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Northwestern (4-7) at Illinois (4-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Stadium (60,670) -- Champaign, Illinois. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: NU 3-4, Illinois 3-3. Away Record: NU 1-3, Illinois 1-3. Neutral Record: NU 0-0, Illinois 0-1. Conference Record: NU 0-7, Illinois 1-6. Series Record: Illinois leads, 54-47-5.

GAME NOTES: A pair of disappointing Big Ten Conference teams will attempt to close out the season on a high note, as the Illinois Fighting Illini host the Northwestern Wildcats in a battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy.

Coming off a 10-win season in 2012, Northwestern carried that momentum into the beginning of the 2013 campaign by reeling off four straight wins, but since entering Big Ten action it has fallen flat with seven straight losses, sinking to the bottom of the Legends Division in the process. The Wildcats were most recently handled by nationally-ranked Michigan State at home last weekend, 30-6.

Illinois has also had its fair share of troubles this season at 4-7 overall, but after suffering a six-game losing streak, it finally snapped out of it with a 20-16 road victory over Purdue last Saturday. The triumph ended the Illini's 20-game losing streak against Big Ten foes.

These two teams have met 106 times previously, with Illinois staking claim to a 54-47-5 advantage. This marks the fifth time the teams will play for the right to hoist the Land of Lincoln Trophy, with each side winning twice. Northwestern won last season in Evanston, 50-14.

Northwestern's offense has been stuck in neutral all season long, as it ranks 11th in the conference in scoring only 25.2 points per game, and it reached new lows in the loss to MSU by amassing just six points and 319 yards while turning the ball over three times.

Trevor Siemian has had an unproductive season under center, completing fewer than 58 percent of his passes for 1,735 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. Kain Colter has been mixed in and has shown promise as both a passer (.788, 577 yards, four TDs) and a rusher (489 yards, five TDs), but he is listed as questionable for this contest with an upper body injury.

Treyvon Green was bottled up by the stout MSU defense, totaling just 25 yards on 11 carries, but on the season he has been solid with 667 yards on 116 attempts while crossing into the end zone eight times.

At receiver, Tony Jones (50 receptions, 586 yards, four TDs) is Siemian's favorite target, while Christian Jones (41 receptions, 486 yards, two TDs) has also been stellar.

The Wildcats' have played well on defense, as they have picked off a league- high 18 passes, but even though their scoring yield appears respectable (26.5 ppg), the number ranks in the bottom have of the conference.

Chi Chi Ariguzo has 92 tackles, 6.0 TFL, four interceptions and a forced fumble, while Ibraheim Campbell (four INTs), Collin Ellis (three INTs) and Dean Lowry (two INTs, two FF) have also made their mark with regard to takeaways. Damien Proby (98 tackles) and Tyler Scott (10 TFL, 6.0 sacks) are also having strong seasons.

Despite its poor record, Illinois' offense has actually performed quite well in posting 29.3 points and 420.7 yards per game.

With the Illini often playing from behind, Nathan Scheelhaase has been able to rack up the stats. He has completing 66.5 percent of his passes for a Big Ten- leading 2,965 yards with 23 touchdowns (four rushing), but his gun-slinging mentality has also resulted in a league-worst 12 interceptions.

Steve Hull was outstanding in last week's win with 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns, and he has been one of the nation's best big-play threats at receiver all season long, turning 46 receptions into 838 yards (18.2 yards per catch) and six scores.

Josh Ferguson is an impressive multi-purpose tailback. Not only has he rushed for 669 yards and five touchdowns, but he is heavily utilized in the passing game with a team-high 47 receptions for 509 yards and four more scores.

Where things have gone terribly wrong for the Illini this season has been on the defensive side of the ball, where they allow the third-most points in the conference (35.3 ppg). The unit changed their tune in the win over Purdue, however, as it dominated by allowing just 283 yards.

Jonathan Brown has made plays all over the field with 102 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks, an interceptions and a forced fumble. Earnest Thomas III (91 tackles, three FF) and Houston Bates (12.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, two FF, two FR) have also played well.

The Illini finally got back in the win column after more than two years between Big Ten victories, and things are lining up nicely for a mini win streak at home against a floundering Wildcats' squad. With the defense gaining confidence after last week's performance, expect Illinois to put a stamp on Northwestern's winless season in conference play.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois 31, Northwestern 28

11/27 11:12:47 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
 
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0