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Brown proof Illinois-Northwestern rivalry has grown chippy

Updated: November 15, 2011 9:46AM



CHAMPAIGN — Illinois had eight penalties for 70 yards, including two personal fouls on linebacker Jonathan Brown.

One was for roughing quarterback Dan Persa, the other for kneeing offensive tackle Patrick Ward. The Ward hit quickly earned a spot on YouTube.

‘‘The one where he hit the quarterback, that’s going to happen,’’ defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said. ‘‘You can’t stop on a dime.’’

Koenning didn’t get a good look at the shot on Ward. When he sees it, he probably won’t like it.

‘‘I saw the guy grabbing his area,’’ Koenning said. ‘‘He probably did it, but I’ve also seen their guys do flops on film. They fall down like the old Lakers, like [Kurt] Rambis and those guys.’’

A chippy game was expected, Koenning said.

‘‘There was a lot of pushing and shoving and late stuff,’’ Koenning said. ‘‘We knew that was going to be part of the game. We coached our guys to not get caught up in that.’’

Persa-nality

Koenning was impressed with Persa’s play in his first game back from a ruptured achilles tendon.

‘‘That’s amazing, what he was able to accomplish today,’’ Koenning said. ‘‘He saved them a bunch. He was able to take third-and-eights and third-and-nines and convert them.’’

‘Feed the stud’

Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino had no qualms about letting Nathan Scheelhaase run three consecutive times to punch in the game-winning touchdown.

‘‘He was the stud today,’’ Petrino said. ‘‘Feed the studs. I had confidence in him. I was going to put it on Nathan’s back. We were going to win or lose with him.’’



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