond James Stadium has hosted the Outback Bowl every year since 1999, and the Big Ten teams have sported a 6-10 record in those games.
Illinois connection: Illinois will play its first game in the newest home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in its first road game of the 2017 season on Sept. 9 when the Illini face South Florida. Illinois played at the Buccaneers’ old stadium, Tampa Stadium, when it lost 30-0 to Clemson in the 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl.

Temple Owls
Home: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 68,532
Avg. 2013 attendance: 22,473
First game: Sept. 6, 2003. Villanova beat Temple 23-20 in double overtime.
Largest crowd: 69,029 against Penn State on Nov. 10, 2007. The Nittany Lions won 31-0.
Did you know? Temple has a live mascot, Stella the Owl, which is on the sidelines for all home games. The Philadelphia Eagles, due to a state ordinance, are not permitted to have a live eagle as a mascot within their own stadium.
Illinois connection: Illinois has never played a game in at Lincoln Financial Field, but former Illini wide receiver Greg Lewis — about to start his first season as Pittsburgh’s wide receivers coach — recorded 67 of his 152 career receptions in the NFL and 972 of his career 1,992 yards during six seasons playing at the stadium with the Eagles from 2003-08.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Home: H.A. Chapman Stadium (Tulsa, Okla.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,000
Avg. attendance last fall: 19,893
First game: Oct. 4, 1930. Tulsa beat Arkansas 26-6.
Largest crowd: 47,350 against Oklahoma on Sept. 26, 1987. The Sooners thumped Tulsa 65-0.
Did you know? Evangelist Rev. Billy Graham held a one-night rally on June 18, 1956, at the stadium and set what was to that date a stadium record crowd of 28,000.
Illinois connection: Perry Moss quarterbacked the 1946 and 1947 teams at Illinois after transferring from Tulsa. Moss guided the Illini to their first bowl game appearance in the 1947 Rose Bowl, a game the Illini easily won 45-14 against UCLA. Moss was an honorable mention All-Big Ten in 1946 before the Green Bay Packers drafted him in 1948.  

ACC
Boston College Eagles
Home: Alumni Stadium (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)  
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 44,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 33,006
First game: Sept. 26, 1957. Navy beat Boston College 46-6.  
Largest crowd: 44,500. Since Boston College expanded to current capacity in 1995, Eagles have hit that mark 27 times, most recently against Notre Dame on Nov. 10, 2012.
Did you know? The inaugural game against Navy was arranged by then-U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy, a Boston resident and World War II naval hero.
Illinois connection: Current Illinois tight end Matt LaCosse was high school teammates with current Boston College defensive lineman Nick Lifka at Naperville North High School.  

Clemson Tigers
Home: Memorial Stadium (Clemson, S.C.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 81,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 82,048
First game: Sept. 19, 1942. Clemson beat Presbyterian 32-13.
Largest crowd: 86,092 against Florida State on Oct. 23, 1999. The Seminoles beat the Tigers 17-14 in the first meeting between Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and his son, Tommy Bowden, who was Clemson’s coach.
Did you know? The stadium is nicknamed Death Valley, and it was given that name by former Presbyterian head Coach Lonnie McMillan. He annually brought his teams to Clemson for the season opener and got killed (on the scoreboard) by the Tigers.
Illinois connection: Illinois has never played there, but former Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning arrived to Illinois after four seasons as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.

Duke Blue Devils
Home: Wallace Wade Stadium (Durham, N.C.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 33,941
Avg. 2013 attendance: 26,062
First game: Oct. 5, 1929. Pittsburgh beat Duke 52-7.
Largest crowd: 57,000 against North Carolina on Nov. 19, 1949. The Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils 21-20.
Did you know? Known as Duke Stadium until it was renamed Wallace Wade Stadium in 1967, this venue hosted the only Rose Bowl outside of Pasadena, Calif. Oregon State beat Duke 20-16 on Jan. 1, 1942, less than a month after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Illinois connection: Illinois is 0-1 in its program’s history in Durham. The Illini lost 15-13 to the Blue Devils on Oct. 4, 1958 as Ray Eliot’s second-to-last team at Illinois started the season 0-2.

Florida State Seminoles
Home: Doak Campbell Stadium (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 82,300
Avg. 2013 attendance: 75,421
First game: Oct. 7, 1950. Florida State beat Randolph-Macon 40-7.
Largest crowd: 84,409 against Miami on Nov. 2, 2013. The Seminoles beat the Hurricanes 41-14.
Did you know? Doak Campbell Stadium is the largest continuous brick structure in the United States.
Illinois connection: Still waiting for Illinois to play there, but Illinois true freshman linebacker Tre Watson can hear stories about the venue from former high school teammate Corey Martinez. The two played together last fall at Tampa Catholic High School.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Home: Bobby Dodd Stadium (Atlanta)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 55,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 49,077
First game: Sept. 27, 1913. Georgia Tech beat Ft. McPherson 19-0.
Largest crowd: 60,316 against Georgia on Dec. 1, 1973. The Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets 10-3.
Did you know? Built in 1913, Bobby Dodd Stadium is the oldest FBS stadium in the nation. The original brick grandstands remain under the current stadium seating bowl.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman initially hired Jon Tenuta to run the Illini’s defense for the 2012 season. Tenuta, who was Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator from 2002 until 2007, accepted the Illini gig, only to go back on the offer two days later and stick at North Carolina State.

Louisville Cardinals
Home: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (Louisville, Ky.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 55,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 52,914
First game: Sept. 5, 1998. Kentucky beat the Cardinals 68-34.
Largest crowd: 55,386 against Kentucky on Sept. 2, 2012. The Cardinals beat the Wildcats 32-14.
Did you know? The stadium — the only venue with all-chairback seats in the country — gets the first part of its name from John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John’s pizza franchises. He donated $10 million to the university to help with expansion of the stadium.
Illinois connection: Illinois is unbeaten in its only trip to the stadium, beating the Cardinals 41-36 on Sept. 18, 1999, en route to a 3-0 start in Ron Turner’s third season.

Miami Hurricanes
Home: Sun Life Stadium (Miami)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 74,916
Avg. 2013 attendance: 53,837
First game: Aug. 28, 2008. Miami beat Charleston Southern 52-7.
Largest crowd: 76,968 against Florida on Sept. 7, 2013. The Hurricanes beat the Gators 21-16.
Did you know? The venue is familiar to college football bowl games, hosting its first one in 1990 (Blockbuster Bowl) and will host its 15th Orange Bowl game on Dec. 31.
Illinois connection: Illinois ended its 1999 season with a memorable 63-21 triumph against Virginia at the Micronpc.com Bowl played at this venue, which was then called Pro Player Stadium.

North Carolina Tar Heels
Home: Kenan Stadium (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 63,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 51,500
First game: Nov. 12, 1927. North Carolina beat Davidson 27-0.
Largest crowd: 62,000 against Florida State on Nov. 8, 1997, and against North Carolina State on Oct. 27, 2012.  
Did you know? North Carolina alum Andy Griffith’s famous bit titled, ‘What it was, was football,’ was about a boy going to a game at Kenan Stadium.
Illinois connection: Illinois visits Chapel Hill next season on Sept. 19 for its first game there since losing Mike White’s final season opener with the Illini 34-14 on Sept. 5, 1987.

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Home: Carter-Finley Stadium (Raleigh, N.C.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 57,583
Avg. 2013 attendance: 53,178
First game: Oct. 8, 1966. South Carolina beat the Wolfpack 31-21.
Largest crowd: 58,650 against East Carolina on Sept. 6, 1986. The Wolfpack beat the Pirates 38-10.
Did you know? In 1999, North Carolina State allowed East Carolina to play Miami in the stadium after Hurricane Floyd had gone through Greenville, N.C.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois commit, Josh Jones, a Class of 2013 signee, is expected to contribute this season at safety for the Wolfpack.

Pittsburgh Panthers
Home: Heinz Field (Pittsburgh)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 65,050  
Avg. 2013 attendance: 49,741
First game: Sept. 1, 2001. Pittsburgh beat East Tennessee State 31-0.
Largest crowd: 66,731 against West Virginia on Nov. 30, 2002. The Mountainners beat the Panthers 24-17.
Did you know? The first official touchdown in the stadium the Pittsburgh Steelers call home, too, came on an 85-yard run by Pittsburgh quarterback David Priestley against East Tennessee State. The rush was the longest by a quarterback in school history.
Illinois connection: The Illini have never played at Heinz Field, but former Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall made his NFL debut at the stadium, returning two kickoffs for 46 yards against the Houston Texans on Sept. 7, 2008.

Syracuse Orange
Home: Carrier Dome (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 49,262
Avg. 2013 attendance: 38,277
First game: Sept. 20, 1980. Syracuse beat Miami (Ohio) 36-24.
Largest crowd: 50,564 against Miami (Ohio) in first-ever game at the Carrier Dome.
Did you know? The venue is the largest structure of its kind on a college campus. More than 80 companies contribute to transforming 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and 880 tons of steel into the fifth-largest domed stadium in the country.
Illinois connection: Illinois is 2-0 at the stadium, beating the Orange 47-10 on Sept. 18, 1982 and then 41-20 on Sept. 15, 2007, and current second-year Syracuse coach Scott Shafer was an Illinois assistant on Run Turner’s final staff in 2004.

