The Minnesota Golden Gophers have added the Western Illinois Leathernecks to their 2022 football schedule, both schools announced on Tuesday.
Minnesota will host Western Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sept. 10, 2022. Minnesota will pay WIU a $450,000 guarantee for the game, according to a copy of the contract obtained from the University of Minnesota via a state public records request.
The 2022 contest will mark the second meeting between Minnesota and Western Illinois on the gridiron. The Golden Gophers defeated the Leathernecks 29-12 in their first matchup back in 2013.
Western Illinois competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Leathernecks finished the 2018 season 5-6 overall and 4-4 in MVFC play.
The addition of Western Illinois completes Minnesota’s 2022 football schedule. Minnesota is scheduled to open the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 at home against New Mexico State and hosts Colorado on Sept. 17, one week after the Western Illinois contest.
Minnesota opens Big Ten Conference play in Sept. 24 against Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium. Other Big Ten home games for the Golden Gophers in 2022 include Rutgers (Oct. 1), Purdue (Oct. 15), and Northwestern (Nov. 12).
The Golden Gophers will play five conference games on the road in 2022 — Illinois (Oct. 8), Nebraska (Oct. 22), Michigan State (Nov. 5), Penn State (Nov. 19), and Wisconsin (Nov. 26).
Minnesota is slated to open the 2019 season on Thursday, Aug. 29 at home against South Dakota State. Western Illinois opens the season at North Alabama on the same date.