clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

25 Random Thoughts On Penn State’s Win Over Illinois

We’re onto Iowa...but first, some random thoughts.

Penn State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
  1. How are we feeling after a couple days to let that one settle? I know the hope for many fans was that the Nittany Lions would look a little more sound — especially offensively — but a 30-7 lead in the fourth quarter before turning it over to your backups is a pretty good performance for your first road game of the season.
  2. This becomes even more true when you look around the country at some of the performances from other top teams.
  3. Georgia needed a 21-0 second half to overcome South Carolina at home.
  4. Michigan only beat Bowling Green 31-6, with JJ McCarthy throwing three interceptions on 13 pass attempts.
  5. Florida State barely survived Boston College, winning 31-29.
  6. Texas was only up 17-10 on Wyoming when the fourth quarter started.
  7. Because we all follow Penn State so closely, it can sometimes cloud our judgment to what *every* other program is going through too. Yes, the Nittany Lions have their problems, but Saturday should be a good reminder that Penn State is in a pretty good spot all things considered.
  8. Plus, Penn State is 3-0 against the spread. Good teams win, great teams over.
  9. For the third time in three weeks, I am coming to you asking: where are the big plays in the run game? Once again, neither Nick Singleton nor Kaytron Allen could break one loose, with the longest run of the afternoon only going for 18 yards via Kaytron.
  10. Again, I don’t think this is all that big of a deal. But wouldn’t have thought that through three games, the longest run of the season for the Singleton/Kaytron duo would be 18 yards.
  11. I wonder if Drew Allar’s general inability to run has hindered the running game a bit? On zone reads, the defense doesn’t have to worry about Allar’s legs as much as they did Clifford’s. That’s basically taking away an extra blocker, which could be part of the reason the run game hasn’t churned out 30+ yard runs.
  12. I give Allar a healthy “B” grade for Saturday. I think the fact he took care of the ball despite dropping back 35+ times is an underrated takeaway from Saturday, but he did seem a little flustered with the offensive line not giving him the cleanest of pockets consistently.
  13. The Illini defense on the road was a nice jump up in difficulty though. Nothing too overwhelming, but a Bret Bielema defense will at least give you looks and schemes you haven’t seen before. As James Franklin would say: “There’s value in that.”
  14. Chris used his MMQB to talk about the wide receivers, and as I’ve been saying since the West Virginia game, it just feels like this unit is one guy short. Harrison Wallace was certainly missed Saturday so you hope he’ll be back for Iowa, but big picture wise, this group lacks a bonafide WR1 in a real way.
  15. Parker Washington would be nice right now.
  16. Alex Felkins made a 45-yard field goal, which is great for Penn State and my mental health. It’s not good for my Five Things I Know I Know, which is now officially 0-1 on the season.
  17. I have seen some people on the internet say something to the effect of “if you take away the turnovers, the defense didn’t play that well.” I have some advice for you if you think/said this.
  18. Go find a mirror. Look at it. And repeat after me: “You are a stupid person.” Say it two more times.
  19. The whole “generating turnovers” thing is kind of the point to a Manny Diaz defense. Sure, coming up with five turnovers isn’t something that can consistently happen every game, but takeaways is a heavy emphasis of what Diaz preaches and teaches. It didn’t just happen magically.
  20. Snap Counts can’t be linked because I’m writing this article before it’s posted, but the snap counts at linebacker should make Penn State fans happy.
  21. Chop Robinson and Dani Dennis-Sutton got much of the pub this offseason at defensive end, but through three games I have Adisa Isaac as the best looking of the group. It looks like he’s back to moving the way he did pre-achilles injury, which is good for Penn State and also good for his NFL future because he’ll likely need to be a 3-4 OLB.
  22. They weren’t bad by any measure, but Kalen King and Olu Fashanu with two of their worst games dating back to the start of last season. With Penn State getting into the meat of its schedule, would be nice for those two to take their games up another notch.
  23. Good to see back the trio of Coziah Izzard, Daequan Hardy, and Amin Vanover. Izzard in particular had a nice day, coming up with two sacks in the fourth quarter. If you want to talk about x-factors the rest of the season, he’s high up there.
  24. I love Gus Johnson but what the hell was he doing on Saturday? He could not have been less enthusiastic if he tried. Bizarre stuff for a guy who is usually complained about for bringing *too* much energy.
  25. Iowa is mediocre. There is no excuse to lose to that program with it being a 7:30 kickoff in a White Out. Franklin better be showing them highlights of their jackwagon fans booing PJ Mustipher two years ago as he had a torn ACL.