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College Football Game to Be Played With One End Zone


"Though it's not ideal, it's the right thing."

When Illinois and Northwestern kick off their football game on Saturday, things will be a little strange. That's because the teams will only be playing with one offensive end zone.

The drastic decision was made in the name of safety. The teams are squaring off not at a normal football stadium, but rather a baseball field -- Wrigley field, that is, home of the Chicago Cubs. The venue forced an odd field configuration that pushed the east end zone up against the famous ivy-covered brick wall.

ESPN explains:

The east end zone is just feet away from the right-field wall, and although there is padding, there still were concerns that players could be injured there.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald had said this week that he would have different game plans for each end zone to avoid the possibility of injury.

When a team is on offense Saturday, it will be positioned to head to the west end zone.

"Though it's not ideal, it's the right thing," Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "We've been planning for this for a while, there were no surprises. The field came out the way we thought, it ended up maybe being a little closer with some of the padding.

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