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Northwestern vs. Illinois: game day study guide

At the end of a long and disappointing season, the one thing Northwestern can still look forward to is notching a win in the annual Land of Lincoln rivalry game. Beating Illinois may not count for much, but it does guarantee Northwestern fans can use the hashtag #LOLHAT to counter any insults from Illinois fans over the next 12 months. That counts for something, I suppose.

This is also the final game for a very good senior class, a group that includes such stalwarts as quarterback Kain Colter, linebacker Damien Proby, defensive end Tyler Scott and Groza-snubbed kicker Jeff Budzien. This group probably never imagined it’d spend its final year sitting at home watching other teams play bowl games, but if they can lead the Wildcats to a victory Saturday, they might feel a little better about how their college careers finished up.

And just in case you need another reason to watch this Saturday’s game, remember this cheap shot?


That happened the last time the Wildcats traveled to Champaign (Northwestern lost to the then-No. 24 Illini, 38-35). Wonder if we’ll see any more post-play misbehavior this Saturday. Hopefully not. By the way, Jonathan Brown still plays for Illinois.


Our final installment of Northwestern game picks and score predictions for the season.

A reflection on Northwestern’s seniors, who will play their final college game Saturday.

Notes from Pat Fitzgerald’s Monday press conference and his 10-minute spot on the Big Ten conference call.

Some notes about this week's depth chart.

Get caught up on Illinois by reading our selection of links.