Virginia Cavaliers
Home: Scott Stadium (Charlottesville, Va.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 61,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 46,279
First game: Oct. 15, 1931. Virginia lost 18-3 to VMI.
Largest crowd: 64,947 against Southern Cal on Aug. 30, 2008. The Trojans routed the Cavaliers 52-7.
Did you know? Scott Stadium hosted the NCAA men’s lacrosse championships in 1977 and 1982.
Illinois connection: Illinois has yet to play a game in Charlottesville, but has one slated. Well into the future. Illinois will play at Virginia on Sept. 11, 2021.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Home: Lane Stadium (Blackbsurg, Va.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 65,632
Avg. 2013 attendance: 63,999
First game: Oct. 2, 1965. Virginia Tech beat William & Mary 9-7.  
Largest crowd: 66,233. The Hokies have reached that mark 40 times, most recently against North Carolina on Nov. 17, 2011.
Did you know? Lane Stadium is the second-highest stadium east of the Mississippi River among the power five conferences, sitting 2,057 feet above sea level.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois wide receiver Aaron Moorehead is starting his second season on Frank Beamer’s staff as the Hokies’ wide receivers coach.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Home: BB&T Field (Winston-Salem, N.C.)  
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 31,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 28,414
First game: Sept. 14, 1968. North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 10-6.   
Largest crowd: 37,623 against North Carolina on Nov. 13, 2004. The Demon Deacons lost 31-24.  
Did you know? BB&T Field has the smallest capacity of any stadium among any of the schools in the power five conferences.   
Illinois connection: Before he became the coach at Illinois in 1988, John Mackovic’s only other head coaching job was at Wake Forest. He went 8-8 in his three seasons at BB&T Field from 1978 until 1980.

Big Ten
Illinois Fighting Illini
Home: Memorial Stadium (Champaign)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 60,670
Avg. 2013 attendance: 43,787
First game: Nov. 3, 1923. Illinois shut out Chicago for a 7-0 win.
Largest crowd: 78,297 against Missouri on Sept. 8, 1984. The Illini edged the Tigers 30-24.
Did you know? Bob Zuppke, the all-time winningest coach in program history with a record of 131-83-13 from 1913 until 1941, is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery along Fourth Street in Champaign. His resting place is in sight of Memorial Stadium and even with the 50-yard line of the field that bears his name.

Indiana Hoosiers
Home: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, Ind.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 52,929
Avg. 2013 attendance: 44,353
First game: Oct. 8, 1960. Oregon State beat Indiana 20-6.
Largest crowd: 56,223 against Purdue on Nov. 12, 1969. The Boilermakers beat the Hoosiers 44-21.
Did you know? Indiana honors two assistant football coaches who died while coaching the Hoosiers. Howard Brown has a statue in his honor and Pete Schmidt has a limestone bench in his memory at the stadium.
Illinois connection: Illinois didn’t play its first game there until 1966, and owns a 10-11 mark at the stadium it won’t visit again until, at the earliest, the 2020 season.  

Iowa Hawkeyes
Home: Kinnick Stadium (Iowa City, Iowa)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 70,585
Avg. 2013 attendance: 67,125
First game: Oct. 5, 1929. Iowa defeated Monmouth College 46-0.
Largest crowd: 70,585. The milestone has been met 50 times since the stadium was expanded to its current capacity in 1990, most recently against Purdue on Nov. 10, 2012.   
Did you know? The original cost for building the stadium came in at $497,151.42 and construction took just six months. The venue holds 20 miles of bleachers and sports 79 rows high on both the east and west sides.
Illinois connection: Two weeks after it opened, Illinois played the Hawkeyes there on Oct. 19, 1929, tying Iowa 7-7 in the stadium’s dedication game. Ten days later, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.

Maryland Terrapins
Home: Byrd Stadium (College Park, Md.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 51,802
Avg. 2013 attendance: 41,278
First game: Sept. 30, 1950. Maryland beat Navy 35-21.
Largest crowd: 58,973 against Penn State on Nov. 1, 1975. The Nittany Lions beat the Terrapins 15-13.
Did you know? Queen Elizabeth attended her first American football game at Byrd Stadium and saw Maryland beat North Carolina 21-7 on Oct. 19, 1957.  
Illinois connection: Illinois plays its first-ever game there Oct. 27, 2018, new offensive line coach Tom Brattan has spent the past 13 seasons coaching there and former Illini offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is about to begin his third season with Maryland.

Michigan Wolverines
Home: Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 109,901
Avg. 2013 attendance: 111,592
First game: Oct. 1, 1927. Michigan beat Ohio Wesleyan 33-0.
Largest crowd: 115,109 against Notre Dame on Sept. 15, 2013. The Wolverines beat the Fighting Irish 41-30 in a game that broke the all-time attendance mark for a college or NFL game.
Did you know? Michigan Stadium holds all 25 spots on the NCAA single-game regular-season crowds list, and has had 251 consecutive home games played in front of at least 100,000 fans.
Illinois connection: Until Jim Klein caught a touchdown pass from Johnny Johnson in the final minute to give Illinois a 24-21 victory at the Big House in 1993, Illinois hadn’t won there since 1966.

Michigan State Spartans
Home: Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Mich.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 75,005
Avg. 2013 attendance: 72,328
First game: Oct. 6, 1923. Michigan State beat Lake Forest 21-6.
Largest crowd: 80,401 against Notre Dame on Sept. 22, 1990. The Fighting Irish beat the Spartans 20-19.
Did you know? Michigan State football isn’t the only sport to have played at Spartan Stadium. Michigan State’s hockey team tied Michigan 3-3 on Oct. 6, 2001 before a crowd of 74,554.
Illinois connection: Ron Zook earned his first Big Ten win with Illinois at the venue as the Illini pulled off a surprising 23-20 win on Sept. 30, 2006. Illinois last played there in 2010 and won’t play there again until Nov. 9, 2019.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Home: TCF Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 50,805
Avg. 2013 attendance: 47,797
First game: Sept. 12, 2009. Minnesota beat Air Force 20-13.
Largest crowd: 53,090 against Wisconsin on Nov. 23, 2013. The Badgers beat the Golden Gophers 20-7.  
Did you know? TCF Bank Stadium became the first college or professional football facility in the country to receive an LEED Silver certification, recognizing the stadium for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Illinois connection: Ron Zook probably doesn’t have fond memories of this place. The Illini lost 27-7 to the Golden Gophers on Nov. 26, 2011 in Illinois’ second trip to the venue. It was the last game Zook coached at Illinois.

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Home: Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 87,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 90,933
First game: Oct. 13, 1923. Nebraska beat Oklahoma 24-0.
Largest crowd: 91,471 against UCLA on Sept. 14, 2013. The Bruins beat the Cornhuskers 41-21.
Did you know? A sea of red has descended upon Lincoln on Saturdays in the fall. For some time. Nebraska has sold out 333 straight games heading into the 2014 season, an NCAA record. The streak dates back to the 1962 season.
Illinois connection: Illinois won in its first-ever trip to Memorial Stadium, defeating Nebraska 9-6 on Oct. 4, 1924 in the Illini’s season opener. Since then, however, Illinois is 0-2 at Memorial Stadium leading up to its Sept. 27 game at Nebraska this season.
 
Northwestern Wildcats
Home: Ryan Field (Evanston)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 47,330
Avg. 2013 attendance: 39,307  
First game: Oct. 2, 1926. Northwestern beat South Dakota 34-0.
Largest crowd: 55,752 against Notre Dame on Oct. 27, 1962. The Wildcats beat the Fighting Irish 35-6.
Did you know? When the stadium opened, it was called Dyche Stadium in honor of William A. Dyche, a former vice president and business manager at Northwestern.
Illinois connection: Illinois ends the 2014 season at Ryan Field. Which might not mean good news for Tim Beckman. Of the 11 coaches Illinois has had, not counting Beckman, since Ryan Field opened, five have coached their last game for Illinois at the venue (Bob Zuppke, Pete Elliott, Gary Moeller, Mike White and Ron Turner).

Ohio State Buckeyes
Home: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)  
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 104,944
Avg. 2013 attendance: 104,933
First game: Oct. 7, 1922. Ohio State beat Ohio Wesleyan 5-0.
Largest crowd: 106,102 against Nebraska on Oct. 6, 2012. The Buckeyes beat the Cornhuskers 63-38.
Did you know? A little more than 2,600 seats, along with permanent lights for the first time, have been added for the upcoming season. The capacity is listed at 104,944, but actual crowds will be closer to 108,000.
Illinois connection: The Illini’s win against No. 1 Ohio State on Nov. 3, 2007 was only the third such win in program history against a top-ranked opponent, and first one to happen in a road game.

Penn State Nittany Lions
Home: Beaver Stadium (University Park, Pa.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 106,572
Avg. 2013 attendance: 96,587
First game: Sept. 17, 1960. Penn State beat Boston 20-0.  
Largest crowd: 110,753 against Nebraska on Sept. 14, 2002. The Nittany Lions beat the Cornhuskers 40-7.
Did you know? Penn State has played games at a venue called Beaver Stadium, neamed after James A. Beaver, a former Pennsylvania governor, since 1893. The most recent Beaver Stadium is the third such Beaver Stadium in Penn State’s history.
Illinois connection: Illinois owns one win in nine trips to Beaver Stadium, a 33-13 triumph in 2010, and was the opponent in the final game Joe Paterno coached, a 10-7 Illinois loss on Oct. 29, 2011, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal rocked the school.

Purdue Boilermakers
Home: Ross-Ade Stadium (West Lafayette, Ind.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 62,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 48,953
First game: Nov. 22, 1924. Purdue beat Indiana 26-7.
Largest crowd: 71,629 against Indiana on Nov. 22, 1980. The Boilermakers knocked off the Hoosiers 24-23.
Did you know? Purdue staffers William H. Daniel and Melvin Robey developed the prescription athletic turf (PAT) drainage system in the early 1970s. It was installed at Ross-Ade in the spring of 1975. The system is a network of pipes connected to pumps that extract water from the grass and can help keep the field playable and virtually divot-proof, even during a storm dumping 1 inch of rain or more per hour.
Illinois connection: The 20-16 victory the Illini had last season at Ross-Ade Stadium not only gave Tim Beckman his first Big Ten win at Illinois, but ended a four-game losing streak by the Illini to the Boilermakers at the venue, the longest such skid Illinois has had at the stadium in series history.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Home: High Point Solutions Stadium (Piscataway, N.J.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 52,454
Avg. 2013 attendance: 46,549
First game: Sept. 3, 1994. Rutgers beat Kent State 28-6.
Largest crowd: 53,737 against Cincinnati on Sept. 7, 2009. The Bearcats walloped the Scarlet Knights 47-15.  
Did you know? The team goes through the Scarlet Walk at the venue — previously known at Rutgers Stadium until the 2011 season — which has them pass by a statue to commemorate the first game in college football history between Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869.
Illinois connection: In its only trip to this stadium, Illinois suffered a 33-0 loss to the Scarlet Knights on Sept. 9, 2006, the first shutout nonconference defeat since Illinois lost 41-0 at Arizona on Sept. 14, 1996.

