Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates with Bo Cisek following a 23-20 win over Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.
Illinois' Dami Ayoola runs the ball into the end zone past Purdue's Josh Johnson during the second half in Champaign.
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In line for a quality bowl, Northwestern has its ticket out and ready to be punched. That would appear to be little more than a formality for the Wildcats with a home game against Illinois on Saturday, except they know better. They know all about their recent history against the Illini, and it's not good.