After a thorough and complete dismantling by Urban Meyer and Ohio State, I hope Bill O'Brien has sympathy for the next team he gameplans for. [enter Tim Beckman] Oh god! The blood, it's everywhere.
In his first year, we learned Bill O'Brien holds a grudge, heads up Buckeyes, and for as long as Beckman gets run over on the Illini sideline, the Nittany Lions will relish doing the same on the field. How apropos this game should be scheduled to fall during Halloween season on the calendar.
A return to the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium is precisely what Hack and a beleaguered defense need and it'll show as both come to play in a game that won't be as close as the score indicates.
Penn State 52 - 27
bscaff: Illinois, despite what we might wish to think, is not a horrendous team. They're just horrendously coached. In week 2, the Illini stomped on Cincinnati's guts, 45-17. The Bearcats are currently 6-2, by the way. And in week 3 they dropped a close 10-point loss to a Washington Huskies squad that was headed for a top-10 ranking before their schedule (in part) killed them off.
Of course, after 3 straight Big Ten losses, the Illini smell like a squad that will lay down if we punch them in the face a few times. QB Nathan Scheelhaase, an all-around good guy, stated that their squad "need(ed) to quit feeling sorry for (them)selves" this week, after getting trounced by Sparty, 42-3. Can a Penn State squad that's started slowly all year long, and is coming off a terrible beating at the hands of a top-5 squad fight back, and show the Illini that they're in for an all-day fight, and perhaps get them to lay down in the process?
Penn State 34 - 24
Jersey Nick: Illinois has a good offense sometimes. Sometimes they score points, sometimes they get held to 3 points by Michigan State (MSU has the #1 defense in the country, but that's not the point). Despite their inconsistent and unpredictable offense, there are two VERY predictable aspects of this team. Their defense and their coaching. The defense is terrible. They fit Tim Beckman perfectly. They're both gross.
In order to carry out my prediction in this game, Penn State will need to strike early a few times to help the Illini get the message. Wisconsin scored 28 on them before the end of the 1st quarter, and the Illini trudged to the finish line. We need to see the fast start that O'Brien trademarked so well last season, in order to set the tone for the day. And I see the offense doing this, with a heavy dose of Bill Belton, with a dash of Hack, and a pinch of A-Rob.
It'll be 34-14 going into the 4th quarter. Each team will knock through a field goal (a 49 yarder for Ficken), before Scheelhassee runs one in, in garbage time to make it look closer. Happy Halloweekend. Go State.
Penn State 37 - 24
Bill: Bill O'Brien will never admit it, but I have a gut feeling he's been waiting for this one for a while. He knows what Tim Beckman tried to do, and he's not happy about it. Add in what happened last week, and I think we see a pissed off Penn State team on Saturday.
I think Penn State comes out fast against a miserable Illinois defense, throwing the ball all over the place. I know I predict huge games for Allen Robinson and Christian Hackenberg almost every week, but I feel like that may finally happen on Saturday. Illinois couldn't stop me from having a big game, and I see no reason why they'd suddenly find out how to stop the best QB/WR duo in the conference.
Defensively, things are a bit tough. Illinois has a dangerous offense, and as we know, Penn State's defense kind of sucks. I think everyone on Penn State's defense comes out with a gigantic chip on their shoulder, and while that hurts them early, I think they settle down and have a nice yet unspectacular game.
A special holiday edition of stuff involving Nick at the end of my predictions: what will Nick be for Halloween? I have it down to three options -- Miley Cyrus, Macklemore, or a slutty nurse. I think it's the first, hope it's the second, and pray that it isn't the third.
Penn State 40 - 28
From the preview:
Jared: Penn State 38-24
From the podcast:
Adam: Penn State 41-27
Cari: Penn State 38-21
Dan: Penn State 41-31
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