Gameday Coverage: Penn State vs. Illinois

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Good morning from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois where Big Ten play is set to begin with the Penn State Nittany Lions (2-2) set to take on the Illini Fighting Illinii (2-2). Both head coaches are in their first season with the programs as Bill O’Brien and Tim Beckman seek a good start to the conference schedule.

Below is all of the media information and coverage for today:

Kickoff: Noon (11 a.m. central time)

Television: ESPN- Dave Pasch (Play-by-play), Brian Griese (Analyst), Jenn Brown (Sideline reporter)

Radio: Penn State Sports Network- Steve Jones (Play-by-play), Jack Ham (Analyst), Loren Crispell (Sideline reporter)

Weather: 67 degrees, Sunny, 10% chance of rain

Last Time They Met: Penn State defeated Illinois 10-7 at Beaver Stadium on October 29, 2011. The game was memorable for multiple reasons including snow in late October, a go-ahead touchdown with one minute remaining after the Nittany Lions offense was stagnant for most of the afternoon, and a Derek Dimke forty two yard field goal attempt that clanked off the right upright as time expired. While no one knew it at the time, it would be Joe Paterno’s final game as head coach.

Injuries: Penn State is getting healthy at the right time. Running backs Bill Belton, Derek Day, Michael Zordich, and Curtis Dukes are all expected to play. Defensive end Pete Massaro is listed as “possible” on the injury report, but O’Brien said at his Tuesday press conference that the defensive end will “probably not play” due to a shoulder injury. Linebacker Nyeem Wartman (knee) and guard Mark Arcidiacono (foot) remain out. On the Illinois side of things, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, offensive lineman Graham Pocic, and defensive backs Supo Sanni and Steve Hull are all listed as probable. Wide receiver Darius Millines is questionable with an ankle injury. Hugh Thornton and Nick Immekus are listed as doubtful while Henry Dickinson is out for the season with a leg injury.

Media Coverage: @OnwardState will have live tweets throughout the game as reporter Drew Balis (@drewBbalis) will be in the press box. Editors Kevin Horne (@KevinHornepsu) and Ryan Beckler (@RBecklerpsu) are on the trip and will have some observations from the stands. StateCollege.com columnist Mike Poorman (@PSUPoorman) will also have coverage from the press box.

A recap of coverage from both outlets throughout the week can be found below:

Onward State: 

Game Day Observations: Temple

Mark Emmert “Pleased” with Penn State’s Response to Sanctions

From Saturdays to Sundays: PSU in the NFL

Tanner Hartman Commits to Penn State

Big Ten Network’s “Tailgate 48″ to Air Tonight

Running Game Healthy Entering Big Ten Play

Paul Jones Leaves Team for Personal Reasons

Penn State Couture: The Five Game Day Outfits

Football Program Sees a Revenue Increase

Emery Etter Snaps His Way to Penn State

Nittany Lions Head to Champaign with Momentum

Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Illinois

StateCollege.com:

Penn State Football Team’s Personality Meshing with O’Brien’s

Matt McGloin Reaping the Benefits of Quarterback Coaching

Health of 4 Players Upgraded

Illinois Coaches not Regretting Decision to Recruit Nittany Lions

O’Brien Deflects Questions on Illinois Recruiting Tactics in Wake of Scandal

At Long Last, Nittany Lions Have Full Stable of Healthy Tailbacks

Paul Jones Leaves Team for Personal Reasons

Exam Day: Offensive Line Tightens Up Details with Weekly Test

No Sign of Revenue Slide for Penn State Football, Per Bloomberg Report

Paul Jones Intends to Transfer at End of Semester

12 Ways to Do a Number on the Nittany Lions

What to Watch for at Illinois

Photo By: Dave Cole

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Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

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