Five Standouts: Northwestern-Illinois

The best of Northwestern's crucial win against Illinois.

Trevor Siemian Well, if this were an audition for next season, Siemian did extremely well. The junior put on a passing clinic against an overmatched defense, throwing for 416 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. He ably threw to all of his elite receivers, mixed crossing routes and deep tosses en route to his career game. Quarterback 1-b also looked comfortable as the lone option under center — doing everything he could to help the offense post 37 points.

Tyler Scott How perfect it was: The senior closed his career with a key interception of Nathan Scheelhaase. He also picked up two quarterback hits — part of another strong performance from the defensive ends. Dean Lowry added 1.5 sacks; he and Deonte Gibson should still be an impressive tandem next season. Despite the relatively poor defensive showing on Saturday, key plays gave Northwestern the Land of Lincoln edge.

Damien Proby A more subdued guy, he's still one I'll miss. My favorite memory of him: Last spring, while he was inactive during a practice, Proby became hoarse yelling out instructions to fellow linebackers. He's a natural leader, an excellent player, and someone who anchored an impressive group of linebackers. His active game – and 14 tackles – served as an ideal sendoff. He'll be tough to replace.

Rashad Lawrence Well, all of the seniors happened to show up, aside from poor Kain Colter. Lawrence had his best game since the Ohio State breakout, notching five catches for 117 yards and a nice score. He took advantage of the weak Illinois secondary and was part of a career day for these wide receivers. The senior never quite met his potential – at least not this season – but saved some of his best football for the Illinois rivalry.

Christian Jones Unbelievable: 13 catches, 183 yards, two touchdowns. He's finally realizing his overall skill and versatility; we might have just seen his breakout game. Though the Wildcats tend to incorporate "receiver-by-committee," Jones could be an ideal primary option if they choose that route. Regardless, this was quite the afternoon for Jones, who has one year of eligibility remaining.

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