The Illinois State football team will open its season at Hancock Stadium against Valparaiso on September 3 with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.

The Redbirds are looking to make the playoffs for the third season in a row for the first time in program history this year and also remain at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) after splitting the conference championship with North Dakota State the last two seasons.

A total of five Redbird standouts were selected for the 2016 MVFC Preseason Team. Included in the group were 2015 All-MVFC First-Team selections Anthony Warrum and Mark Spelman, and they were joined by Kyle Avaloy, Brady Tibbits and Alec Kocour. Warrum, Spelman and Avaloy were each named STATS FCS preseason All-Americans and each were recognized, along with Tibbits, among the best offensive players in the conference by earning spots on the 2016 MVFC Preseason Team.

September 3 is also Reggie’s Kids Club Night with fireworks following the game.