CHICAGO — Justin Jackson rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown, and No. 17 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-14 on Saturday.
Freshman Clayton Thorson threw for 146 yards and a score as Northwestern (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 16 CFP) avenged last year's 47-33 home loss to Illinois. It was the fifth consecutive win for the Wildcats, putting them in position for a Jan. 1 bowl game.
A few hours before Illinois (5-7, 2-6) took the field, the school announced interim coach Bill Cubit had agreed to a two-year contract. Cubit took over for the fired Tim Beckman right before the season started.