Ahead of Northwestern’s in-state rivalry game against Illinois, the Wildcats may be favored but they have something to prove.

On Monday, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald spoke during his press availability about the upcoming game. The Wildcats are currently No. 15 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll as they earned a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game over the weekend.

With the appearance in the conference championship game, Northwestern has a shot, admittedly slim, of making the College Football Playoff. This past weekend, Northwestern’s game against Minnesota was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Northwestern is 5-1, their only hiccup this season coming in a 29-20 loss to Michigan State two weeks ago. Saturday against the Illini is a chance to rebound for Fitzgerald’s team.

Here is what Fitzgerald said on Monday during his press conference, touching on his practice schedule and turnovers as well as the magnitude of this rivalry game: