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Thorson helps No. 20 Northwestern beats Illinois 24-16

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) _ Clayton Thorson accounted for three touchdowns, Isaiah Browser rushed for 166 yards on 18 carries and No. 20 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-16 on Saturday for its seventh straight Big Ten win.

Thorson completed 12 of 18 passes for 110 yards and two TDs. He also ran for a score, and Bowser posted his fourth 100-yard game of the season.

The Wildcats (8-4, 8-1, No. 19 in CFP) will face No. 10 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game next weekend in Indianapolis.

Illinois (4-8, 2-7) lost for the sixth time in seven games. AJ Bush Jr. completed 23 of 39 passes for 281 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Ricky Smalling finished with seven receptions for 72 yards and a TD.