Northwestern and Illinois meet in in a Big Ten West Division showdown on Saturday, November 25, 2017. Find game time, TV channel and how to watch online information below.
The Fighting Illini come in on a nine-game losing streak and sit at 2-9, good for last in the Big Ten West. The No. 23 Wildcats, meanwhile, are 8-3 and and have won their last six games vaulting them into the College Football Playoff Rankings.
Last week, the Illini fell to Ohio State 52-14 in Columbus, while the Wildcats shutout Minnesota 39-0 in Evanston.
Northwestern-Illinois football TV channel, time, live stream
TV channel: Illinois and Northwestern can be watched on FS1.
Time: 4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT
Live stream: The two teams can be watched on FoxSportsGo.com.
Northwestern-Illinois football picks, odds
Odds: Northwestern is 16.5-point favorites, while the over-under is 45.5 points, according to MyBookie.
Northwestern-Illinois preview, keys to game
The meeting between the two Illinois teams is the battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy, where the Wildcats lead the series 5-3. The two teams will meet on November 25, 2017 in Champaign, Illinois.
Before that, from 1947-2008, the two teams played for the “Sweet Sioux” Tomahawk.
Overall, the two teams have met 111 times with the Illini leading 55-50-5.
The last time the Illini won was a 47-33 victory in Evanston in 2014, while the Wildcats took the latest clash between the two teams in Evanston last year by a score of 42-21.
It’s been a tough season for the Illini, who have started more freshmen than any team in the nation with 16 seeing starting time at some point in the season. No other team in the Big Ten has started more than five.
Overall, freshmen have made 79 starts for the team and 22 true freshmen have seen time and 13 of the team’s 18 offensive touchdowns have been scored by freshmen.
On the ground, they’re led by freshman back Mike Epstein, who averaged 69.2 yards per game and has 363 yards and three touchdowns on the season, but has been injured.
Last week, Dre Brown was the feature back with 15 carries for 76 yards in the loss to the Buckeyes.
Chayce Crouch got the start at quarterback and was 4-of-14 for 16 yards in a tough outing. Overall, he’s appeared in seven games and thrown for 443 yards and one score.
Defensively, Linebacker DelShawn Phillips leads the team with 76 tackles and also has four tackles for a loss including a sack. The unit has also forced 17 fumbles this season, leading the nation in that category.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, are on their longest winning streak of six games since they won seven in 1996, coincidentally coach Pat Fitzgerald’s senior season.
They hold the edge in most statistical categories including total offense (401.5-284.2), points allowed (21-30.5), points per game (28.5-16.2) and first downs (256-163).
They are led by senior running back Justin Jackson, who’s fourth in the Big Ten in career rushing yards with 5,139. This season, he’s got 1,110 and eight touchdowns.
Under center is quarterback Clayton Thorson, who has completed 205 passes (60.5 percent) for 2,669 yards and 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
His top receiver has been Flynn Nagel with 42 catches for 451 yards and two scores but hot on his heels is Bennett Skowronek who’s got 41 catches for 567 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, Godwin Igwebuike has been key for the team, while the Wildcats are led by linebacker Paddy Fisher with 100 total tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss.
Behind him is Nate Hall with 74 tackles, 14 of those for a loss with 3.5 sacks.
Last week in their victory over the Gophers, Skowronek, Jeremy Larkin, Jelani Roberts and Corey Acker each had one touchdown, while Garrett Dickerson had two.
For the Illini in their loss to the Buckeyes, Ahmari Hayes had a 54-yard fumble recovery score and the team’s lone offensive touchdown came from a Cam Miller 9-yard run.