(Saturday, November 14th)
Final Score: Northwestern 21, Illinois 16
Champaign-Urbana, IL (Sports Network) - Mike Kafka threw for 305 yards and a score, lifting the Northwestern Wildcats past the Illinois Fighting Illini, 21-16, in a Big Ten clash at Memorial Stadium.
Kafka completed 23-of-37 pass attempts and added a score on the ground for the Wildcats (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten), who were coming off an upset of undefeated Iowa last weekend. Zeke Markshausen was Kafka's main target, as he pulled in six balls for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Jacob Charest, making his first start, threw for 145 yards with one touchdown against two interceptions for the Illini (3-7, 2-6). The loss snapped the team's two-game win streak and ended its hopes for bowl-eligibility.
Illinois got on the board first, as Derek Dimke booted a 30-yard field goal just a few minutes into the second quarter.
With 17 seconds left in the opening half, Northwestern grabbed the lead, courtesy of a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kafka to Markshausen.
The Wildcats scored the lone points of the third quarter behind a one-yard touchdown run by Kafka. The run capped a seven-play, 99-yard drive that spanned only 2 1/2 minutes.
Northwestern added to its lead early in the final frame, as Arby Fields rushed one yard for a score.
Illinois responded immediately with a 10-yard touchdown run by Charest. The two-point try, however, failed, leaving the Illini behind 21-9.
With just over four minutes left, Illinois struck again with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Charest to Chris Duvalt. Unfortunately, the Illini would get no closer in the 21-16 setback.
Northwestern totaled 444 yards of offense, with no turnovers on the day.
11/14 16:55:59 ET