Nov. 15, 2010
Allstate Wrigleyville Classic GAMEDAY FAQs
Illinois (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) at Northwestern (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten)
2:35 p.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010
Wrigley Field (39,800) Chicago, Ill.
Radio: WGN (720 AM), WNUR (89.3 FM), Sirius (Ch. 121), XM Satellite (Ch. 141)
Internet: ESPN3.com, wgnradio.com, wnur.org
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
Ticket Information: The Allstate Wrigleyville Classic is sold out
NU Football Game Notes (vs. Illinois)
WATCH: Monday News Conference (Free Clip) | Full Version (All Access) | Wrigley Field Marquee Painted Purple | Photo Gallery
Coach Fitzgerald Weekly News Conference Transcript
Before playing its final 2010 regular-season game at Big Ten co-leader Wisconsin next week, Northwestern plays host to Illinois, its instate rival, in the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic at Wrigley Field. The Friendly Confines last hosted a football game on Dec. 13, 1970. Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m. CT this Saturday with ESPNU televising to a national cable audience.
Northwestern and Illinois are playing for the Land of Lincoln trophy, a new rivalry prize that replaced the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk in 2009. From 1945 through 2008, the two schools played for the Sweet Sioux. The Land of Lincoln Trophy idea, which was the result of an online vote by NU and Illinois fans, was designed by Dick Locher, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. The new trophy is modeled after Abraham Lincoln's authentic hat, and the bronze trophy sits atop a wood base measuring 14 by 14 inches. The trophy, along with a walnut base, weighs 28.5 pounds. The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was retired in 2008 out of respect for Native American Nations.
The 104th meeting between Northwestern and Illinois will garner significant national attention this week. In addition to the game's location, ESPN's College GameDay will be originating its Saturday broadcast from the corner of Clark and Addison. ESPNU will provide GameDay coverage from 8 to 9 a.m. CT, and then ESPN will broadcast from 9 to 11 a.m. In addition, the Big Ten Network's Kickoff Show will be coming live (9 to 9:30 a.m.) from Wrigley Field as well.
Northwestern assured itself of a third successive winning season and a school-record third straight bowl berth with its 21-17 come-from-behind victory over Iowa this past Saturday at Ryan Field. Led by junior quarterback Dan Persa, the Wildcats scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to erase a 17-7 deficit and post their fifth win in six years over the Hawkeyes. The victory did come at a price, however, as Persa was lost for the season when he suffered a non-contact Achilles tendon tear just seconds after throwing the game-winning TD pass to Demetrius Fields.
Although the season has come to an unfortunate end for Persa, he closes the year having earned a bevy of honors for his inspiring performance against the Hawkeyes. He was tabbed the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week in addition to earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week kudos. He also was tabbed the Big Ten Player of the Week by Rivals.com.
The Wildcats are bowl-eligible for a fourth straight season and the fifth time in the past six years. (Note: NU was bowl-eligible in 2007 with a 6-6 record, but did not play in a bowl game due to the fact that there were a Big Ten-record 10 bowl-eligible teams.)
November has been a good month for Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats. Since taking over as NU's head coach in 2006, the Wildcats have posted a 10-5 record in November, which includes a 7-2 record since 2008. Four of those seven wins have come against top-25 clubs. This year's slate of November foes may be the most challenging yet for Fitzgerald's 'Cats: NU's four November foes own a combined record of 27-13. Two of those teams (Iowa and Wisconsin) are ranked in the top-20. Fitzgerald's .667 winning percentage in November is the Wildcats' top month since he became the head coach in 2006.
Northwestern has either led or been tied in the second half of 26 straight games dating to November 2008.
Radio -- WGN Radio (720 AM, wgnradio.com) will carry the game live with the pregame show starting at 2 p.m. Dave Eanet (play-by-play), Ted Albrecht (analyst) and Sam Valenzisi (sideline) call the action. WNUR (89.3), NU's student station, also will carry the game. The game can also be heard on satellite radio: Sirius (Ch. 121), XM Satellite (Ch. 141).
Television -- ESPNU is televising the game to a national audience. Mark Jones (play-by-play), Bob Davie (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline) call the action. ESPN3.com will provide internet coverage.