College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

Penn State Illinois Football

Stephen Haas/The News-Gazette

Fans walk into Grange Grove before the start of Illinois football hosting Penn State during a Friday night game in the 2018 season.

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In his 31st year on the Illinois football beat, AP Top 25 voter Bob Asmussen is on call 24/7. Submit your questions BY CLICKING HERE and he’ll chase down answers.


Is Illinois playing Nebraska at night a good thing?

Bob says ...

No ... it’s a great thing. After two 11 a.m. home games to start the home season, the Illini catch a break courtesy of BTN, which scheduled a 7 p.m. kickoff for the Big Ten opener on Sept. 21.

I totally understand why the football networks want to have three scheduling windows. But 11 a.m. kickoffs are not fan friendly. Especially for those who have to drive a few hours to get to the games.

The night game allows fans to take their time arriving at the stadium. If Illinois is 3-0, which I expect it to be, it adds another layer of excitement for the crowd.

Nebraska (1-1) messed it up a bit by blowing a big lead at Colorado this past Saturday. But Nebraska remains a traditional national program with a lot of appeal. I believe there will be plenty of fans in the stands from out west.

Illinois fans should have no trouble getting fired up for the game. Some might have an adult beverage or two. Great. Please drive safe after the game.

The atmosphere should be electric. If Illinois plays well and gives the fans something to cheer about, it will reach a noise level that hasn’t been heard in that beautiful stadium for years.