Rivalry week is all about tradition and history.

Unless there is some help from outside sources, that’ll be all that Saturday’s game between Illinois and Northwestern will be about. Despite the in-state rivalry, the two teams and coaches have tremendous respect for each other.

The battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy began in 2014, and the Illini have yet to come away with it. For Illinois, a win would not only be the first time they have possession of “The Hat” but would keep them in the hunt for a bowl bid. With their 4-7 record, a fifth win could make the cut should not enough teams finish with the magic 6-win mark to become bowl eligible.

Illini head coach Bret Bielema was out during last week’s 33-23 road loss to No. 18 Iowa, but will be back on the sidelines against the Wildcats. The Illini’s hopes hinge on their much-improved defense, which has made a 12.3 point improvement from last season, marking the ninth-best improvement in the nation. They’ve also made significant jumps in scoring defense, total defense and third-down defense.

For Northwestern, the season hasn’t gone well with just a single B1G win and a 3-8 overall record. The Cats fell to Purdue last week to extend their losing streak to a season-high five games.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 PM on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.