#7 Penn St. Nittany Lions (5-1; 2-1 Big Ten East) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (2-5; 1-3 Big Ten West)
12 p.m. ET, October 23, 2021--ABC
Beaver Stadium (Capacity: 106,579 / University Park, PA)
The Redzone TD% and Redzone TD% Defense are calculated by me and not ranked by the NCAA. Determining who has the advantage in these categories is strictly my arbitrary judgment.
I have one overarching thought which is that if there is one game on our schedule where we’re ok having a backup QB start, it’s this one. Woof, Illinois - starting off the season at a high note in beating Nebraska, and at the midpoint your coach is publicly writing off three years’ worth of players as not worthy of playing for your team. The numbers bare that out, especially this one:
I’ve been doing this column for a number of years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen five chipmunks! The red zone will be our friend in this game - our offense has been in the redzone 20 times, coming out with 12 TDs and 6 field goals; Illinois’ defense has allowed 28 redzone trips, resulting in 14 TDs and 9 field goals. On the flip (even more amazing, as shown above) side, Illinois’ offense has been in the redzone just 16 times in 7 games (2.3 times per game) and come out with a total of 6 TDs and 4 field goals - less than 1 td per game. Going up against a defense that’s allowed 19 redzone trips but only 6 touchdowns and 5 field goals, that’s a recipe for some fun if you’re a Penn Stater.
This, and the amazing defense that Brent Pry has put together this year, is why it’s going to be ok this week, whether Ta’quan Roberson or Christian Veilleux starts this week.