Northwestern at Illinois
Nov. 30, 2013
Memorial Stadium Champaign, Ill.
Saturday marked the 107th meeting in the all-time series between Northwestern and Illinois, with the two programs having squared off every year since 1927. Illinois leads the all-time series 54-48-5, while the Wildcats have now won three of five since the Land of Lincoln Trophy replaced the rivalry's previous hardware, the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, in the 2009 season.
Northwestern registered 560 yards of total offense in the game, its second-best total of the season (581 vs. Syracuse).
With the win, Northwestern avoided its first winless conference season since 1998, the last year for the Wildcats under head coach Gary Barnett.
Making his third career start, QB Trevor Siemian began the game by completing 10 of his first 11 passes for 135 yards. He went on to finish 31-of-44 for 414 yards, the 10th-highest single-game passing total in NU history and the most since Mike Kafka threw for 532 against Auburn in the 2010 Outback Bowl.
Siemian's 31 completions and four touchdowns each represent career highs, and his 54-yard completion to Rashad Lawrence was NU's longest pass completion of the season
WR Christian Jones needed only one quarter to set a single-game career high for receiving yards, racking up 95 yards on six receptions in the first period. His previous high of 94 yards was set in the 2013 season-opener at California. Jones also recorded the first multi-touchdown game of his career.
Jones finished with 13 catches for 182 yards and was joined in surpassing 100 yards by teammate Rashad Lawrence, who netted 112 yards on five receptions. It was the first time that two Wildcats have gone over 100 yards receiving in the same game since Oct. 29, 2011, when Kain Colter and Drake Dunsmore each turned the trick against Indiana.
Jones' 13 catches are tied for the fifth-best single-game performance in Northwestern history and are the most since Jeremy Ebert hauled in 13 against Iowa on Oct. 15, 2011.
Senior PK Jeff Budzien converted a 19-yard field goal to open the game's scoring. It was the 21st made field goal of the season for Budzien (on 23 attempts), setting a new Northwestern single-season record in the process.
Budzien later added two more field goals in the game (26, 42), giving him sole possession of second place on Northwestern's career field goals list. Budzien wrapped his four years at NU having made 48-of-55 field goals, leaving him as the school's career leader in field goal percentage (.873) and points scored (280).
Senior DE Tyler Scott recorded the only turnover for either team in the game with his fourth-quarter interception of Nathan Scheelhaase. It was Scott's second interception of the season and third of his career, and the 19th interception of 2013 for the Wildcats.
LB Damien Proby tied with Chi Chi Ariguzo for the team-lead in tackles in his final game as a Wildcat with 14. Proby finished as NU's leading tackler on the season with 114 total stops.
Senior QB Kain Colter was ruled out for the game due to an injury sustained one week ago against Michigan State. The dynamic Colter closes his career ranked fifth in school history with 28 rushing touchdowns, eighth with 2,178 rushing yards and 11th in total offense yards (4,340). Colter appeared in 39 games in his career, missing this year's Minnesota and Illinois games entirely and being forced out of three others (California, Wisconsin, Michigan State) in the first quarter.