Northwestern to open season at night

Northwestern will kick off the 2010 season under the lights as the team's opener at Vanderbilt has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. local time).

The SEC announced that Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast will televise the game, which will also be available on ESPN3.com. Vanderbilt and ESPN originally wanted to move the opener to Sunday, Sept. 5, but Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald nixed it, saying he didn't want a short week of preparation following the opener. Northwestern had been willing to move the game to Sept. 2 (Thursday) or Sept. 3 (Friday), but it will remain as scheduled on a Saturday.

Northwestern now has two scheduled night games this fall, as it host Purdue on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats lost their only night game in 2009, falling 37-34 at Syracuse.

The night kickoff should help Northwestern's players, who aren't as accustomed to the heat Nashville can have at that time of year. Vanderbilt will be playing its first game under interim head coach Robbie Caldwell, who takes over for the retiring Bobby Johnson.