MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will play Western Illinois in 2022, putting a third FCS opponent on the schedule over the next four years.

The Gophers announced Tuesday they've added the Leathernecks for Sept. 10, 2022, giving them five straight home games to start the slate for the first time since 1933. Their other nonconference foes in 2022 are New Mexico State and Colorado.

Minnesota last played an FCS team in 2016: Indiana State. The Gophers will open this season against South Dakota State and host Tennessee Tech in 2020. The Big Ten for a while steered its teams away from playing FCS foes, and last year it had by far the fewest of the power five conferences. Scheduling challenges have since caused the league to soften its stance.

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