Michigan-Iowa football game to play under the lights

Mark Emmert
When Jim Harbaugh visits Kinnick Stadium for the first time as Michigan football coach, it will be under the lights in a Nov. 12 prime-time game.

IOWA CITY, Ia. ­— Jim Harbaugh will be making his Kinnick Stadium debut as Michigan’s football coach under the lights.

ESPN announced Monday that the Nov. 12 game between Harbaugh’s Wolverines and the Iowa Hawkeyes will kickoff at 7 p.m. and be broadcast nationally on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Harbaugh, the cantankerous former Michigan quarterback and coach of the San Francisco 49ers, has put the Wolverines back on the national stage entering his second headline-filled season in Ann Arbor. Michigan also will be involved in the Big Ten Conference season’s first prime-time game on the ABC/ESPN platform, on Oct. 8 at Rutgers.

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For Iowa, coming off a 12-2 season that culminated in a Rose Bowl berth, it’s a chance to have another “Blackout” night at Kinnick, following last year’s home victory over Minnesota. Fans are encouraged to wear black clothing to the game.

The Hawkeyes are 8-4 in home games played after sundown, including a 30-28 victory against Michigan in 2009.

“Our two prime-time games in Kinnick Stadium last season proved to be outstanding games and were very well received by our fans,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said in a news release, referencing victories over Pitt and the Gophers. “The electricity surrounding the home-field advantage was definitely a factor.”

ESPN announced seven Big Ten contests among its 2016 prime-time schedule. The Big Ten Network is expected to announce its selection of prime-time games soon. ESPN and BTN prime-time requests must receive the consent of the Big Ten Conference and the home team before being confirmed.

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ESPN's prime-time schedule of Big Ten games:

Oct. 8—Michigan at Rutgers

Oct. 15—Ohio State at Wisconsin

Oct. 22—Ohio State at Penn State

Oct. 29—Northwestern at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin

Nov. 5—Nebraska at Ohio State

Nov. 12—Michigan at Iowa