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Northwestern pulls out The Grapes against Illinois

The ‘Cats will look to a lucky uniform combo to help them end their season on a strong note.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Northwestern Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

To put a stamp on what has been an all-time disaster of a season, Northwestern will don an uncommon uniform combo against rival Illinois. On Friday, the team announced its players will sport white helmets, purple jerseys and purple pants come Saturday. The mostly purple permutation is affectionately known as The Grapes by those within the program.

The last time the ‘Cats faced off in the fruit-inspired unis, they beat Rutgers in Week 6 of last season — 21-7. Ryan Hilinski passed for two touchdowns, and Andrew Clair ran in NU’s other score.

The Grapes are a relatively new creation, having been debuted against Nevada five years ago. In its three showings, the white-purple-purple setup has only yielded wins.

Northwestern looks to capitalize on this seemingly fortunate uniform pairing by breaking a 10-game losing streak. The Wildcats will have to do so when they wrap up their season against the Fighting Illini at Ryan Field, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network.