Northwestern begins Big Ten play today with another beginning: The official start of the #PersaStrong season. Senior Dan Persa is expected to start against Illinois as the two teams battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy. Northwestern won the trophy in its first year in 2009 before Illinois captured it in 2010 at Wrigley Field. The Land of Lincoln Trophy replaced the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, which was retired following NU's victory in 2008 and permanently resides in the Nicolet Football Center in Evanston.
A few fans made last second preparations before kickoff, which Steve Flaherty sent to the Illini -- and Illinois fumbled and stumbled to a return to its own four yard line.
- — TeddyGreenstein (@TeddyGreenstein)Sat, Oct 01 2011 15:57:53Jerry Angelo in the house for #northwestern-illinois. So who will succeed Cutler -- Persa or Scheelhaase?
- — JordanBernfield (@JordanBernfield)Sat, Oct 01 2011 16:02:21
Illinois gets a big play to get away from its own goal line, but three NU TFL's end the drive.
- — GordonVoit (@GordonVoit)Sat, Oct 01 2011 16:05:45There's the key for the #Northwestern defense: DT Jack DiNardo. Comes up with a sack on second down, followed by a Quentin Williams sack.
- — DavidMercerAP (@DavidMercerAP)Sat, Oct 01 2011 16:06:18