Wisconsin Badgers
Home: Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, Wis.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 80,321
Avg. 2013 attendance: 78,911
First game: Oct. 6, 1917. Wisconsin beat Beloit 34-0.
Largest crowd: 83,184 against Iowa on Nov. 12, 2005. The Hawkeyes beat the Badgers 20-10.
Did you know? Named for Alexander Randall, Wisconsin’s first wartime governor, Camp Randall served as a training ground for Union soldiers during the Civil War. In all, 70,000 of the state’s 91,327 troops trained at Camp Randall at one time or another.
Illinois connection: John Mackovic didn’t make many trips to Camp Randall as Illinios’ coach. But he made them count. Mackovic went 2-0 in his two games in Madison, the only Illini coach to not lose a game in his tenure to the Badgers on their home field.

Big 12
Iowa State Cyclones
Home: Jack Trice Stadium (Ames, Iowa)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 56,800
Avg. 2013 attendance: 55,361
First game: Sept. 20, 1975. Iowa State beat Air Force 17-12.
Largest crowd: 56,800. The Cyclones have reached that mark four times, all in the last two seasons, and most recently against Oklahoma State on Oct. 26, 2013. Iowa State has lost all four of those games.
Did you know? It’s the only FBS stadium named after a black individual. Trice was the first black athlete at Iowa State, but died after sustaining injuries against Minnesota during the 1923 season in the only game of his collegiate career.
Illinois connection: The Illini have played Iowa State five times, but never outside of Champaign. Bob Asmussen, veteran college football writer for The News-Gazette, covered the Cyclones for the Ames Tribune from 1986 until 1989 before arriving at The News-Gazette.

Kansas Jayhawks
Home: Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, Kan.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 50,071
Avg. 2013 attendance: 37,884
First game: Oct. 29, 1921. Kansas beat Kansas State 21-7.
Largest crowd: 52,530 against Northern Colorado on Sept. 5, 2009. The Jayhawks beat the Bears 49-3.  
Did you know? The track that encircled the field was ripped up this summer, and new turf was added to expand the sidelines.
Illinois connection: If Memorial Stadium is still around a decade from now, the Illini are set to play their first-ever game at the venue on Sept. 9, 2023.  

Kansas State Wildcats
Home: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, Kan.)
Playing surface: AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
Capacity: 50,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 52,887
First game: Sept. 21, 1968. Kansas State beat Colorado State 21-0.
Largest crowd: 53,811 against Nebraska on Nov. 11, 2000. The Wildcats beat the Cornhuskers 29-28.  
Did you know? Bill Snyder is the only active coach in the FBS to coach at a stadium that bears his name. He is also just the fourth ever to do so, joining Bear Bryant (Alabama), LaVell Edwards (BYU) and Ralph Jordan (Auburn).
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive line coach A.J. Ricker never won in his two trips (2001, 2003) to the venue when he played against the Wildcats for Missouri.

Oklahoma Sooners
Home: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 82,112
Avg. 2013 attendance: 84,722
First game: Oct. 20, 1923. Oklahoma beat Washington University out of St. Louis 62-7.
Largest crowd: 85,709 against Texas A&M on Nov. 5, 2011. The Sooners defeated the Aggies 41-25.
Did you know? Oklahoma has had five different instances of winning streaks reaching at least 20 games at the venue since 1947.
Illinois connection: Akim Millington, who started at right tackle during the 2007 season for the Illini, transferred to Illinois after spending two seasons at Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Home: Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, Okla.)
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 60,218
Avg. 2013 attendance: 59,126
First game: Oct. 4, 1919. Oklahoma State beat Southwestern Oklahoma 37-0.
Largest crowd: 60,218 against Baylor on Nov. 23, 2013. The Cowboys routed the Bears 49-17.
Did you know? It was completely rebuilt in three phases, starting in 2003. The grand opening for the stadium in its current setup was in 2009.
Illinois connection: Wes Lunt didn’t throw an incompletion in his first game at the venue, completing all 11 of his passes during an 84-0 win against Savannah State on Sept. 1, 2012.  

Texas Longhorns
Home: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 100,119
Avg. 2013 attendance: 98,976
First game: Nov. 8, 1924. Baylor beat Texas 28-10.  
Largest crowd: 101,851 against West Virginia on Oct. 6, 2012. The Mountaineers topped the Longhorns 48-45.   
Did you know? The Texas student body elected to name the stadium in honor of the 198,520 Texans who fought in World War I, and in 1977, the stadium was rededicated to veterans of all wars.
Illinois connection: John Mackovic compiled a 41-28-2 record in six seasons as Longhorns coach after he left Illinois to take the Texas job once the 1991 regular season ended.

TCU Horned Frogs
Home: Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, Texas)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 45,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 43,598
First game: Oct. 11, 1930. TCU beat Arkansas 40-0.
Largest crowd: 50,307 against Utah on Nov. 14, 2009. The Horned Frogs beat the Utes 55-28.  
Did you know? Amon G. Carter Stadium was completely renovated in time for the 2012 season. The press box side of the stadium was imploded on Dec. 5, 2010, the same day TCU received its invitation to the 2011 Rose Bowl.
Illinois connection: TCU offensive coordinator Mike Schultz helped the Horned Frogs set single-season records for points (420) and touchdowns (54) during the 2008 season before Ron Zook hired himto fill the same role at Illinois for the 2009 season. Needless to say, the same totals didn’t happen for Schultz at Illinois, prompting Zook to fire him after one season.

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Home: Jones AT&T Stadium (Lubbock, Texas)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 60,862
Avg. 2013 attendance: 57,933
First game: Nov. 29, 1947. Texas Tech beat Hardin-Simmons 14-6.
Largest crowd: 61,836 against Oklahoma State on Nov. 2, 2013. The Cowboys beat the Red Raiders 52-34.
Did you know? The stadium has added 29 luxury suites and 544 club seats in the last decade due to renovations.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman’s Oklahoma State defense was picked apart by Graham Harrell as the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma State 56-20 on Nov. 8, 2008, in Beckman’s only game at the stadium.  

West Virginia Mountaineers
Home: Milan Puskar Stadium (Morgantown, W. Va.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 60,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 52,910
First game: Sept. 6, 1980. West Virginia beat Cincinnati 41-27
Largest crowd: 70,222 against Miami on Nov. 20, 1993. The Mountaineers edged the Hurricanes 17-14.
Did you know? John Denver sang “Country Roads,” at the first game. It’s become a tradition to play the song at the stadium after wins.  
Illinois connection: Former Illinois assistants Paul Petrino and Jeff Brohm were on the staff at Louisville when the Cardinals lost a thrilling 46-44 game in triple overtime against the Mountaineers on Oct. 15, 2005.

Conference USA
Alabama-Birmingham Blazers
Home: Legion Field (Birmingham, Ala.)
Playing surface: SureTurf
Capacity: 71,594
Avg. 2013 attendance: 10,548
First game: Sept. 14, 1991. Evangel beat UAB 28-10.
Largest crowd: 44,669 against Southern Mississippi on Sept. 4, 2003. The Golden Eagles beat the Blazers 17-12.
Did you know? After spending two seasons playing Division III and three seasons as a I-AA member, the Blazers won their first-ever game as an FBS member by beating Arkansas State 42-17 on Sept. 14, 1996 at Legion Field.
Illinois connection: John Mackovic’s first season with the Illini ended here with a 14-10 loss to Florida in the 1988 All-American Bowl game.

Florida Atlantic Owls
Home: FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 29,419
Avg. 2013 attendance: 14,552
First game: Oct. 15, 2011. Western Kentucky beat Florida Atlantic 20-0.
Largest crowd: 29,103 against Western Kentucky in first-ever game.
Did you know? From the top three floors of the stadium suites at the venue — which is slated to host the first-ever Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 23 — one can see the Atlantic Ocean in the background.
Illinois connection: First-year coach Charlie Partridge is familiar with Illinois. In five seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin from 2008 until 2012, he went 3-0 against the Illini.

Florida International Panthers
Home: FIU Stadium (Miami)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 20,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,453
First game: Aug. 29, 2002. Florida International beat St. Peter’s 27-3.
Largest crowd: 22,682 against Duke on Oct. 1, 2011. The Blue Devils beat the Panthers 31-27.
Did you know?  The stadium wasn’t completely enclosed until the start of the 2012 season.
Illinois connection: Ron Turner coached his first game in the venue last season. The Panthers lost 38-0 to Central Florida on Sept. 6, 2013.  

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Home: Joe Aillet Stadium (Ruston, La.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,600
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,666
First game: Sept. 28, 1968. Louisiana Tech beat East Carolina 35-7.
Largest crowd: 28,714 against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 13, 1997. The Bulldogs beat the Warhawks 17-16.  
Did you know? Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw the first touchdown pass in the stadium’s history.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois defensive end Houston Bates will play his final season this fall at the venue after he transferred to Louisiana Tech in the offseason.

