Illini grade vs. Northwestern: C plus
Player of the game
Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian. With Kain Colter out, the backup had a career day against the Illini. He threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Wildcats victory. The junior gives the team a reason to be excited about 2014.
Illinois B+, Northwestern A-
How much credit do you give the Wildcats on offense for 560 yards and how much blame goes to the Illinois defense? Nathan Scheelhaase led the Illini to 492 yards. Nice way to close out a career.
Illinois D, Northwestern D+
Give the Wildcats a small edge thanks to an interception that turned the game. But there were big holes on both sides of the ball and receivers running free. Both teams need to improve dramatically before they can think about winning seasons.
Illinois B-, Northwestern B
Loren Tate was going nutso in the press box when the Illini sent Taylor Zalewski in to try a 51-yard field goal into the wind late in the first half. Fooled you. Zalewski nailed it with a couple of yards to spare. Tate continued mumbling to himself.
Illinois C+, Northwestern B
Hard to believe a game between teams with a combined 8-14 record could be entertaining. But it was. Too bad the fans had more pressing things to do, like hunting for bargains at the mall. You could have given away 30,0000 seats and had plenty to spare.