Gameday Coverage: No. 10 Penn State vs. Illinois

No. 10 Penn State football (3-0) will begin its Big Ten campaign with a rare Friday night game against Illinois.

The Nittany Lions finished non-conference play unbeaten after a scare against Appalachian State and two blowouts over Pitt and Kent State. Here’s all the media and miscellaneous information you need to know ahead of Friday’s game.


Friday’s game will kick off at 9 p.m. eastern time and will be broadcast on FS1. Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis, and former NFL running back DeMarco Murray will call the game as part of the broadcast.


Penn State Sports Network — Steve Jones, Jack Ham, and Derrick Williams
Local: 93.7 FM/1450 AM, Sirius: Ch. 132, XM: Ch. 196


A few showers are in Champaign’s forecast early Friday, but those should make way for partly cloudy skies in time for kickoff. Temperatures will range from the low to mid 60s throughout the game, according to AccuWeather.

Last Meeting

The Nittany Lions last faced off against Illinois on Halloween in 2015, defeating them 39-0 at Beaver Stadium. Christian Hackenberg threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns, and a young Saquon Barkley made one of many highlight-reel plays by hurdling three defenders and losing his shoe en route to a touchdown. Penn State leads the all-time series 18-5.


Defensive end Shane Simmons was once again left off of the team’s depth chart this week due to an undisclosed injury picked up during training camp. There is no timetable for his return.

Head coach James Franklin said that he expects all three of his quarterbacks — including backup Tommy Stevens — to be available on Friday night. Stevens didn’t feature at all in the Nittany Lions’ first three games of the season because of a lingering lower-body injury.

Media Coverage

Onward State will have you covered throughout today’s game. You can find big plays, photos, analysis, and more on our main @OnwardState Twitter account and Facebook page, and play-by-play commentary from @OnwardStSports on Twitter.

Sports editor Derek Bannister (@dBannister42) and staff writer Ethan Kasales (@EthanKasales) will be in the press box, while managing editor Elissa Hill (@ElissaKHill) will be on the field as a photographer.

Onward State

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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