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Wisconsin’s season opener vs. Utah State set for 8 p.m. kickoff

The Badgers will begin the 2017 season under the Friday night lights at Camp Randall.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers will play under the light of the moon to start the 2017 season.

ESPN announced on Thursday that the Utah State-Wisconsin matchup on Sept. 1 at Camp Randall Stadium will have an 8 p.m. CST kickoff. The Friday night opener will be televised on ESPN’s main network.

According to UW, it will be the first time the Badgers start their football season on a Friday night since 2002. For those that don’t remember, that 23-21 win over Fresno State was the coming-out party for a certain walk-on safety from Tony, Wis.—one who became a three-time All-American, 10-year NFL veteran, and is currently the program’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Jim Leonhard started his first game against the Bulldogs, recording six tackles, five pass break-ups and intercepting two passes in sealing the win.

The Sept. 1 contest will be the second night game at Camp Randall between the Badgers and Aggies in the past five years, with the last one coming in September 2012. UW won that close contest 16-14, marking the beginning of the Joel Stave era.

Wisconsin also noted the 2017 opener will be the 19th night game in the stadium’s 100-year history and its sixth to open a season.