Tepid Illinois-Northwestern rivalry heating up - KMOV.com

Tepid Illinois-Northwestern rivalry heating up

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- The rivalry between Northwestern and Illinois isn't exactly like others around the Big Ten.
That doesn't mean there isn't a bit of bad blood headed into Saturday's game between the 24th-ranked Illini (4-0) and the Wildcats (2-1).
The Wildcats say they are still irked by then-Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson's statement after last year's game that Illinois is Chicago's team. Northwestern plays in Evanston, just north of Chicago.
Illinois, meanwhile, aired an old gripe that the Wildcats look down on them.
Northwestern will welcome back quarterback Dan Persa for Saturday's Big Ten opener. Persa has been out since last November with an Achilles tendon injury.

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