[Live Blog] Penn State Vs. Illinois
Penn State’s at home on Halloween for the first time since 1998. It faces a 4-3 Illinois side that features sturdy quarterback Wes Lunt. Penn State’s fresh off a thrilling 31-30 win last weekend against Maryland in Baltimore. If you can’t make it to the game today, follow along here. We’ll have play-by-play recaps, analysis, and pictures throughout the action.
End 4Q: That’s the ball game! Penn State steamrolls Illinois 39-0, and won its second game in a row. The Nittany Lions improve to 7-2 on the year, matching last year’s win total.
6:25 4Q: Why not one more touchdown? Mark Allen takes a handoff from McSorely, and falls into the endzone for a 20-yard score. It’s a good sign for the future of Penn State football, and it’s 39-0 Penn State.
7:55 4Q: Hackenberg’s day is over as Trace McSorely. He goes 0-2 on his first drive, but rushes twice for 15 yards.
13:07 4Q: Saquon Barkley has done it again. The true freshman just hurdled a defender at the four, lost his shoe, and still found the endzone. It’s another amazing touchdown in a season full of them. Penn State’s rolling, 32-0. #Jumpman.
End 3Q: The accolades keep coming for Christian Hackenberg. He now has the most 200-yard passing games in Penn State history. Penn State will begin the final quarter with the ball, again in scoring position as Illinois’ 38.
3:56 3Q: The onslaught keeps coming: Tyler Davis added another field goal to lengthen Penn State’s lead to 25-0. The Lions are clicking on all cylinders.
11:18 2Q: Christian Hackenberg just CAUGHT a touchdown. Off a trick play from Nick Scott, No. 14 was wide open and waltzed in from 14 yards out. Penn State takes a 22-0 lead, and it’s becoming a rout and a party in Beaver Stadium.
Halftime: Penn State’s defense holds off one final Illinois attack to take a 15-0 shutout into the break.
4:16 2Q: Penn State’s drive stalls in field goal range after a dropped pass. Tyler Davis enters instead of Joey Julius to take the field goal. He drills the 42-yarder, likely ending the day for Julius. It’s 15-0, Penn State is rolling.
7:41 2Q: It’s been a dull second quarter, as another Penn State drive ends in a punt. Not much action going on the field, but Christian Hackenberg just pulled off the flashiest three-yard rush you’ll ever see, evading three tackles.
10:36 2Q: Nothing doing for Illinois on its first drive of the quarter. It punts, and Thompkins calls for a fair catch at Penn State’s 10. Penn State and Illinois then traded punts again, after consecutive short drives. It’s Penn State ball at the 22.
End of first quarter: Penn State’s driving again, and the quarter ends with a one-yard Saquon Barkley run to Illinois’ 37.
1:39 1Q: Mere plays later, Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt telegraphed a pass to a curling receiver. Troy Reeder intercepted the ball, and the former high school running back returned it to Illinois’ six. The next play, Hackenberg found Geno Lewis on a jump ball in the back of the endzone, a catch quite similair to his game-winning touchdown last weekend. Yet again, however, Julius’ extra point was blocked. It’s 12-0 Penn State.
8:44 1Q: Hackenberg finds DeAndre Thompkins wide open down field, it’s a gain of 31 yards, and brings the Lions to Illinois’ 30. Two players later, Hack finds Barkley on a screen for another 19 yards, bringing up first and goal. Two plays later, on third down, Hack finds Godwin in the endzone for a touchdown. Julius missed the extra point, but it’s 7-0 Penn State with 5:52 to go in the first quarter.
11:58 1Q: Illinois’ first play of the drive is a bullet over the middle for a first down, the first of the game for either team. Two plays later, Lunt scrambles, and finds a receiver curling to the sideline. It’s a gain of 14, and another first down. But the drive ultimately stalled, and Penn State regained possession after a punt at its 20 after a touchdown.
15:00 1Q: Penn State won the toss and elected to defer. The Lions defense quickly forced a three-and-out, and began their first drive around the 30 after a weak punt. The Lions couldn’t do much on their first set of downs, either. A draw to Saquon Barkley on third and eight results in a three-and-out, and Penn State’s first (of likely many) punt.
Happy Halloween, Nittany Lion fans.
Christian Hackenberg needs another three-touchdown day to tie Matt McGloin’s school record for career TD passes.
“What are you wearing, Saquon from Penn State?” “Uhhh…football pads?”
Here’s a Halloween fright: John O’Neill, the infamous referee from last year’s Ohio State debacle, is officiating today’s game. Anyways, DaeSean Hamilton and Chris Godwin combined for nine catches and 231 yards last week. They’ll look to maintain that momentum today.
Students are dressed in purple today to honor the life of Kayla Nakonechni.
Penn State players and coaches were welcomed into the stadium by a human tunnel. Members of the US Champion Red Land Little League cheered the team on as well. They’ll be honored later today.
Today marks the first game with the new sod at Beaver Stadium. Players were pacing around the field checking it out, and all accounts suggest that it’s a great new addition.
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About the Author
Penn State earned a ranking in the preseason AP Top 25 poll for the third consecutive season.
The past five No. 15s in the preseason AP Top 25 poll have been a mixed bag of seven-loss mediocrity and 9-4 records, but the 2017 Georgia Bulldogs proved that starting at No. 15 isn’t all bad.
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