No. 14 Northwestern runs over Illinois
Behind a potent rushing attack, No. 14 Northwestern defeated visiting Illinois 28-10 on a rainy and wet Saturday afternoon to win the Land of Lincoln Trophy at Evanston, Ill.
The victory is the Wildcats sixth straight in the rivalry series, their most consecutive victories over the Fighting Illini.
The bad weather played a crucial role in the game, forcing both teams to play mostly on the ground. The teams combined for only 34 pass attempts, while rushing 93 times.
Northwestern (6-1, 6-1) had 411 rushing yards, the most since running for 444 against Illinois in 2003. Evan Hull rushed for 149 yards, freshman Cam Porter had 24 carries and 142 yards in his first major action of the year and Peyton Ramsey added 47 rushing yards and 82 passing yards.
Illinois (2-5, 2-5) rushed for 77 yards in the first quarter, but struggled to gain any more yards until garbage time.
After missing a 32-yard field goal on the second drive of the first quarter James McCourt redeemed himself on the next possession, nailing a 39-yard field goal into that same wind to give Illinois a 3-0 lead.
After the field goal, Northwestern zoned in. On the first play of the second quarter, Ramsey found Charlie Mangieri in the end zone for a 2-yard score to go up 7-3.
Later in the quarter, the Wildcats went on a lengthy drive. Across 17 plays and over seven minutes, Northwestern slowly trudged down the field.
The Wildcats picked up three fourth-down conversions on the drive and had 12 runs of four yards or fewer, but reached the end zone via a 2-yard rush from Porter to cap the 64-yard excursion.
Porter scored his second touchdown on the first possession after halftime on an 18-yard run, and Hull found the end zone on a 32-yard run later in the quarter to go up 28-3 and put the game out of reach.
By the start of the fourth quarter, Northwestern was resting most of its starters. Illinois added a touchdown on a 46 yard pass from Isaiah Williams to Brian Hightower.
–Field Level Media