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Purple returns to Northwestern’s uniform combination vs. Southern Illinois

For the first time since 2020, purple-purple-white is back.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It might be wishful thinking, but stretching to find any ounce of similarity between this season and Northwestern’s last two even-year escapades still offers nuggets of hope. Many (me) are touting how the 2018 B1G West champion Wildcats also lost to Duke in their non-conference schedule after last week’s debacle, I mean, any consolation counts.

Well, the last time Northwestern wore purple helmets, purple jerseys and white pants was its 17-7 win against No. 10 Wisconsin in 2020, per Hail to Purple. That win catapulted the ‘Cats from 19th in the AP Poll to inside the top 10. The Salukis are certainly no Wisconsin, but they pose a relevant threat among FCS teams — a threat that’s been amplified by a slew of FCS-FBS upsets in the last few weeks.

The combo, as seen above from June’s 2022 uniform reveal, brings back the purple many Wildcat fans missed last week in the home opener. Northwestern did wear purple tops and white pants last year at home against Indiana State, but the purple helmets featured a star-spangled N decal in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

The ‘Cats will be rocking this classic look, spruced up thanks to the ‘Northwestern Stripes,’ at 11:00 A.M. CST on Saturday at Ryan Field, streaming on Big Ten Network.