(Saturday, November 20th)
Final Score: Illinois 48, Northwestern 27
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - In the first football game play at Wrigley Field in 40 years Mikel Leshoure rushed for a school-record 330 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Illinois Fighting Illini to a 48-27 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference matchup.
In an odd twist due to safety concerns the offenses for both teams were only allowed to move towards the west end zone, however, that did not seem to both either school considering Illinois and Northwestern combined for 75 points.
Jason Ford added 86 rushing yards and three scores or Illinois (6-5, 4-4 BigTen), while quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase rumbled for 97 yards, and also threw for 40 yards and one touchdown.
Mike Trumpy led Northwestern (7-4, 3-4) with 129 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Evan Watkins had a tough outing, as the quarterback completed just 50.0 percent of his throws for only 135 yards, and also tossed an interception in the loss.
Five touchdowns were scored in the first quarter, beginning with a four-yard run by Leshoure. The tailback added a one-yard score minutes later to give the Illini a quick 14-0 lead.
Northwestern's defense got the team on the scoreboard, as Brian Peters returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown.
However, less than two minutes later, the Illini went back up by 14 points, thanks to a five-yard touchdown run by Ford.
Late in the quarter the Wildcats found the end zone again, as Trumpy broke free down the sideline and rumbled 80 yards for a touchdown.
Derek Dimke's 45-yard field goal early in the second stanza gave the Illini a brief 10-point lead before Northwestern's kicker, Stefan Demos, nailed a 31- yard boot minutes later.
The Wildcats evened the score at 24 apiece when Trumpy's two-yard touchdown run capped off an eight-play, 75-yard drive.
However, Dimke connected on a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half, giving the Illini a 27-24 edge as the two teams entered the break.
The lone score in the third quarter was a 10-yard touchdown pass from Scheelhaase to A.J. Jenkins, that pushed Illinois' advantage to 10 points.
Illinois went ahead by 17 points when Ford found the end zone on a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
Demos nailed a 25-yard field goal less than two minutes later, but the Illini closed out the game when Ford scored on a one-yard run in the final minute of action.
11/20 21:44:27 ET