Conventional wisdom says there are plenty of reasons for concern, short week and a night game on the road, but the opponent is Illinois. It could still end up being a landmine if Penn State gets caught looking forward to the Buckeyes before they handle their business this week. Presumably, focus will no longer be an issue after the close call to open the season.
Penn State 52, Illinois 17
In regards to the football, Illinois is not good at it. Some might even say the Illini are bad.
Penn State 42, Illinois 14
Yes, it’s a short week, but that doesn’t matter.
Penn State wins. They win by a lot.
Penn State 45, Illinois 10
Reading bscaff’s film room post on how easily Illinois’ defense got carved up by USF had me licking my chops...and my name isn’t Ricky Rahne.
Penn State 49, Illinois 17
Illinois is better than Kent State, but not by much. The Lions iron out any wrinkles remaining and the backups get some quality reps.
Penn State 49, Illinois 14
Illinois is so bad that they had to rally in the 4th quarter to beat Kent State after trailing 17-3 at halftime. Yes, the same Kent State Penn State just waxed 63-10.
This week is more about cleaning things up before the Buckeyes come to town next weekend than anything else. WRs need to stop the drops, the defenses needs to keep improving, and it would be nice to see Justin Shorter get an extended role after making his collegiate debut last week. Friday night can also be a good stat padding night for Trace and his Heisman hopes.
Penn State 55, Illinois 10
There’s plenty here that could make this game interesting but I think it’s over by halftime.
Penn State 48, Illinois 10
Easy week for PSU again - and a tough week on yet another opponent. We will come out strong, put in the 2nd and 3rd string after the half and will give up just a few points to the Illini.
Penn State 49, Illinois 10
Illinois is able to move the ball on the ground in the first half, but Penn State puts the game away with a strong third quarter as usual.
Penn State 42, Illinois 20
Remember in 2005 when Penn State went to Illinois for a night game? Remember when Michael Robinson scored 6 touchdowns in the first half and Tamba Hali almost broke poor Tim Brasic in two?
That was a good day. I’m hopeful this day will be a lot like that one.
Penn State 63, Illinois 10
Illinois remains a mystery. They’re a great academic school. They boast tons of tradition. Rose Bowls, conference championships, Red Grange, and Dick Butkus. They’re within 5 hours of (deep breath) Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati. They used to crank out NFL offensive linemen at a Wisconsin rate. They’re awash in a river of B1G Delany money. They’ve been blessed to play in the B1G West division.
How in the world are they frequently so awful bad at the foosball? Okay, sure - Tim Beckman. That’s fair. But this farce predates that stooge by decades. It spans multiple university presidents and athletic directors. And it simply makes no sense to me, given the abundant natural resources.
Oh well. Apparently the Illini have a whale of a placekicker, so let’s call it…
Penn State 56, Illinois 12
On paper, this has the feel of a trap game. A late Friday game on the road against a lightly-regarded opponent with the biggest regular season game of the year a week ahead. But despite this team’s youth, the match-up plays well in favor of the Nittany Lions that they should have no trouble taking care of business.
As long as Penn State can start off hot, they can bury the Illini by halftime. A couple quick touchdown strikes to start the game will force Illinois to abandon the run and put the ball in the air, allowing Penn State’s defense to pin its ears back and get after the quarterback, effectively shutting them down as this match-up favors heavily in the Nittany Lions favor.
Trace McSorley finishes with 290 yards and three touchdowns, adding another on the ground. Miles Sanders goes for 120 yards on the ground, while DeAndre Thompkins hits paydirt twice- once as a receiver, once as a punt returner.
Shareef Miller continues his dominant streak with 2.5 sacks, while Kevin Givens gets a sack and 3 TFLs. Micah Parsons joins the sack party while also forcing a fumble, and Amani Oruwariye picks off his third pass of the young season. The good guys roll.
Penn State 49, Illinois 10