Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter holds up the "Land of Lincoln" trophy Saturday as he celebrates with teammates after Northwestern defeated Illinois 50-14 in Evanston.
Illinois head coach Tim Beckman reacts to a call Saturday during the first half against Northwestern in Evanston.
Northwestern wide receiver Cameron Dickerson (19) celebrates with teammates after recovering a fumble by Illinois defensive back Justin Green (26) Saturday during the first half in Evanston.
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (2) points as he celebrates with slotback Dan Vitale (40) Saturday after scoring a touchdown during the first half oagainst Illinois in Evanston.
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Northwestern wanted to bolster its chances for a big-time bowl game. The Wildcats did that and more. Venric Mark rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown as Northwestern beat Illinois 50-14 on Saturday. Kain Colter threw for a career-high three touchdowns and the Wildcats (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) reached nine victories for the first time since 2008. "Nine wins is a great year. Ten is special," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.