Marshall Thundering Herd
Home: Joan C. Edwards Stadium (Huntington, W. Va.)
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 38,248
Avg. 2013 attendance: 25,023
First game: Sept. 7, 1991. Marshall beat New Hampshire 24-23.
Largest crowd: 41,382 against West Virginia on Sept. 10, 2012. The Mountaineers pulled out a 24-21 overtime win.  
Did you know? It is one of only two FBS stadiums named for a woman. Joan C. Edwards was a longtime Marshall benefactor, and the field is named for her late husband, James F. Edwards.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman coached for the first time there during the 1993 season when he was an assistant coach at Western Carolina.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Home: Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Playing surface: Synthetic Turf
Capacity: 30,788
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,715
First game: Oct. 14, 1933. Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville State played to a 0-0 tie.
Largest crowd: 30,502 against Georgia Tech on Sept. 10, 2011. The Yellow Jackets beat the Blue Raiders 49-21.
Did you know? Roger Staubach played one game at the venue during the 1968 season. The 1963 Heisman Trophy winner was on the Pensacola Navy team that lost 12-7 to the Blue Raiders on Sept. 21, 1968.
Illinois connection: Larry Fedora stayed longer in Murfreesboro than he did at Illinois. The current North Carolina coach, who was an assistant at Illinois for approximately two days once Ron Zook was hired before he bolted for Oklahoma State, was an assistant for three seasons with the Blue Raiders from 1999 until 2001.

North Texas Mean Green
Home: Apogee Stadium (Denton, Texas)
Playing surface: Sportexe PowerBlade Turf
Capacity: 30,850
Avg. 2013 attendance: 21,030
First game: Sept. 10, 2011. Houston beat North Texas 48-23.  
Largest crowd: 28,075 attended the first-ever game at Apogee Stadium against Houston.
Did you know? Apogee Stadium is the only stadium in the nation that is a Platinum LEED Certified.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino coached his first game as Idaho’s coach at the venue. North Texas beat Petrino’s Vandals 40-6 on Aug. 31, 2013.  

Old Dominion Monarchs
Home: S.B. Ballard Stadium (Norfolk, Va.)
Playing surface: AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
Capacity: 20,118
Avg. 2013 attendance: 20,118
First game: Sept. 5, 2009. Old Dominion beat Chowan 36-21.
Largest crowd: 20,118. Old Dominion has sold out all 35 of its home games since the program’s first season in 2009.  
Did you know? Old Dominion dropped football in 1935, and the venue was used as Old Dominion’s home stadium for field hockey and lacrosse games until the program was revived.
Illinois connection: Former Illini coach Ron Turner and his Florida International team is set to visit S.B. Ballard Stadium Nov. 8 this season. Both teams are now in Conference USA.  

Rice Owls
Home: Rice Stadium (Houston)
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 47,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,785
First game: Sept. 30, 1950. Rice beat Santa Clara 27-7.
Largest crowd: N/A
Did you know? President John F. Kennedy made his famous moon speech, where he challenged the United States to send a manned space flight to the moon, at the venue on Sept. 12, 1962.
Illinois connection: The venue hosted Super Bowl VIII, and former Illini Bill Brown played for the Minnesota Vikings in the game, which the Miami Dolphins won 24-7 on Jan. 13, 1974. It was the last game of Brown’s 14-year NFL career.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Home: M.M. Roberts Stadium (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
Playing surface: Matrix Turf
Capacity: 36,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 22,752
First game: Sept. 25, 1976. Mississippi beat Southern Mississippi 28-0.
Largest crowd: 36,232 against Alcorn State on Sept. 5, 2009. The Golden Eagles beat the Braves 52-0.   
Did you know? When the stadium was originally built in 1938, Southern Miss football players helped the contractors build the stadium. The players hauled in the concrete used to build the stadium, prompting the players to call the new stadium “The Rock.”
Illinois connection: Illinois is 0-2 all-time against the Golden Eagles, including a 23-20 loss in the first road game for the Illini during the 2002 season.

Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners
Home: Alamodome (San Antonio, Texas)  
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 65,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 29,214
First UTSA game at the Alamodome: Sept 3, 2011. Texas-San Antonio beat Northeastern State 31-3
Largest crowd: 56,743 against Northeastern State in program’s first-ever football game.
Did you know? The Alamodome has hosted five Final Four, three for men’s basketball and two for women’s basketball.
Illinois connection: True freshman offensive lineman Nick Allegretti played at the venue in January. He was part of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game that the Alamodome hosts.

Texas El-Paso Miners
Home: Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas)
Playing surface: Matrix 46
Capacity: 51,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 28,375
First game: Sept. 21, 1963. Texas El-Paso beat North Texas 34-7.  
Largest crowd: 53,415 against Texas on Sept. 6, 2008. The Longhorns defeated the Miners 42-13.
Did you know? Texas El-Paso running back Larry Durham scored on a 54-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the first game at the stadium.
Illinois connection: The Illini lost 6-3 to UCLA in the 1991 John Hancock Bowl played at the venue.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Home: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium (Bowling Green, Ky.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 22,113
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,334
First game: Sept. 21, 1968. Western Kentucky beat Butler 35-0.
Largest crowd: 23,252 against Southern Miss on Sept. 22, 2012. The Hilltoppers beat the Golden Eagles 42-17.  
Did you know? Major renovations began in 2006 and were completed by the start of the 2007 season, adding 5,000 seats to the stadium.
Illinois connection: Former Illini assistant Jeff Brohm will coach his first game as the Hilltoppers’ head coach this Friday night against Bowling Green before Western Kentucky visits Champaign on Sept. 6.

Independents
Army Black Knights
Home: Michie Stadium (West Point, N.Y.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 38,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 33,956
First game: Oct. 4, 1924. Army beat St. Louis 17-0.  
Largest crowd: 42,765 against Missouri on Oct. 2, 1971. The Black Knights beat the Tigers 22-6.  
Did you know? The visiting team locker room’ entrance is right at the 50-yard line on the visiting sidelines. There is no long run for the visiting team to make, so when players leave the locker room, they walk up a ramp and are at the 50-yard line.
Illinois connection: Former Illini coach Jim Valek coached for five seasons as an assistant at Army from 1961 until 1965 before taking the top job at Illinois prior to the 1967 season.

BYU Cougars
Home: LaVell Edwards Stadium (Provo, Utah)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 63,470
Avg. 2013 attendance: 61,225
First game: Oct. 2, 1964. New Mexico beat BYU 26-14.
Largest crowd: 66,247 against Notre Dame on Oct. 16, 1993. The Fighting Irish beat the Cougars 45-20.
Did you know? If it rains during a Cougars home game, no worries. The stadium, named after the legendary BYU coach, can drain up to 8 inches of rain in an hour.
Illinois connection: Current Illinois assistant coaches Tim Salem and Al Seamonson coached at the scenic stadium as recently as 2011 when both were with Central Florida. BYU beat the Knights 24-17 on Sept. 23, 2011.

Navy Midshipmen
Home: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Md.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 34,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 35,588
First game: Sept. 26, 1959. Navy beat William & Mary 29-2.
Largest crowd: 38,225 against Air Force on Oct. 5, 2013. The Midshipmen beat the Falcons 28-10.
Did you know? The facade of the stadium lists all 44 battles the Navy and Marine Corps have been involved in, including Midway, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Illinois connection: The Illini have never played out in Annapolis, but they do own a 13-12 win against Navy in a 1979 game played in Champaign.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Home: Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, Ind.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 80,795
Avg. 2013 attendance: 80,795
First game: Oct. 4, 1930. Notre Dame beat SMU 20-14.  
Largest crowd: 80,818, which happened during all six home games in the 2002 season.  
Did you know? Every home game since 1966 has produced a sellout except when Notre Dame played Air Force on Thanksgiving Day in 1973.
Illinois connection: Illinois is 0-5 all time at Notre Dame Stadium, but its 58-8 loss in South Bend during the 1968 season is the last time the Illini have played the Fighting Irish.

Mid-American
Akron Zips
Home: InfoCision Stadium (Akron, Ohio)  
Playing surface: ProGrass
Capacity: 30,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 17,850
First game: Sept. 12, 2009. Akron beat Morgan State 41-0.
Largest crowd: 27,881 in the venue’s first-ever game against Morgan State.
Did you know? The stadium rests on the site of dorms that were torn down in 2008 to make way for the venue.
Illinois connection: Athletic director Mike Thomas was the athletic director at Akron from 2000 until 2005

Ball State Cardinals
Home: Scheumann Stadium (Munice, Ind.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 22,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,131
First game: Sept. 16, 1967. Ball State routed Central Missouri 41-7.
Largest crowd: 23,861 against Western Michigan on Nov. 25, 2008. The Cardinals knocked off the Broncos 45-22.
Did you know? John and June Scheumann donated $4 million to help with renovations to the stadium formerly known as Ball State Stadium. The renovations were finished in time for the 2007 season, when the name change was adapted.
Illinois connection: In Tim Beckman’s last game coaching Toledo before he accepted the job at Illinois, the Rockets beat the Cardinals 45-28 in this venue on Nov. 25, 2011.

Bowling Green Falcons
Home: Doyt Perry Stadium (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 24,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,258
First game: Oct. 1, 1966. Bowling Green beat Dayton 13-0.  
Largest crowd: 33,527 against Toledo on Oct. 8, 1983. The Rockets beat the Falcons 6-3.  
Did you know? The venue is the only stadium in the Mid-American Conference to host ESPN’s “College Gameday.” The bigwigs from ESPN were there on Oct. 25, 2003, before Bowling Green beat Northern Illinois 34-18.
Illinois connection: When Bowling Green hosted Pittsburgh in its 2000 home opener, Tim Beckman, Tim Banks, Mike Ward and Al Seamonson were all assistant coaches for the Falcons. All four are now on staff together at Illinois.  

Buffalo Bulls
Home: UB Stadium (Buffalo, N.Y.)   
Playing surface: A-Turf Titan
Capacity: 29,013
Avg. 2013 attendance: 22,736
First game: Sept. 4, 1993. Maine beat Buffalo 30-27.  
Largest crowd: 29,795 against Temple on Aug. 31, 2006. The Bulls outlasted the Owls 9-3.
Did you know? UB Stadium was originially built to host the World University Games, which were held in Buffalo in 1993.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois coach Lou Tepper is about to begin his third season as Buffalo’s defensive coordiantor.

