Illinois got off on the right foot, handing the ball off to Donovonn Young who scored the first touchdown of the game. But those four turnovers and eight first half penalties left the door open for the Wildcats and they charged ahead in the second half. They shutout the Illini after Reilly O'Toole's rushing TD to make it a 17-14 Illini deficit. Illinois finished with 242 yards of total offense.
Northwestern took off with Kain Colter at the helm. Colter had four total touchdowns, three passing as he helped the Wildcats beat down Illinois. The Illini defense allowed 450 yards of total offense, while giving up 338 on the ground.
The game had plenty of odd events, but none more memorable than Tim Beckman's sideline interference penalty. As David Nwabuisi intercepted a Nathan Scheelhaase pass, Beckman got in the way of an official on the sideline. Beckman was then pushed by the referee and then assessed a penalty for sideline interference.
Beckman said he would re-evaluate all the coaches and coordinators on the staff. He did not name anyone specifically, but hinted there would be changes.
Illinois finishes the season 2-10.