Illini Halt Nittany Lions on Homecoming

Joe Paterno’s demeanor after Penn State’s 33-13 loss to Illinois explained it all.

Leaning back in his chair, a knee rested on the desk in front of him and a sour look on his face,the 83-year-old head coach took all the blame for the homecoming defeat.

“We stunk,” he said miserably. “I did a lousy job.”

Saying that the Nittany Lions stunk Saturday afternoon could be an understatement. Evan Royster was held to 35 yards. Rob Bolden threw for only 142 yards, with 80 of those yards coming on one play, and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The defense allowed 437 yards of total offense and couldn’t seem to find an answer for running back Mikel Leshoure, who finished the day with 119 yards on the ground.

Whether or not the Penn State coaches are to blame for the loss remains the question. Certainly, Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase would argue that he was the reason Penn State was defeated during their homecoming.

Scheelhaase completed the day with 151 yards passing and 1 touchdown, while rushing for another 61 yards. Penn State’s defensive line had trouble containing the dual-threat quarterback all day, often over-pursuing in pass rush and allowing Scheelhaase to run all over the field.

Penn State now sits with a 3-3 record and ranks as one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, but besides the .500 record, the Nittany Lions have bigger things to worry about– injuries.

  • DE Eric Latimore injured his wrist on the first play of the game and missed the rest of the game
  • DT Jordan Hill was injured in the 4th quarter
  • S Nick Sukay injured his shoulder during the first half and did not return
  • Sukay’s replacement Andrew Daily was injured as well and didn’t complete the game
  • LB Michael Mauti (high ankle sprain), LB Bani Gbadyu (knee), DE Jack Crawford (foot) saw no action today due to injuries.
  • TE Andrew Szczerba (back), LB Gerald Hodges (leg), WR Curtis Drake (leg) did not dress

Truly a dismal state of affairs.

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About the Author

Tim Owen

I am originally from a very small town in northeastern Pennsyltucky, called Athens. Currently, I am enrolled in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and major in print journalism. I have a passion for sports, and more specifically football. I enjoy hunting, cooking, food, and everything Penn State!

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