Illinois falls to Northwestern 29-10 in final regular-season game
November 30, 2019
Wet, muggy, ugly – a few words for the weather during Illinois’ 29-10 loss to Northwestern on Saturday.
With both teams forced to turn to backup quarterbacks, freshman Matt Robinson for Illinois and Andrew Marty for Northwestern, there were more than a few head-scratching plays from both sides.
The Wildcats opened scoring on a field goal from Charlie Kuhbander with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the only scoring done in the first 15 minutes.
In the second quarter, junior Nate Hobbs intercepted a pass and set the Illini offense up with a short field, and senior Dre Brown ran for a six-yard touchdown to put Illinois up 7-3.
Northwestern responded, however, as Marty capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown to restore the Wildcats’ lead, 10-7.
After the halftime break, junior James McCourt missed a potential game-tying field goal, and Northwestern immediately drove the ball 69 yards on the following drive for another touchdown, culminating in a 34-yard touchdown from Marty to Riley Lees.
Illinois got back into the game after being down 17-10, as McCourt redeemed himself by clanking the ball through off of the right upright from 50 yards away, cutting the lead to 17-13.
On the Wildcats following drive, senior Stanley Green appeared to secure a critical end-zone interception, but an illegal hands-to-the-face penalty on junior Ayo Shogbonyo nullified the play, and Marty snuck in from a yard out to make the score 23-10 two plays later.
The Illini failed to respond, and the Wildcats punctuated the win with a 24-yard touchdown run from Coco Azema with just over one minute remaining.
With the loss, Illinois dropped to 6-6, while Northwestern took home the Land of Lincoln Trophy to conclude a 3-9 season.