Who's Playing

Northwestern @ Illinois

Current Records: Northwestern 3-8; Illinois 4-7

What to Know

The Northwestern Wildcats are 6-0 against the Illinois Fighting Illini since November of 2015, and they'll have a chance to extend that success Saturday. Northwestern and Illinois will face off in a Big Ten battle at 3:30 p.m. ET at Memorial Stadium. Given that these two teams suffered a loss in their last game, they both have a little extra motivation heading into this contest.

The matchup between the Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers last week was not particularly close, with Northwestern falling 32-14. The losing side was boosted by RB Evan Hull, who punched in one rushing touchdown.

Meanwhile, Illinois might have drawn first blood against the Iowa Hawkeyes last week, but it was Iowa who got the last laugh. The Fighting Illini came up short against the Hawkeyes, falling 33-23. No one had a standout game offensively for Illinois, but they got scores from QB Isaiah Williams and TE Luke Ford.

Special teams collected 11 points for Illinois. K James McCourt delivered a perfect 3-for-3 game.

Northwestern is expected to lose this next one by 6.5. Those betting on them against the spread shouldn't have high expectations for them since the team is 1-5 ATS when expected to lose.

The losses put the Wildcats at 3-8 and the Fighting Illini at 4-7. A pair of defensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: Northwestern is 234th worst in the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed, with 27 on the season. Illinois have had an even harder time: they are stumbling into the game with the 157th most rushing touchdowns allowed in the nation, having given up 14 on the season. It's possible one of these Achilles' heels will wind up tripping the losing team up.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Memorial Stadium -- Champaign, Illinois
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $6.00


The Fighting Illini are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Wildcats, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 6.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

Over/Under: -113

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Series History

Northwestern have won all of the games they've played against Illinois in the last seven years.

  • Dec 12, 2020 - Northwestern 28 vs. Illinois 10
  • Nov 30, 2019 - Northwestern 29 vs. Illinois 10
  • Nov 24, 2018 - Northwestern 24 vs. Illinois 16
  • Nov 25, 2017 - Northwestern 42 vs. Illinois 7
  • Nov 26, 2016 - Northwestern 42 vs. Illinois 21
  • Nov 28, 2015 - Northwestern 24 vs. Illinois 14