Gopher football opener set for 8 p.m.

The University of Minnesota announced start times on Thursday for the first three home football games of the season.

The Gophers will open the 2019 season against South Dakota State at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

The Gophers will host Georgia Southern in their final non-conference game at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. In Week 2, Minnesota travels to Fresno State for a 9:30 p.m. kickoff that had already been announced.

The Gophers will host Illinois for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 5. Kickoff will be at either 2:30 or 3 p.m.

Minnesota also announced Thursday its game at Rutgers on Saturday, Oct. 19, will start at either 2:30 or 3 p.m.

The Gophers are coming off a 7-6 season in coach PJ Fleck’s second year leading the program. They have high expectations after beating Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl and getting a signature 37-15 win at Wisconsin to end the regular season and earn bowl eligibility.

Minnesota won three of its final four games to end the 2018 season.