The Big Ten announced Wednesday that Northwestern will open the 2018 season with a trip to West Lafayette to battle Purdue and will later take on Rutgers for the first time as conference rivals.
The Wildcats will also play conference road games at Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota. Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois will travel to Evanston.
The Cats will make return trips to new West Division rivals Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois in 2019 and play a cross-division game at Indiana. Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Purdue and Minnesota will make the trek to Ryan Field.
The matchup with the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, N.J., will be the fourth time the two teams have played overall. NU has never beat Rutgers. The Cats will make their first Big Ten trip to Maryland, the Scarlet Knights’ fellow conference newcomer, in 2017.
In non-conference games, NU is currently scheduled to take on Notre Dame, Duke and Rice in 2018 and Stanford in 2019. ESPN reported the Big Ten accommodated the Cats in the schedule for 2018, allowing a week for the previously scheduled matchup with the Fighting Irish, now confirmed to take place in November.
— Joseph Diebold