Central Michigan Chippewas
Home: Kelly/Shorts Stadium (Mount Pleasant, Mich.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,255
Avg. 2013 attendance: 13,224
First game: Nov. 4, 1972. Central Michigan beat Illinois State 28-21.
Largest crowd: 35,127 against Michigan State on Sept. 8, 2012. The Spartans didn’t take it easy on the hosts, winning 41-7.
Did you know? Central Michigan boasts a 17-3 record against rival Western Michigan at the stadium.
Illinois connection: Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks played his college football at Central Michigan from 1991 until 1994, and started his final two seasons at cornerback.

Eastern Michigan Eagles
Home: Rynearson Stadium (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,200
Avg. 2013 attendance: 4,051
First game: Sept. 27, 1969. Eastern Michigan beat Akron 10-3.  
Largest crowd: 26,188 against Central Michigan on Nov. 28, 2008. The Eagles beat the Chippewas 56-52.
Did you know? The field is comprised of 86,336 square feet of turf, and 48,340 square feet consist of gray turf. Eastern Michigan joins Boise State as the two FBS members playing on non-green surfaces.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman and Toledo became bowl-eligible during the 2010 season with a 42-7 win at Eastern Michigan, the Rockets’ sixth victory of the season.

Kent State Golden Flashes
Home: Dix Stadium (Kent, Ohio)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 25,319
Avg. 2013 attendance: 17,018
First game: Sept. 13, 1969. Kent State beat Dayton 24-14.
Largest crowd: 27,363 against Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 10, 1973. The Redhawks beat the Golden Flashes 20-10.  
Did you know? The facility served as the training camp site for the Cleveland Browns during two separate stints in the 1970s and 1980s.
Illinois connection: Illinois defensive line coach Greg Colby served as the an assistant coach with the Golden Flashes from 1998 until 2001.

Massachusetts Minutemen
Home: Gillette Stadium (Foxboro, Mass.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 68,756
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,830
First game: Oct. 23, 2010. New Hampshire beat Massachusetts 39-13.
Largest crowd: 32,848 against New Hampshire on Oct. 23, 2010, in the first-ever college game at the venue.
Did you know? Blue is present throughout the home of the New England Patriots, with approximately 6,300 pieces of blue steel forming the structure of the stadium. The steel weighs in at 16,000 tons.
Illinois connection: Former Illini Michael Buchanan, Michael Hoomanawanui and Tavon Wilson are on the Patriots’ roster heading into the 2014 season.

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks
Home: Yager Stadium (Oxford, Ohio)  
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 24,286
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,935
First game: Oct. 1, 1983. Western Michigan beat Miami (Ohio) 20-18.
Largest crowd: 30,087 against Marshall on Oct. 2, 1999. The Thundering Herd beat the Redhawks 32-14.  
Did you know? The stadium has a Cradle of Coaches Plaza outside the south end zone, honoring such coaching legends like Red Blaik, Paul Brown, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, among others, who all coached at the school.
Illinois connection: Bill Mallory compiled four straight 7-3 seasons at Miami (Ohio) from 1969 until 1972. He had two sons, Mike and Curt, who were assistants at Illinois last decade.  

Northern Illinois Huskies
Home: Huskie Stadium (DeKalb)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 23,595
Avg. 2013 attendance: 20,669
First game: Nov. 6, 1965. Northern Illinois beat Illinois State 48-6.
Largest crowd: 28,211 against Western Michigan on Oct. 18, 2003. The Huskies beat the Broncos 37-10.
Did you know? When NIU played Idaho on Sept. 20, 1969 (a 47-30 win for the Huskies) it marked the states’s first major-college football game played on artificial turf.
Illinois connection: Tommy Davis ran a kickoff back at Huskie Stadium during the 2009 and 2010 seasons en route to racking up 1,338 yards in kickoff returns at NIU, third best in school history, but didn’t return a kickoff in his sole season with Illinois in 2012 after transferring to the Illini.

Ohio Bobcats
Home: Peden Stadium (Athens, Ohio)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 24,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 20,672
First game: Oct. 5, 1929. Ohio beat West Liberty 26-0.
Largest crowd: 25,398 against New Mexico State on Sept. 8, 2012. The Bobcats beat the Aggies 51-24.  
Did you know? The stadium is named after Don Peden, Ohio’s all-time winningest coach. He compiled a 121-46-11 record from 1924 until 1946.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman and Toledo recorded their first win of the 2010 season with a 20-13 victory on the Bobcats’ home field on Sept. 11, 2010.

Toledo Rockets
Home: Glass Bowl (Toledo, Ohio)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 26,248
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,467
First game: Sept. 27, 1937. Toledo beat Bluffton 26-0.
Largest crowd: 36,852 against Navy on Oct. 27, 2001. The Rockets edged the Midshipmen 21-20.  
Did you know? The Glass Bowl was dug out by hand as a Works Progress Administration project in 1936 and 1937, with a 300-man crew using shovels and wheelbarrows to dig the bowl.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman compiled an 11-7 record in three seasons at the Glass Bowl before taking the job at Illinois.

Western Michigan Broncos
Home: Waldo Stadium (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,200
Avg. 2013 attendance: 17,347
First game: Oct. 7, 1939. Western Michigan beat Miami (Ohio) 6-0.
Largest crowd: 36,361 against Indiana State on Sept. 16, 2000. The Broncos shut out the Sycamores 56-0.
Did you know? Illinois was slated to play at Waldo Stadium to open the 2016 season, but it instead will have the Broncos visit Champaign on Sept. 17, 2016. And pay Western Michigan $1.2 million.
Illinois connection: Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit left Western Michigan with a 31-13 record at Waldo Stadium during his eight-year tenure as head coach from 2005 until 2012.

Mountain West
Air Force Falcons
Home: Falcon Stadium (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 46,692
Avg. 2013 attendance: 32,652
First game: Sept. 22, 1962. Air Force shut out Colorado State 34-0.  
Largest crowd: 56,409 against Notre Dame on Oct. 19, 2002. The Fighting Irish beat the Falcons 21-14.  
Did you know? Falcon Stadium, with an elevation of 6,621 feet above sea level, is the second-highest college football stadium in the country, only behind Wyoming.  
Illinois connection: The Illini won in their only trip out to Colorado Springs, defeating Air Force 27-19 on Sept. 22, 1979, one of only three nonconference wins Gary Moeller had as Illinois’ coach.

Boise State Broncos
Home: Bronco Field (Boise, Idaho)
Playing surface: Blue FieldTurf
Capacity: 36,387
Avg. 2013 attendance: 34,366
First game: Sept. 11, 1970. Boise State beat Chico State 49-14.
Largest crowd: 36,864 against BYU on Sept. 20, 2012. The Broncos narrowly defeated the Cougars 7-6.
Did you know? Not necessarily a little-known fact, but Bronco Stadium featured the nation’s first non-green playing surface. Boise State debuted its blue turf when it beat Humboldt State 74-0 on Sept. 13, 1986 , and the Broncos are 86-4 at the venue since 2000.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois coach Lou Tepper coached in last season’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, held at the stadium. The current Buffalo defensive coordinator, however, couldn’t get his defense to stymie San Diego State in a 49-24 loss to the Aztecs.

Colorado State Rams
Home: Hughes Stadium (Fort Collins, Colo.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf  
Capacity: 32,500
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,600
First game: Oct. 19, 1968. Air Force beat Colorado State 31-0.
Largest crowd: 39,107 against Utah on Oct. 22, 1994. The Utes beat the Rams 46-31.    
Did you know? Bob Dylan recorded part of his live album “Hard Rain,” at the stadium on May 23, 1976.
Illinois connection: Colorado State tight ends coach Art Valero coached former Illini Ken Dilger when Valero was the tight ends coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 and 2003.  

Fresno State Bulldogs
Home: Bulldog Stadium (Fresno, Calif.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 41,031
Avg. 2013 attendance: 36,917
First game: Nov. 25, 1980. Fresno State beat Montana State 21-14
Largest crowd: 42,881. The Bulldogs have hit the mark five times, most recently against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 29, 2001.
Did you know? The stadium played host the California Raisin Bowl from 1981 until 1991, and also hosted friendly soccer matches prior to the 1994 World Cup held in the United States.
Illinois connection: Illinois didn’t have a whole lot of fun during its lone visit to Bulldog Stadium. Fresno State edged the Illini 25-23 on Dec. 3 in the 2010 regular season finale.

Hawaii Warriors
Home: Aloha Stadium (Honolulu)
Playing surface: Synthetic Infilled Turf
Capacity: 50,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 30,989
First game: Sept. 13, 1975. Texas A&I beat Hawaii 43-9.
Largest crowd: 50,089 against BYU on Oct. 22, 1988. The Cougars beat the Warriors 24-23.    
Did you know? The stadium, which during a 30-year stretch could be moved into a baseball configuration, was home to the Hawaii Islanders minor league baseball team from 1976 until 1987, and served as an affiliate for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox.
Illinois connection: Brandon Lloyd was the last Illini to play in the Pro Bowl. The wide receiver played in the 2011 game at Aloha Stadium after a standout season with the Denver Broncos.  

Nevada Wolfpack
Home: Mackay Stadium (Reno, Nev.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 24,939
First game: Oct. 1, 1966. Nevada beat UC Santa Barbara 17-13.
Largest crowd: 33,391 against UNLV. The Wolfpack beat the Rebels 55-32 on Oct. 28, 1995.  
Did you know? Chris Ault, the all-time winningest coach in Nevada history, was the quarterback in the first-ever game played at Mackay Stadium.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois secondary coach Mike Gillhamer was an assistant for two seasons at Nevada in 1994 and 1995.  

