Virginia Tech, Illinois and Penn State Games to be played in Primetime

By Kyle Rowland on April 15, 2014 at 11:14a

Ohio State will play a November night game. It's just not the one most expected — or wanted. 

The Buckeyes have three night games in 2014 — two at home versus Virginia Tech and Illinois and one on the road at Penn State.

Ohio State played a record two night games at Ohio Stadium last season — and three overall — after head coach Urban Meyer pressed for more games under the lights. Recruiting was the impetus, with Meyer wanting a raucous atmosphere to showcase for recruits.  

Meyer and Co. will get the same opportunity again in 2014. 

Ohio State will host Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 and Illinois on Nov. 1 with both games getting an 8 p.m. time slot. ESPN will televise the Virginia Tech game. ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2 will carry the Illinois game.

On Oct. 25, the Buckeyes will travel to State College, Pa. for an 8 p.m. start against Penn State. The game will be televised by ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2.

Athletic director Gene Smith told Eleven Warriors last year that he prefers the Buckeyes play more night games at home than on the road. 

“My concern now is we’re always playing two on the road and one at home, which means our guys get home at 3 in the morning twice a year," Smith said last April. “That’s not just a competitive disadvantage but also a student-athlete welfare issue. So we need to have two at home and one on the road as opposed to suffering the other side of that.”

The night-game scene at the Horseshoe has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest venues in college football. Ohio State is 11-3 all time in night games at Ohio Stadium. The 2014 season marks the seventh consecutive year with at least one night game in Columbus. The first night game was a 10-7 win over Pitt in 1985.  

Five of the top 10 largest crowds in stadium history, including the top two —Nebraska in 2012 (106,102) and USC in 2009 (106,033) — were night games. 

Ohio State has played a total of 64 night games (kickoff after 5 p.m. local time) and has a record of 42-22. 

The Virginia Tech game was originally scheduled for Sept. 20 before being switched last October to Sept. 6. After being approached by ESPN, both schools agreed to make the change.

There were murmurs of a possible night game at Michigan State on Nov. 8. But unless it’s on BTN, which is highly unlikely, the Buckeyes and Spartans will kick off at noon or 3:30 p.m.

“That would be Michigan State’s call. They would call us and ask if we would be willing to do it [at night], and I'd probably say yes,” Smith told The Toledo Blade in March. “[Michigan State] would get the first call. If they feel like they can handle that up there, then we’d be supportive of it.

“A lot of times you have to defer to the operations locally. If we were playing them here, we would do it. I think we could handle that magnitude of a game. That’s technically the second Saturday in November, but you’re only talking by a couple of days.”

The Big Ten Conference will announce the BTN primetime schedule next week. 

The season opener at Navy in Baltimore will start at noon and be televised by CBS or CBS Sports Network.



GoBucks10's picture

I'd like to see the OSU v. UC game under the lights.  I think it would add a good amount of excitement there.

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

+6 HS
d1145fresh's picture

I agree... I wouldn't be surprised if the BTN carried that as an evening game that week.

bkleppel's picture

It'd at least be better than Illinois...

jamesrbrown322's picture

Night time is the right time!


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+7 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

All I can say is poor Illinois. 

+11 HS
AngryWoody's picture

I guess they thought Beckman deserved to be under the lights at least once before he gets canned.

Our Honor Defend!

willshire58's picture

Is it possible for FOX to pick up the MSU game for primetime?

acBuckeye's picture

I believe only if ABC and it's affiliates pass up on it...... which won't happen.

+2 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

Don't think so. From what I've read, ESPN has first dibs on all B1G games, followed by BTN (which Fox has a 51% ownership of).

Fox currently only has rights to the B1G championship game. That could change after 2016-17 when the ESPN-B1G contract is up as Fox is said to be interested in acquiring rights to broadcast B1G games. 

+1 HS
DerryKing's picture

Honestly, I hate when Fox does the coverage.

+7 HS
lsjSnail's picture

Gus Johnson jizzing and blowing up my speakers over a 3 yard rush.

+1 HS
bedheadjc's picture

Careful Snail, this site attracts a lot of people who believe Johnson's Volume Level 11 Orgasmasplosions to be the deciding factor about whether a game is exciting or not.


And it attracts Johnson haters like us too. :)

-1 HS
bucked up's picture

Soooo many commercials on fox 

HilltopHustle's picture

That car commercial during the B1G title game was shown no less than 20 times.

jhart's picture

I feel like Fox has improved (even though they still have a ways to go).  It's way better than it was 5-6 years ago when they did the 2009 Fiesta Bowl...ugh...THAT was awful...listening to Tim Ryan...TIM RYAN...constantly explaining the difference between the college game and the NFL game.

"You know, you only need 1 foot down for a complete catch in the college game..."

"You know, the clock stops with a first down in the college game..."

"You know..."

+4 HS
BuckeyeBBD's picture

I don't mind Fox, but I really want the MSU game to be primetime.  I expect that MSU will be the hardest game on the schedule and I think that deserves an 8:00 game.  The argument can be made that MSU has been one of our best rivals (not that I consider MSU a rivalry) in the last few years.  We are 3-2 against MSU in the last 5 meetings and in that time we have only won by more than one score once (2008, 45-7).  In 2011 OSU lost 7-10, in 2012 the Bucks won 17-16, and of course we need to make up for the B1G Championship last season.  It should be a great game, especially in East Lansing.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

You have to admit, it is a thing of beauty...


The Shoe at night is 2nd to none!

