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Penn State Pulls Out 10-7 Victory Over Illinois

It snowed in October.

At least that was interesting.

Oh, and Penn State beat Illinois 10-7. I guess that happened as well.

Heading into the game, the teams were heading in opposite directions, with the Nittany Lions winning six straight, while the Illini had lost two in a row. Penn State was also looking to avenge a 33-13 loss to Illinois from last year at Beaver Stadium.

Illinois had an 11-play, 64-yard drive in the third quarter that resulted in a touchdown. Penn State’s Anthony Fera kicked a 30 yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Then, Penn State pulled an 80 yard touchdown drive out of nowhere to go up 10-7 with 1:08 left in the game. Silas Redd scored the touchdown. Illinois marched down the field and had a chance to tie the game with a 42 yard field goal. It hit the upright and did not go in.

…but Penn State fans are not concerned about how the Nittany Lions scored. Instead, the worries are about how the Penn State offense failed to play well, or even average, following the Northwestern game in which it scored 35 points.

At halftime, it looked like neither team would ever score. The Nittany Lions had one good drive in the first quarter, but Fera missed a 43 yard field goal. Illinois could not even manage a first down until halfway through the second quarter. Late in the second quarter, the Illini had their own chance to kick a field goal, but the hold was botched and holder Tim Russell proceeded to throw an interception.

And that interception brings us to the topic of turnovers. Illinois had four. Penn State had three. One of the Nittany Lions’s three was an interception, while the other two were fumbles. Penn State actually fumbled the ball five times, but recovered three of them.

Oh, and Rob Bolden replaced Matt McGloin in the second quarter. That worked out well. After McGloin went 4-12 for 33 yards in the first quarter, Bolden went 0-4 with a fumble in the second. McGloin played the entire second half after the estimated 62,000 fans at Beaver Stadium booed Bolden vigorously.

Penn State may have won, but Nittany Lion fans should not be happy with the way Penn State did it. Only Redd had a decent game, running for 137 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Well, that’s not true. The Penn State defense had a wonderful game, but at this point, that is almost a given. Derek Moye became another bright spot to an otherwise dreary game when he came on in the fourth quarter to mark his return from injury.

Penn State has a bye next week before taking on Nebraska at home on November 12. The Nittany Lions sure need that bye week to figure out what is going on with its offense.

Below is a gallery of images taken by Dave Cole from today’s victory:

 

About the Author

Michael Berton

I grew up in a Philly suburb, then moved to a different one. I am now at Penn State, where I can actually sate my giant appetite for sports. Other than writing, I also play the cello in the Penn State Philharmonic.

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