New Mexico Lobos
Home: University Stadium (Albuquerque, N.M.)  
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 39,224
Avg. 2013 attendance: 23,537
First game: Sept. 17, 1960. New Mexico beat the University of Mexico 77-6.
Largest crowd: 44,760 against New Mexico State on Sept. 17, 2005. The Lobos beat the Aggies 38-21.  
Did you know? Nine of the stadium’s top 10 crowds have happened since 2001.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley only went 2-13 at University Stadium in his three-plus seasons as the Lobos’ head coach from 2009 until 2011.  

San Diego State Aztecs
Home: Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego)
Playing surface:
Capacity: 70,561
Avg. 2013 attendance: 33,224
First game: Sept. 15, 1967. San Diego State has
Largest crowd: 59,473 against Iowa on Dec. 30, 1986. The Hawkeyes beat the Aztecs 39-38 in the Holiday Bowl.
Did you know? Marshall Faulk rushed for a then-NCAA-record 386 yards against Pacific on Sept. 14, 1991 at the venue. The yardage still stands as an NCAA mark for rushing yards by a freshman entering the 2014 season.
Illinois connection: Illinois knocked off the Aztecs 49-13 at Qualcomm Stadium during the 2000 season, a much better result than the 27-17 loss the Illini suffered against Hawaii in the 1992 Holiday Bowl at the stadium.

San Jose State Spartans
Home: Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,456
Avg. 2013 attendance: 16,362
First game: Oct. 7, 1933. San Jose State beat San Francisco State 44-0.
Largest crowd: 31,681 against Grambling State on Aug. 23, 2003. The Spartans shut out the Tigers 29-0.
Did you know? When the Loma Prieta earthquake happened in 1989 prior to the start of Game 3 of the World Series, there was structural damage to the stadium. Damage was limited to approximately $43,000.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois quarterbacks coach Dan O’Dell, at Illinois from 2001 until 2004, was a quarterback at San Jose State from 1993 until 1997.

UNLV Rebels
Home: Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas)
Playing surface: TurfTech
Capacity: 36,800
Avg. 2013 attendance: 17,212
First game: Oct. 23, 1971. Weber State beat UNLV 30-17.
Largest crowd: 42,075 against Wisconsin on Aug. 31, 2002. The Badgers cruised to a 27-7 win.
Did you know? The stadium was the first to install Monsato Corp. outdoor retractable turf when it did so in 1985. The surface would roll into cylinders in less than an hour and was stored in special dugouts on each sidelined. It was dubbed “The Magic Carpet” until it was replaced in 1999.
Illinois connection: Illinois defensive coordinator Tim Banks played his final college game at the stadium. UNLV beat Banks and his Central Michigan teammates 52-24 to win the 1994 Las Vegas Bowl.

Utah State Aggies
Home: Romney Stadium (Logan, Utah)  
Playing surface: AstroTurf
Capacity: 25,513
Avg. 2013 attendance: 23,263
First game: Sept. 14, 1968. Utah State beat New Mexico State 28-12.
Largest crowd:  33,119 against BYU on Oct. 4, 1996. The Cougars beat the Aggies 45-17.
Did you know? The field at Romney Stadium is named after Merlin Olsen. Olsen played from 1959 until 1961 at Utah State and won the 1961 Outland Trophy before he went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Illinois connection: Two of the program’s coaches in the past 20 years have gone on to coach a Big Ten team against Illinois: Gary Andersen (Wisconsin) and John L. Smith (Michigan State).

Wyoming Cowboys
Home: War Memorial Stadium (Laramie, Wyo.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf Revolution
Capacity: 29,181
Avg. 2013 attendance: 19,476
First game: Sept. 16, 1950. Wyoming beat Montana State 61-13.
Largest crowd: 34,745 against Colorado State on Oct. 18, 1997. The Rams beat the Cowboys 14-7.
Did you know? In terms of elevation, War Memorial sits at 7,200 feet above sea level, making it the highest FBS stadium in the country.
Illinois connection: Before Vic Koenning became beloved as the Illini defensive coordinator, he struggled in his three seasons as Wyoming’s head coach, compiling a 5-29 record at the school from 2000 until 2002.  

Pac-12
Arizona Wildcats
Home: Arizona Stadium (Tuscon, Ariz.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 57,400
Avg. 2013 attendance: 47,619
First game: Oct. 12, 1929. Arizona beat Cal Tech 35-0.
Largest crowd: 59,920 against Arizona State on Nov. 23, 1996. The Sun Devils routed the Wildcats 56-14.
Did you know? Underneath the east side of the stadium structure sits Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, which
creates optical and infrared telescopes mirrors used around the world.
Illinois connection: John Mackovic didn’t have quite the same success with the Wildcats as he did with the Illini, posting a 10-18 record in three-plus seasons from 2001 until 2003.

Arizona State Sun Devils
Home: Sun Devil Stadium (Tempe, Ariz.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 67,704
Avg. 2013 attendance: 62,689
First game: Oct. 4, 1958. Arizona State beat West Texas State 16-13.    
Largest crowd: 74,963 against California on Nov. 9, 1996. The Sun Devils beat the Golden Bears 35-7.  
Did you know? Along with hosting the 1996 Super Bowl and the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, which was the first BCS bowl game to determine the national champion, the venue has also played host to a papal visit from Pope John Paull II, a Rolling Stones concert, a U2 concert and a graduation ceremony featuring a presidential speech by Barack Obama.
Illinois connection: The desert hasn’t treated the Illini too kindly. Illinois has dropped its only two games at Sun Devil Stadium, losing 21-16 during the 1988 season and 45-14 during the 2012 season.

California Golden Bears
Home: Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.)
Playing surface: Matrix Turf
Capacity: 62,467
Avg. 2013 attendance: 49,329
First game: Nov. 24, 1923. California beat Stanford 9-0.
Largest crowd: 83,000 against Navy on Sept. 27, 1947. The Golden Bears beat the Midshipmen 14-7.
Did you know? Pete Elliott arrived to coach the Illini after three seasons coaching Cal from 1957 until 1959, where he produced a 10-21 record.
Illinois connection: The Illini had won their first four trips to Cal before a 35-20 defeat during the 2004 season in the last meeting between the two schools.

Colorado Buffaloes
Home: Folsom Field (Boulder, Colo.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 53,613
Avg. 2013 attendance: 38,463
First game: Oct. 11, 1924. Colorado shut out Regis 39-0.  
Largest crowd: 54,972 against Colorado State on Sept. 3, 2005. The Buffaloes edged the Rams 31-28.
Did you know? The largest crowd to ever attend an event there came on May 1, 1977, when 61,500 people showed up for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours tour.
Illinois connection: The Illini did not play well in their only trip out to Folsom, losing 38-7 during the 1989 season.

Oregon Ducks
Home: Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Ore.)
Playing surface:
Capacity: 54,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 57,660
First game: Sept. 23, 1967. Colorado beat Oregon 17-13.
Largest crowd: 60,055 against Arizona State on Oct. 15, 2011. The Ducks beat the Sun Devils 41-27.
Did you know? It was built in 1967 at the cost of $2.5 million, but underwent a $90 million upgrade prior to the 2002 season.
Illinois connection: Illinois lost in its only trip to Eugene, falling 34-31 to the Ducks during the 1995 season.

Oregon State Beavers
Home: Reser Stadium (Corvallis, Ore.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 45,674
Avg. 2013 attendance: 42,964
First game: Nov. 14, 1953. Oregon State blanked Washington State 7-0.
Largest crowd: 47,249 against Oregon on Nov. 24, 2012. The Ducks beat the Beavers 48-24.  
Did you know? Southern Cal has lost twice in the stadium when it was ranked first in the country and once when it was No. 3.
Illinois connection: Scott Turner, the nephew of former Illini coach Ron Turner, served as a graduate assistant with the Beavers during the 2005 season. He is now the quarterbacks coach with the Minnesota Vikings.  

Stanford Cardinal
Home: Stanford Stadium (Palo Alto, Calif.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 50,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 50,726
First game: Nov. 19, 1921. California beat Stanford 42-7.
Largest crowd: 94,000 against California on Nov. 23, 1935. The Cardinal blanked the Bears 13-0.
Did you know? The venue hosted Herbert Hoover’s presidential nomination speech in 1928. When the stadium had 85,500 seats, which was reduced thanks to a renovation done after the 2005 season ended.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Buddy Teevens was the head coach of the Cardinal from 2002 until 2004, but only finished with a 10-23 record.

UCLA Bruins
Home: Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 91,136
Avg. 2013 attendance: 70,285
First game: Nov. 24, 1923. Cal Tech beat UCLA 59-6.
Largest crowd: 100,744 against Southern Cal on Nov. 19, 1988. The Trojans topped the Bruins 31-22 in the highest-attended UCLA game in Rose Bowl history.
Did you know? The Rose Bowl is the only venue in the country to host four Super Bowls (1980, 1983, 1987 and 1993, a men’s World Cup final (1994) and a women’s World Cup final (1999).  
Illinois connection: Illinois holds a 5-4 record in the iconic venue, with a 3-2 mark in Rose Bowl games and a 2-2 record against the Bruins in regular season games at their home stadium.  

USC Trojans
Home: Los Angeles Coliseum (Los Angeles)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 93,607
Avg. 2013 attendance: 73,126
First game: Oct. 6, 1923. USC beat Pomona 23-17.   
Largest crowd: 104,953 against Notre Dame on Dec. 6, 1947. The Fighting Irish beat the Trojans 38-7.
Did you know? The venue hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, along with serving as the home for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1958 until 1961.  
Illinois connection: The Illini are 2-4 at the venue against the Trojans. Illinois won its first game there 19-0 during the 1935 season before winning 14-13 to start the 1989 season.