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+20 HS
AndyVance's picture

I'm a little surprised that the Spartans didn't pick up Smith's gauntlet on the idea of a night game in East Lansing. And perhaps this is a stupid question, but if getting the boys home at 3 a.m. is a big concern re: night games away, why not put them up in the team hotel for the second night? I know there's expense there, but for Ohio State that's not really that big of an issue...

If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, I may be the most dangerous man I know...

+8 HS
NCBuckeye1's picture

I like how he ignores the fact that there are two teams that play in the game, and the other school's student athletes would also be affected by the 3 a.m. return home. Can't use the student welfare argument there IMO

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -- Woody

+9 HS
MassiveAttack's picture

He's saying "screw our opponents, let them travel!"  I like that.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

+1 HS
BuckFly's picture

Maybe Gene Smith could pick up the extra night hotel tab with the bonus he earned from the recent national championship titles earned by Logan Steiber (wrestling) and the Synchronized Swimming team. 

+2 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Maybe I am the only person in our fanbase who thinks this way, but a night game at Sparty....while making for great TV excitement, really creates an even bigger edge for MSU.   A night game always has a home crowd stoked even further.   We won there two years ago in the afternoon....that was good enough for me.  

+2 HS
acBuckeye's picture

I'm guessing Sparty was afraid that Columbus would invade East Lansing if they'd have agreed to a primetime matchup. Actually, I think C-bus is going to invade regardless......

+5 HS
MattyBeingMatty's picture

Night games in the shoe I be like


“Not everybody’s the perfect person in the world, I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I’ve always looked up to Mike Vick." -TP

+17 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I am going to go out on a limb and predict that PSU will have a "White-out" vs OSU....

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+17 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I've never heard of that...what is? Have anyone ever done something like that before?

PSU is always so original!

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
allinosu's picture

I can't believe their uniforms came in number one.

Furious George 27's picture

Its probably the same reason why JoePa finished as the greatest B1G coach.... A lot of PSU fans stuck in the past.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
lsjSnail's picture


+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Having to play a night game against Illinois just underscores how lousy the home schedule is for '14.  There's Michigan and . . . ugh.

+4 HS
lsjSnail's picture

OSU's D-line vs PSU's O-line...



+8 HS
bedheadjc's picture a Frank Gehry building?

+6 HS
Doc's picture

Nothing like the Shoe at night.  A "Summertime" night game will be fun.  I'm going to start tailgating this coming Friday for that banger.  Illi is going to be a dud of a night game, with them sucking donkeys and all.

"Say my name."

teddyballgame's picture

Illinois in primetime?   Ughhh

+1 HS
osubuck57's picture

Virginia Tech and Penn State, with it being Franklins' first year at the helm, I can see. But Illinois?? Would have been great to Get MSU at night.


TUNBUCK89's picture

MSU at night could still happen, according to Smith, if MSU wants to do it.

+1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I'll be in the market for 4 tickets for the Va Tech game.  Preferably upper bowl in between the 20s.  

CC's picture

I'm glad PSU will be at night.  It will be a total curb-stomping and this little recruiting hot-streak Franklin has been on will be over.

-1 HS
Ethos's picture

Penn State is always hard, their players and their fans bring it on night games.  I wouldn't be so confident when we haven't even seen this team play a down.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

+3 HS
Nutinpa's picture

On this, we are in total agreement, Ethos!  PSU will be another drunken, loud crowd with a stoked up team and coaching staff.  Cannot let them have a lead that night.  An undermanned team that gains confidence is dangerous.  Especially one that will have the number 63 likely to be taped to their helmets during the week.....and reminded how "Urban Meyer ran up the score" last year.........

BuckeyeSki's picture

VT about to find out what a REAL stadium is like at night

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

+3 HS
DoubleB's picture

Nothing better than night games in the shoe. Nothing.

I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over.
-Joey Bosa

matti's picture

Lansing at night is not gonna happen too much of a problem with riots and such given sparty's frontrunning and 5 extra hours to pregame

AngryWoody's picture

Hey guys, OSU vs. MSU could end up being a night game!

Although the November matchup -- Illinois at Ohio State -- lacks a wow factor, this is still a positive step for the league. Also, this is not the final list for November prime-time games, as others will be announced in the future.

Our Honor Defend!

+2 HS
otrain2416's picture

All I know is September 6th is going to be a good day of football

  • OSU vs. V. Tech
  • TSUN vs. Notre Dame
  • Sparty Vs. Oregon 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

+12 HS's picture

So we play VT at night on ESPN against UM - Notre Dame on ABC? That's not good. B1G needs to learn how to spread the brand around. 

TheTeam16's picture

UM v. neuter lame is on NBC since it is in south bend.

thatlillefty's picture

I just realized we won't be playing Wisky this year. Pretty disappointing. A night game in Madison is just as intense as Happy Valley and we've traded more night games with the Badgers than any other team in the past decade. So it's a rivalry to me. Too bad we can't be in the same division.

+2 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

I also enjoyed the growing rivalry with Wiscy, but the new divisional alignment has pretty much murdered it in the crib.  But hey, now we get to play Rutgers and Maryland each year!  Forever, and ever, every stinking year, until we're all dead, or the next round of Jim Delaney likes TV revenue.

+2 HS
CarolinaBuck's picture

I'm surprised the Rutgers game isn't in prime time. Not that I care about Rutgers, but I thought the whole point of having that shit sandwich join the B1G was to get NYC cable and satellite viewers onto the BTN. It seems to me the first away game in Rutgers B1G history, playing at Ohio State would be the ideal time and place for a 8:00 prime time game.

Seattle Linga's picture

Is it football season yet. Joey Gladstone oh yea