Michigan football rearranges four Big Ten games on 2021 schedule

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

While the first five games of Michigan’s upcoming football schedule remain unchanged, the middle has been altered with the revision of the overall Big Ten schedule.

Among the most significant changes in the schedule, announced Friday afternoon, Michigan’s game at Michigan State is now scheduled for Oct. 30. Originally, the two were scheduled to play Oct. 16. Michigan State has played at Michigan in consecutive years, 2019 and 2020, and this alteration now gives both teams staggered marquee games — Michigan will no longer play Michigan State and Ohio State at home in the same season or have both on the road.

Michigan will play seven home games at Michigan Stadium in 2021.

In other schedule changes, Michigan will play at Nebraska on Oct. 9, a game that originally had been scheduled for Oct. 30, and against Northwestern on Oct. 23 at Michigan Stadium, a change from their original game on Nov. 6. The Wolverines will now play Indiana on Nov. 6. They were originally set to meet Oct. 9.

Michigan will not have a game on Oct. 16.

The Wolverines open the season with home games against Western Michigan on Sept. 4, Washington on Sept. 11 and Northern Illinois on Sept. 18. They will open the Big Ten season against Rutgers on Sept. 25 at Michigan Stadium before traveling to Wisconsin for their first road game on Oct. 2.

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Michigan’s final three games remain unchanged. The Wolverines will play road games at Penn State on Nov. 13 and Maryland on Nov. 20 before returning to Michigan Stadium to face rival Ohio State on Nov. 27.

Last season, the Big Ten postponed the season in August because of COVID-19 concerns then announced the next month a nine-game conference-only season beginning in late October. Michigan went 2-4 and canceled its final three games because of a COVID outbreak.

Although the revised schedule has been revealed, there remains plenty of uncertainty regarding the upcoming football season in terms of whether fans will be able to attend games. Michigan’s athletic department on Thursday released its season-ticket renewal plan while acknowledging it is unclear the status for fan attendance this fall. Fans were not able to attend games last fall.

“We are taking a methodical approach to 2021 ticketing due to the unknown future of crowds at sporting events,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a release Thursday. “With that in mind, we felt this was the right time to begin the renewal process for the upcoming season.”

2021 Michigan football schedule

Sept. 4: vs. Western Michigan

Sept. 11: vs. Washington

Sept. 18: vs. Northern Illinois

Sept. 25: vs. Rutgers

Oct. 2: at Wisconsin

Oct. 9: at Nebraska

Oct. 23: vs. Northwestern

Oct. 30: at Michigan State

Nov. 6: vs. Indiana

Nov. 13: at Penn State

Nov. 20: at Maryland

Nov. 27: vs. Ohio State


Twitter: @chengelis