CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Good afternoon from Memorial Stadium as Illinois (6-5, 4-4 in Big Ten) hosts Northwestern (2-9, 0-8) for an 11 a.m. kickoff. Illinois, which is an 8-point home favorite but is without several injured starters on both sides of the ball. We're a few hours away from game time with weather conditions via Weather.com in Champaign calling for temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s high wind gusts and constant rain throughout the game.
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Date/time: Saturday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. CST
Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill.
Schedule/records: Illinois 6-5 overall, 4-4 Big Ten, 4-8 in 2018 (2-7 in Big Ten); Northwestern 2-9 overall, 0-8 in Big Ten, 9-4 (8-1 in Big Ten) in 2018.
Series notes: Saturday’s game will be the 113th meeting between Illinois and Northwestern. Illinois leads the all-time series 55-52-5. Illinois is 27-30-1 when playing the Wildcats in the Illini’s Big Ten finale. Illinois’ last win in the series was a 47-33 victory in Evanston in 2014. The Illini used 291 yards rushing to reclaim the Land of Lincoln Trophy and with a 47-33 win over Northwestern in the 2014 regular-season finale. Illinois forced five turnovers - three interceptions and two fumbles - and held the Wildcats to 62 yards in the first half. The Fighting Illini and Wildcats played for the “Sweet Sioux” Tomahawk from 1947-2008. Illinois led the traditional trophy series by a 32-28-2 mark, but Northwestern won the final meeting for the Tomahawk with its 27-10 win in 2008. The Tomahawk was retired following the 2008 season.
Current line: Illinois by 8
Uniform update: Illinois will be in orange helmets with the blue block 'I', blue jerseys with orange numbers and orange pants. Northwestern will be in the all Storm Trooper look today with white helmets, white jerseys with purple letters and white pants.
Injury Update: Illinois will be without several starters today including DB Tony Adams, LB Dawson DeGroot, LB Jake Hansen, WR Jordan Holmes, WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, DL Marc Mondesir, RB Jakari Norwood, QB Brandon Peters, WR Carlos Sandy, DL Jamal Woods.
Illinois wins the toss and defers. Northwestern will start with the football today against Lovie Smith's defense.
Andrew Marty gets the start for Northwestern - his first career start.
12:24 left in 1st: No score - Northwestern with short passes and perimeter runs are moving the chains (two first downs). Illinois doing a little better job at setting the perimeter edge but will need to watch Marty in the run game.
11:26 left in 1st: No score - Northwestern forced to punt after Illinois takes a timeout and shows a bunch of new, unique defensive formations including what looked like a 6-1-4 on a second-down play.
10:05 left in 1st: No score - Illinois goes three-and-out after two east-and-west runs by Reggie Corbin and a rollout that is underthrown by Matt Robinson. My best guess is Fitzgerald is going to make Matt Robinson and his right arm beat them.
5:02 left in 1st: No score - Northwestern simply winning the battle at the line-of-scrimmage right now. Wildcats have 4.5 yards per carry and are 3 of 4 on third down.
3:05 left in 1st: Northwestern 3, Illinois 0 - NW FG - Wildcats complete a 13-play drive with a 33-yard field goal. If not for a dropped pass ALL BY HIMSELF by Trey Pugh in the end zone, Northwestern's kick would've been a PAT.
1:47 left in 1st: Northwestern 3, Illinois 0 - Second straight three-and-out for the Illini as Robinson misses an open receiver on a third-down crossing route.
END OF 1st: Northwestern 3, Illinois 0 - Northwestern is currently outgaining Illini 78-2 and Wildcats have 3.8 yards per rush.
14:46 left in 2nd: Northwestern 3, Illinois 0 - Illini INT - Nate Hobbs gets the first turnover of the day on an interception. Illinois will have it inside Northwestern territory for the first time today.
13:44 left in 2nd: Illinois 7, Northwestern 3 - Illini TD - The turnover pays off for the Illini as Dre Brown takes a handoff six yards for the game's first touchdown. Brown scores in what could be his final home game of his career.
5:20 left in 2nd: Northwestern 10, Illinois 7 - NW TD - Andrew Marty, who already has 84 total yards, takes a designed run for a 12-yard touchdown run. Wildcats with 135 rushing yards today.
5:02 left in 2nd: Northwestern 10, Illinois 7 - Illini injury - Illinois center Doug Kramer is being cautiously watched as he off the field by Illinois training staff. Looks like Kendrick Green going in at center.
4:36 left in 2nd: Northwestern 10, Illinois 7 - Illinois goes three-and-out and the third-down play is ugly protection that results in Robinson getting smashed and an intentional grounding call is made.
End of 1st half: Northwestern 10, Illinois 7 - Illinois gets a fourth-down defensive stand, on a possible interception by Stanley Green. Illinois ends the first half averaging one yard per minute of action (30 total yards). Northwestern is 7 of 15 on third or fourth-down conversions.
10:32 left in 3rd: Northwestern 10, Illinois 7 - ILLINI MISS FG - A 36-yard drive ends with a 49-yard field goal missed wide right by James McCourt. Robinson hit a couple throws but also is struggling on his RPO reads.
8:03 left in 3rd: Northwestern 17, Illinois 7 - NW TD - Marty hits his tight end Riley Lees down the middle for a 34-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch. Sydney Brown let the tight end get behind him and Marty put the ball exactly where it needed to be.
2:30 left in 3rd: Northwestern 17, Illinois 10 - ILLINI FG - James McCourt makes up for his earlier miss with a 50-yard kick that bangs off the right upright. Matt Robinson is currently 7 of 15 for 99 yards.
0:56 left in 3rd: Northwestern 17, Illinois 10 - On a 3rd-and-1 run, Coco Azema goes for 62 yards on a normal off tackle run but Illini had 10 players at the line-of-scrimmage and nobody in the second or third levels.
END OF 3RD: Northwestern 17, Illinois 10 - Current rushing yardage totals: Northwestern 267, Illinois 7. Illini honestly lucky to be down by just one score but Wildcats are driving.
14:10 left: Northwestern 17, Illinois 10 - An interception in the end zone on a deflection into the arms of Stanley Green is negated. Illinois is flagged for illegal hands to the face. WOW.
13:28 left: Northwestern 23, Illinois 10 - NW TD - Northwestern answers the second life with a touchdown as Marty scores from one yard out but the PAT is missed.