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College Football
Preview
Northwestern at Illinois
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 30, 2013
Where: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois

Illinois and visiting Northwestern have but one thing to play for when they meet for the 107th time Saturday - the Land of Lincoln Trophy. Neither team is going to a bowl game, so all that's left is a rivalry that goes back 121 years. "It's about moving forward," Illinois coach Tim Beckman said of the game against Northwestern. "This program has gotten better and we've made tremendous strides in the things we do. Of course, going into winter workouts with a win is always important."

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter is questionable for his final college game after leaving the Michigan State game following a helmet-to-helmet hit. "I doubt you'll see him tomorrow (at Tuesday's practice)," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "I hope he is ready for Saturday, but as you would expect taking a head-to-head hit like that, he's pretty sore, pretty banged up." The Wildcats have lost seven straight games after opening the season with four non-conference wins.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Northwestern -3.5

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (4-7, 0-7 Big Ten): Despite being winless in conference play and the possibility of Colter not being able to suit up, Fitzgerald was upbeat during his weekly press conference. "I'm just excited to be with the seniors one more time," he said. "I've got a ton of respect for Coach Beckman and their program. But to finish with a rivalry, I think that's what's great about college football." Among the other seniors are kicker Jeff Budzien, wide receiver Rashad Lawrence, linebacker Damien Proby and defensive lineman Tyler Scott.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (4-7, 1-6): The Fighting Illini snapped a 20-game losing streak in Big Ten games with a 20-16 victory over Purdue last week. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has had a strong senior season and can become the school's leader in all-purpose yardage with 323 yards against Northwestern, which would move him past Juice Williams. "I think that anyone who knows or has been around him realizes that we're going to miss not just a great player, but a great person," Beckman said. "I was blessed enough to coach on a national championship team that had a Heisman Trophy winner, but there aren't many Nathan Scheelhaases out there."

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Fighting Illini lead the series 54-47-5, but the Wildcats have won seven of the last 10 meetings.

2. The Land of Lincoln Trophy replaced the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk in 2009.

3. Budzien is Northwestern's all-time leading scorer with 267 points.

PREDICTION: Illinois 23, Northwestern 22
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Northwestern 4-7 L7 25.2 26.5 3-4 1-3 3-4 0-0 0-7
Illinois 4-7 W1 29.3 35.3 3-4 1-3 1-2 0-0 1-6
Last Meeting
Northwestern Illinois
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/24/12 ILL 14 NW 50 450 338 112 242 126 116
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern K. Colter 81.8 102 3 0
Illinois N. Scheelhaase 64.3 91 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern V. Mark 18 127 7.1 1
Illinois D. Young 11 74 6.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern C. Jones 1 30 30.0 0
Illinois M. Osei 3 34 11.3 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern K. Colter 1
Illinois R. O'Toole 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern T. Siemian 57.9 1729 7 9
Illinois N. Scheelhaase 66.5 2965 19 12
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern T. Green 117 667 5.7 8
Illinois J. Ferguson 127 669 5.3 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern T. Jones 50 586 11.7 4
Illinois S. Hull 46 838 18.2 6
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern T. Green 9
Illinois J. Ferguson 9
Quickchart Matchup
Northwestern Off vs  Illinois Def
385 yards
474.4 yards
4.2 yards/rush
5.9 yards/rush
6.9 yards/attempt
8.1 yards/attempt
Illinois Off vs  Northwestern Def
420.7 yards
417.2 yards
3.9 yards/rush
4 yards/rush
7.7 yards/attempt
6.9 yards/attempt