Western Football Releases 2024 Schedule


MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois has announced that they are taking the next step towards commencing a new era of Leatherneck football by releasing their schedule for the 2024 season.

The schedule reveal is part of the Big South-Ohio Valley Conference Football Association releasing its conference schedule for next fall.

“Western Illinois Football is excited about the opportunity to compete in the Big South-OVC,” Leatherneck coach Joe Davis said. “Our program will work diligently over the next calendar year to prepare to compete and make Leatherneck Nation proud.”

The 2024 schedule features 12 games, starting with four non-conference matchups before the Leathernecks make their Big South-Ohio Valley Football debut with an eight-game conference schedule.

The non-conference slate features three road games, two at FBS schools, one at a regional FCS foe, and one game at home. Several new opponents dot the schedule as the Leathernecks face four teams for the first time in program history.

The Leathernecks open the 2024 campaign, heading north to take on in-state foe Northern Illinois on August 31. The Leathernecks are 18-21-1 all-time vs. the Huskies but have won four of the last five matchups between the two schools.

WIU is on the road the next two weeks, taking on Big 10 opponent Indiana (Sept. 7) and former Missouri Valley Football Conference rival, Illinois State (Sept. 14).

The game vs. the Hoosiers is the first all-time meeting between the two schools. The Western Illinois-Illinois State matchup continues the longest-standing rivalry for the Leathernecks. It is the first time the two schools have met as non-Missouri Valley Football/Gateway Conference foes since 1984.

After a bye, Western Illinois makes its home debut playing McKendree (Sept. 28). This is the first meeting between WIU and McKendree since 1935.

The following Saturday, the Leathernecks make their long-awaited Big South-OVC debut.

This is the second year of the Big South-OVC Association, which features nine league opponents playing an eight-game conference schedule. Each team will play each other in conference play.

Western opens league play at Charleston Southern (Oct. 5). The matchup is a first-time foe for Western Illinois.

Western Illinois is then at home in back-to-back weeks, hosting UT Martin (Oct. 12) and Tennessee Tech (Oct. 19). The Leathernecks split their two meetings against UT Martin and Tennessee Tech.

The Leathernecks then hit the road for a pair, visiting Lindenwood (Oct. 26) and renewing acquaintances with rival Eastern Illinois (Nov. 2).

Western Illinois and Lindenwood met for the first time last fall with the Lions winning. The matchup against Eastern Illinois is the 67th all-time meeting between the two programs, but the first since 2016. The Leathernecks have won the last five games vs. the Panthers.

WIU is back on Hanson Field the following weekend, welcoming Tennessee State to town (Nov. 9) before going to SEMO (Nov. 16) and closing the season at home vs. Gardner Webb (Nov. 23).

Western Illinois has never played Tennessee State or Gardner Webb and is 0-1 all-time vs. SEMO.

Times, events, and promotions for games will be released at a later date, as will season and individual game ticket information.

2024 Schedule

  • 08/31 – at Northern Illinois
    • NIU leads series, 21-18-1
  • 09/07 – at Indiana
    • First meeting
  • 09/14  – at Illinois State
    • WIU leads series 52-51-3
  • 09/21 – BYE
  • 09/28 – vs. McKendree
    • McKendree leads series 3-2
  • 10/05  – at Charleston Southern
    • First meeting
  • 10/12 – vs. UT Martin
    • Series tied 1-1
  • 10/19 – vs. Tennessee Tech
    • Series tied 1-1
  • 10/26 – at Lindenwood
    • Lindenwood leads series 1-0
  • 11/02 – at Eastern Illinois
    • WIU leads series 42-21-4
  • 11/09 – vs. Tennessee State
    • First meeting
  • 11/16 – at Southeast Missouri
    • SEMO leads series 1-0
  • 11/23 – vs. Gardner Webb
    • First meeting

Copy Provided by Western Athletic Communications

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