Kickoff Time: 11:30 CT
Radio:WGN Radio 720, WNUR Radio
The Wildcats used their bye week to regroup after their first loss of the season. On Saturday, they look to get back in the win column and get revenge for last season, as they clash with the Illinois Fighting Illini. A number of storylines help build the anticipation for kickoff.
After weeks of speculation, Persa Watch will come to an end on Saturday, as the senior quarterback is expected to make his first start of the season. Persa was not listed on the Northwestern injury report for the first time, and Pat Fitzgerald proclaimed his quarterback is "good to go."
Can NU stop the run?
519. That number is likely on the minds of Pat Fitzgerald and his Wildcats. That is the number of rushing yards that Illinois posted on the Northwestern defense in last year's matchup. NU struggled to stop Army's rushing attack two weeks ago, and will have another tough challenge against the Illini. Can they slow down Jason Ford and crew?
Coming off a bye week, the Wildcats are now healthier than they have been all season. Obviously, Dan Persa is the most notable returning player, but Jack DiNardo and Collin Ellis are also ready to contribute on Saturday.
The Wildcats' defense will have a challenge stopping the run, but containing the Illini's quarterback will be just as difficult. Nathan Scheelhaase has completed more than 71 percent of his passes and is also a threat to run the football. Northwestern will have to contain the standout sophomore.
Who's fired up?
The Land of Lincoln Trophy is on the line and the bad blood is ready to flow in this rivalry. Both teams have their own motivational tactics ready for this game, and are ready to let it all out on the field.