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Despite basically being out the last two weeks, Carl Nassib is the leader in the clubhouse for the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of Year award.
Wildcats rise to 15th in ESPN poll
Northwestern moves up four spots after completing a 10-2 regular season with a 24-14 win over Illinois. That was unexpected improvement for a program that won half as many games during each of the previous two seasons. Power Rankings
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The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan State Spartans will settle the top of the power rankings on the field this Saturday.
Behind its punishing defense, and Pat Fitzgerald's guidance, Northwestern recorded the fourth double-digit win total in school history on Saturday.
Wildcats limit Illinois to 2 TDs in 24-14 win
It's the first time No. 16 Northwestern has held opponents under 15 points in three straight conference games since 1995 season. Box score
Justin Jackson rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown as No. 16 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-14 on Saturday.
Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer
No team junks it up like Northwestern but the Cats are 10-2. Impressive turnaround by Pat Fitzgerald after consecutive 5-7 seasons. As a Big Ten assistant told me, "They're making chicken salad out of ..." you know the rest. But the defense is tremendous and they know how to win. Today's win secures a top bowl game.
Austin Ward ESPN Staff Writer
Pat Fitzgerald and No. 16 Northwestern right on pace to finish up a 10-win season. The Wildcats once again doing a fantastic job on defense, and Illinois isn't doing itself any favors by dropping a bunch of passes when it does find some open spaces.
Jackson doubles Northwestern's lead
The 16th-ranked Wildcats are up 21-7 on Illinois on ESPNU, after this 3-yard TD run by Justin Jackson.
Vitale's catch is awesome, baby!
Northwestern's Dan Vitale was a real PTP'er on this TD catch, batting the ball to himself and pulling it in for a 19-yard TD against Illinois.
Watch: (16) Northwestern vs. Illinois
Since 1900, Northwestern has won nine or more games six times, five of which Pat Fitzgerald has been a part. Fitzgerald has coached the Wildcats to three such seasons (2008, 2012, 2015) and was a player on the 1995 and 1996 teams that won or shared the Big Ten title. Live on ESPNU/WatchESPN