Utah Utes
Home: Rice-Eccles Stadium (Salt Lake City)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 45,017
Avg. 2013 attendance: 45,194
First game: Sept. 12, 1998. Utah beat Louisville 45-22.  
Largest crowd: 46,768 against California on Sept. 11, 2003. The Utes won 31-24.
Did you know? The venue hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics.  
Illinois connection: Dennis Erickson is entering his second season as an assistant on Kyle Whittingham’s staff. Erickson was the head coach at Arizona State when Illinois beat the Sun Devils 17-14 on Sept. 17, 2011, the last time Illinois beat a ranked opponent.  

Washington Huskies
Home: Husky Stadium (Seattle)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 70,138
Avg. 2013 attendance: 68,769
First game: Nov. 27, 1920. Dartmouth beat Washington 28-7.
Largest crowd: 76,125 against Army on Sept. 23, 1995. The Huskies beat the Black Knights 21-13.
Did you know? The stadium served as the Munich 1972 Olympic Stadium in the movie, “Pre,” about U.S. distance runner Steve Prefontaine.
Illinois connection: Illinois will play its first road game this season at Husky Stadium, a place where the Illini are 1-3, with its lone win coming 27-20 during the 1951 season.

Washington State Cougars
Home: Martin Stadium (Pullman, Wash.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf Revolution
Capacity: 32,952
Avg. 2013 attendance: 29,738
First game: Sept. 30, 1972. Utah beat Washington State 44-25.
Largest crowd: 40,306 against Stanford on Nov. 15, 1997. The Cougars beat the Cardinal 38-28.
Did you know? The venue gets its name from Washington Gov. Clarence Martin, who held office from 1933 until 1940.
Illinois connection: The 1998 season opener didn’t go well for the Illini in a 20-13 loss out in Pullman. The defeat extended Ron Turner’s losing streak to 12 games.

SEC
Alabama Crimson Tide
Home: Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 101,821
Avg. 2013 attendance: 101,505
First game: Oct. 5, 1929. Alabama shut out Mississippi College 55-0.
Largest crowd: 101,821. Alabama has reached the milestone 18 times, most recently against Mississippi State on Oct. 27, 2012.
Did you know? The 2013 season marked the 11th time in program history the Crimson Tide played all of its home games at Bryant-Denny Stadium. From 1900 until 2003, Alabama played at least one game at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Illinois connection: The Illini have yet to play a game at Bryant-Denny. Nick Saban, about to start his eighth season at Alabama, coached LSU during its 47-34 win against the Illini in the 2002 Sugar Bowl.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Home: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Fayetville, Ark.)
Playing surface: Synthetic PowerBlade 2.5
Capacity: 72,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 61,596
First game: Sept. 24, 1938. Arkansas beat Oklahoma A&M 27-7
Largest crowd: 76,808 against Alabama on Sept. 25, 2010. The Crimson Tide prevailed 24-20.
Did you know? Darren McFadden tied the SEC single-game rushing record with 321 yards in a 2007 game against South Carolina, and also threw a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Illinois connection: Former Illini offensive coordinator Paul Petrino was the Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator in two separate stints, the 2009 season and 2012 season, which were sandwiched in between his two seasons at Illinois.

Auburn Tigers
Home: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn, Ala.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 87,451
Avg. 2013 attendance: 86,657
First game: Nov. 30, 1939. Auburn and Florida played to a 7-7 tie.
Largest crowd: 87,451. The Tigers have reached that mark 30 times since the stadium was expanded to that capacity in 2004.  
Did you know? Auburn lets its War Eagle mascot fly into the stadium — which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this season — before each home game.
Illinois connection: Former Illini fullback Jay Prosch played the last two seasons with the Tigers, helping Auburn reach the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.

Florida Gators
Home: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville, Fla.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 88,548
Avg. 2013 attendance: 87,440
First game: Nov. 8, 1930. Alabama beat Florida 20-0.
Largest crowd: 90,907 against Florida State on Nov. 28, 2009. The Gators beat the Seminoles 37-10 in Tim Tebow’s final home game at Florida.
Did you know? Despite Ben Hill Griffin Stadium being the official title of the stadium, the playing field is called Florida Field, the same name it always has had.
Illinois connection: Maybe Ron Zook might have kept his job another year at Florida and never arrived at Illinois had he produced better at home, going 13-6 at the Swamp in his three seasons with the Gators from 2002 until 2004.

Georgia Bulldogs
Home: Sanford Stadium (Athens, Ga.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 92,746
Avg. 2013 attendance: 92,746
First game: Oct. 12, 1929. Georgia beat Yale 15-0.
Largest crowd: 92,746. Sanford has had that capacity since the 2004 season, and all but one game has been a sellout.
Did you know? Tanyard Creek actually runs under the playing field at Sanford Stadium.  
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman’s first game as Oklahoma State defensive coordinator came at Sanford Stadium. Georgia soundly beat Beckman and the Cowboys 35-14 in the 2007 season opener for both teams.  

Kentucky Wildcats
Home: Commonwealth Stadium (Lexington, Ky.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 67,606
Avg. 2013 attendance: 59,472
First game: Sept. 15, 1973. Kentucky beat Virginia Tech 31-26.
Largest crowd: 71,024 against Florida on Oct. 20, 2007. The Gators beat the Wildcats 45-37.
Did you know? Kentucky is in the process of a $120 million renovation of the stadium, which will be fully ready for the 2015 season. The stadium exterior will feature Kentucky limestone and some of the interior spaces will feature reclaimed wood from barns in Kentucky.
Illinois connection: Tim Beckman started his college football playing career at Kentucky before transferring to Findlay.

LSU Tigers
Home: Tiger Stadium (Baton Rouge, La.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 92,542
Avg. 2013 attendance: 91,418  
First game: Nov. 25, 1924. Tulane beat LSU 13-0.
Largest crowd: 93,374 against Alabama on Nov. 3, 2012. The Crimson Tide rallied late for a 21-17 win.  
Did you know? Dorm rooms were actually built underneath the stands during expansion of the north and south end zones. And students lived in those dorms until the early 1990s.
Illinois connection: Billy Gonzales coached two seasons as an assistant at LSU during the 2010 and 2011 seasons before joining Tim Beckman’s staff for the 2012 season, his lone season with the Illini.

Mississippi Rebels
Home: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Oxford, Miss.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf  
Capacity: 60,580
Avg. 2013 attendance: 59,393
First game: Oct. 3, 1914. Mississippi beat the Arkansas Aggies (now Arkansas State) 20-0.
Largest crowd: 62,657 against Alabama on Oct. 10, 2009. The Crimson Tide easily won 22-3.  
Did you know? The field surface was AstroTurf from 1970 until 1984 before returning to natural grass until 2003.
Illinois connection: Hugh Freeze is entering his third season as the Rebels’ coach. He got the job there after one season at Arkansas State, which included a 33-15 loss at Illinois in the 2011 season opener.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Home: Davis Wade Stadium (Starkville, Miss.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 61,337
Avg. 2013 attendance: 55,695
First game: Oct. 3, 1914. Mississippi State beat Marion Military Institue 54-0.
Largest crowd: 58,103 against Alabama on Nov. 14, 2009. The Crimson Tide rolled the Bulldogs 31-3.
Did you know? The second-oldest stadium in the FBS received a facelift prior to this season, upping its capacity in the process. No worries, though, regarding the original Bulldog mascot. Bully I is still buried on the 50-yard line under the players’ bench.
Illinois connection: Former Illini assistant Billy Gonzales is entering his second season on Dan Mullen’s staff, and, like he did during his 2012 stay at Illinois, will serve as co-offensive coordinator.

Missouri Tigers
Home: Memorial Stadium (Columbia, Mo.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 71,004
Avg. 2013 attendance: 63,505
First game: Oct. 2, 1926. Missouri and Tulane tied 0-0.
Largest crowd: 75,298 against Penn State on Oct. 4, 1980.
Did you know? The traditional Block M in the north end zone was carved from stone by the freshman class in 1927, and measures 90 feet wide by 95 feet high.
Illinois connection: The Illini are only 1-5 at Memorial Stadium, winning in their first-ever trip in 1976 (31-6). Illinois hasn’t played there since a 31-3 loss in the 1993 season opener.

South Carolina Gamecocks
Home: Brice-Williams Stadium (Columbia, S.C.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 80,250
Avg. 2013 attendance: 82,401
First game: Oct. 6, 1934. South Carolina beat VMI 22-6.   
Largest crowd: 85,199 against Georgia on Oct. 6, 2012. The Gamecocks downed the Bulldogs 35-7.
Did you know? The stadium was constructed by the Works Progress Administration, and receives its name after a bequest from the estate of Martha Williams-Brice, who helped fund a renovation prior to the 1972 season. Martha’s husband, Thomas, played football at South Carolina from 1922 until 1924.
Illinois connection: Illinois has never played a game at Brice-Williams Stadium, but former Illini J.C. Caroline great led the country in rushing with 1,256 yards during the 1953 season and came to Illinois after attending Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, S.C.

Tennessee Volunteers
Home: Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 102,455
Avg. 2013 attendance: 95,584
First game: Sept. 24, 1921. Tennessee beat Emory and Henry 27-0.
Largest crowd: 109,061 against Florida on Sept. 18, 2004. The Volunteers beat the Gators 30-28.
Did you know? The top 10 crowds in Neyland Stadium history all reached at least 107,000, and they all happened between 2000 and 2005.
Illinois connection: Ron Zook served as Tennessee’s defensive backs coach from 1984 until 1986.

Texas A&M Aggies
Home: Kyle Field (College Station, Texas)
Playing surface: Grass
Capacity: 106,300
Avg. 2013 attendance: 87,125
First game: Sept. 28, 1927. Texas A&M beat Texas Tech 47-6.
Largest crowd: 90,079 against Nebraska on Nov. 20, 2010.
Did you know? The capacity Kyle Field sports this season is just temporary. The stadium is undergoing a massive renovation, and will have a final capacity of 102,512 in time for the 2015 season.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois coach Ron Turner spent one season as the Aggies’ wide receiver coach in Jackie Sherrill’s final season in College Station.

