Southern Illinois to play at Illinois in 2026

By Kevin Kelley -

The Southern Illinois Salukis will play at the Illinois Fighting Illini in 2026, has learned.

Southern Illinois will travel to take on Illinois at Memorial Stadium in Champaign on Sept. 19, 2026. The Salukis will receive a $525,000 guarantee for the game, according to a copy of the contract obtained from Southern Illinois University via a state public records request.

Southern Illinois and Illinois have met four times on the gridiron. In their last meeting in 2013, the Fighting Illini defeated the Salukis 42-34 to remain unbeaten in the overall series at 4-0.

Illinois is the sixth FBS opponent that Southern Illinois has lined up on their future football schedules. Other opponents include UMass (2019), Arkansas State (2019), Wisconsin (2020), Kansas State (2021), and Northwestern (2022).

The addition of SIU tentatively completes Illinois’ non-conference schedule for the 2026 season. The Fighting Illini are also slated to host Duke on Sept. 12 and Missouri on Sept. 26.

Football Schedules