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Northwestern vs. Illinois Gamethread

A win over its in-state rival gives Northwestern bowl eligibility.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to play for the HAT. That's all that needs to be said. Although officially known as the Land of Lincoln Trophy, the LOLHAT has become the perfect symbol for a matchup between two 5-6 teams vying for bowl eligibility.

Riding a two-game winning streak, Northwestern comes into the contest playing its best football of the season. The team has looked dangerous on the offensive side of the ball and pretty stout defensively in wins over Notre Dame and Purdue. But, the Wildcats will be without a lot of key pieces today. Along with Trevor Siemian's season-ending ACL injury, Northwestern's injury report looks like this:

RB Stephen Buckley - OUT

S Traveon Henry - OUT

S Godwin Igwebuike - OUT

OT Jack Konopka - OUT

CB Marcus McShepard - OUT

WR Miles Shuler - OUT

WR Kyle Prater - Doubtful

CB Nick VanHoose - Questionable

VanHoose, Buckley, Henry, Shuler and Konopka all were absent last week but the new additions to the injury report could really hurt the Wildcats. Defensively, Kyle Quiero and Jarrell Williams will have to step up while the offense will have to look to Dan Vitale and Justin Jackson for big plays.

It's a beautiful day in Evanston, but we're not sure the football will be as nice. Come #hottake, laugh and cry with us.

Also, never forget.