Vanderbilt Commodores
Home: Vanderbilt Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
Playing surface: Synthetic Turf
Capacity: 40,350
Avg. 2013 attendance: 35,675
First game: Oct. 14, 1922. Vanderbilt and Michigan tied 0-0.
Largest crowd: 40,350. Mark has been reached multiple times.  
Did you know? The Tennessee Titans played their 1998 season at the venue while waiting for LP Field to be built.
Illinois connection: Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell, about to begin his first season with the Commodores, won his first-ever game as a head coach against Illinois when UCLA beat the Illini 6-3 during the 2003 season.

Sun Belt
Appalachian State Mountaineers
Home: Kidd Brewer Stadium (Boone, N.C.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 23,150
Avg. 2013 attendance: 24,894
First game: Sept. 15, 1962. Emory and Henry beat Appalachian State 6-3.
Largest crowd: 31,531 against Elon on Oct. 9, 2010. The Mountaineers beat the Phoenix 34-31.
Did you know? Appalachian State had the nation’s longest Division I home winning streak when it won 30 straight games from 2003 until 2007.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, now the coach at Idaho, is slated to play at Kidd Brewer Stadium in the regular season finale of Appalachian State’s first season as an FBS member.

Arkansas State Red Wolves
Home: Centennial Bank Stadium (Jonesboro, Ark.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,708
Avg. 2013 attendance: 24,913
First game: Sept. 28, 1974. Louisiana Tech.
Largest crowd: 31,243 against Middle Tennessee on Dec. 1, 2012.
Did you know? Offseason work at Centennial Bank Stadium in the past year included a new video scoreboard and a new indoor practice facility.
Illinois connection: Illinois has never played the Red Wolves at their venue, but Arkansas State has served as the first win for the Illini in 1999, 2002 and 2011.

Georgia Southern Eagles
Home: Allen E. Paulson Stadium (Statesboro, Ga.)
Playing surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 21,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 14,828
First game: Sept. 29, 1984. Georgia Southern beat Liberty 48-11.
Largest crowd: 25,725 against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 16, 1989. The Eagles knocked off the Lumberjacks 37-34 to win the I-AA national championships.
Did you know? A direct line from the press box to the National Hurricane Center was set up for the Eagles’ ESPN nationally televised Thursday night game against Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 21, 1989, the night Hurricane Hugo was aiming for the Georgia coast. A game ball from the “Hugo Bowl” is still on display at the National Hurricane Center.
Illinois connection: Two former Illini are currently on the Eagles’ roster. Cornerback Valdon Cooper is a two-year starter, and running back Ean Days is hoping to play this fall after injuries have hindered his first two seasons.  

Georgia State Panthers
Home: Georgia Dome (Atlanta)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 71,250
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,577
First game: Sept. 2, 2010. Georgia State beat Shorter 41-7.
Largest crowd: 30,237 in the Panthers’ first-ever game against Shorter.
Did you know? The Georgia Dome is the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner threw his first-ever NFL pass at the venue in a 31-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept 21, 2003.

Idaho Vandals
Home: Kibbie Dome (Moscow, Idaho)
Playing surface: RealGrass Pro
Capacity: 16,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 14,744
First game: Sept. 20. 1975. Idaho State beat Idaho 29-14.
Largest crowd: 17,600 against Boise State on Nov. 18, 1989. The Vandals sneaked past the Broncos 26-21.
Did you know? The venue also hosts games for the Idaho men’s and women’s basketball teams, turning into the Cowan Spectrum with a capacity of 6,000.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino collected his first win as a head coach when Idaho beat Temple 26-24 at the Kibbie Dome on Sept. 28, 2013. That’s the only win Petrino has heading into this season.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Home: Cajun Field (Lafayette, La.)
Playing surface: ProGrass Synthetic Turf
Capacity: 31,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 25,976
First game: Sept. 25, 1971. Louisiana shut out Santa Clara 21-0.
Largest crowd: 41,357 against Southern on Sept. 5, 2009. The Ragin’ Cajuns beat the Jaguars 42-19.
Did you know? Southern Mississippi beat Arkansas State 31-19 on Dec. 20, 2005 to win the New Orleans Bowl. The game was played at Cajun Field because of damage to the Superdome in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Illinois connection: The Illini have never played at Cajun Field, but do own a 20-17 win against Louisiana during the 2008 season at Memorial Stadium.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Home: Malone Stadium (Monroe, La.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf Revolution
Capacity: 30,427
Avg. 2013 attendance:  17,035
First game: Sept. 16, 1978. Louiana-Monroe beat Arkansas State 21-13.
Largest crowd: 31,175 against Baylor on Sept. 21, 2012. The Bears beat the Warhawks 47-42.
Did you know? John David Crow coached Louisiana-Monroe in its inaugural game at Malone Stadium. Yes, the same John David Crow who won the 1957 Heisman Trophy. Crow only went 20-34-1 in five seasons with the Warhawks from 1976 until 1980.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois defensive coordinator Vince Okruch arrived at Illinois for the 2006 season after spending the 2005 season as an assistant at Louisiana-Monroe.

New Mexico State Aggies
Home: Aggie Memorial Stadium (Las Cruces, N.M.)
Playing surface: Synthetic Turf
Capacity: 30,343
Avg. 2013 attendance: 16,050
First game: Sept. 16, 1978. New Mexico State beat Texas El-Paso 35-32.
Largest crowd: 32,993 against Texas El-Paso on Sept. 26, 1998. The Aggies downed the Miners 33-24.
Did you know? Burrow owls, which are an endangered species, live in the stadium. They cannot be touched or removed because they are endangered.
Illinois connection: Aggie Memorial Stadium is located a block from Pan American Center, where Lou Henson Court resides.

South Alabama Jaguars
Home: Ladd-Peebles Stadium (Mobile, Ala.)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 40,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 15,926
First South Alabama game at Ladd-Peebles: Sept. 5, 2009. South Alabama beat Hargrave Military Academy 30-13.  
Largest crowd: 26,783 for the Jaguars’ first-ever game at Ladd-Peebles
Did you know? The Senior Bowl has held its game at the historic venue every year since 1951.
Illinois connection: Linebacker Jonathan Brown was the latest Illini to take part in the Senior Bowl when he did so last January.

Troy Trojans
Home: Veterans Memorial Stadium (Troy, Ala.)
Playing surface: ProGrass
Capacity: 30,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,906
First game: Sept. 16, 1950. Southeastern Louisiana beat Troy 18-7.
Largest crowd: 29,013 against Mississippi State on Sept. 15, 2012. The Bulldogs beat the Trojans 30-24.
Did you know? Sixteen years ago, the capacity at Veterans Memorial Stadium was 30,000.
Illinois connection: Oklahoma State and its defensive coordinator, Tim Beckman, left with a 41-23 loss to the Trojans on Sept. 14, 2007 at the venue.

Texas State Bobcats
Home: Bobcat Stadium (San Marcos, Texas)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,000
Avg. 2013 attendance: 18,062
First game: Sept. 5, 1981. Texas State routed Prairie View A&M 56-0.
Largest crowd: 33,006 against Texas Tech on Sept. 8, 2012. The Red Raiders blew out the Bobcats 58-10.
Did you know? Bobcat Stadium served as the home stadium for the fictional Texas Methodist University in the highly-acclaimed TV show “Friday Night Lights.”
Illinois connection: Former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Schultz is about to start his fourth season as an assistant with the Bobcats, who visit Illinois on Sept. 20 to conclude nonconference play.

Introducing themselves
Baylor Bears
*Baylor is moving into a new on-campus stadium this fall after playing 64 years at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Home: McLane Stadium
City: Waco, Texas
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 45,000
Avg. attendance last fall: 45,948
First game this season: Aug. 31 against SMU.
Did you know? Baylor is anticipating 42 yearly million views of the stadium, located just off Interstate 35, on a yearly basis.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell is slated to coach in Baylor’s first homecoming game at McLane. Mitchell is entering his third season on Charlie Weiss’ staff at Kansas, and the Jayhawks travel to Waco on Nov. 1.
Tickets: 254-710-1000

Cincinnati Bearcats
*Cincinnati will play its home games at Paul Brown Stadium this while renovations take place at Nippert Stadium
Home: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 65,535
First game this season: Sept. 12 against Toledo.
Did you know? With the addition of the Bearcats to Paul Brown Stadium, where the Cincinnati Bengals play, the NFL will have nine franchises serving as the primary tenant of both NFL and Division I teams this fall.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois kicker Neil Rackers made the first extra point of his NFL career in the first game at Paul Brown Stadium, connecting on the only PAT try the Bengals had during a 24-7 loss to Cleveland on Sept. 10, 2000.

Houston Cougars
*Houston played five games at NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) last season and two at BBVA Compass Stadium as construction of TDECU Stadium took place.
Home: TDECU Stadium (Houston)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 40,000
First game this season: Aug. 29 against Texas San-Antonio
Did you know? TDECU Stadium sits on the site of the Cougars’ old 70-year-old home, Robertson Stadium.
Illinois connection: Former Illinois wideout Marquis Mosely will coach in the first game at the stadium. Mosely is currently on the Texas San-Antonio staff as Larry Coker’s wide receivers coach.

Tulane Green Wave
*After 38 years playing at the Superdome in downtown New Orleans, Tulane has a new stadium it can call its own.
Home: Yulman Stadium (New Orleans)
Playing surface: FieldTurf
Capacity: 30,000
First game this season: Sept. 6 against Georgia Tech.
Did you know? The end zones will feature a white checkerboard pattern, similar to what Tulane had when it called Tulane Stadium home from 1926 until 1974.
Illinois connection: Yulman Stadium will get football back on Tulane’s campus, but Illinois practiced on Tulane’s campus in preparation for the 2002 Sugar Bowl.

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