Penn State 30, Illinois 13
The Sanguinarians are still cooing, albeit not so loudly, after Saturday’s purported “rout” of the Illiniweks at Champaign. “Purported”, you say? Why, yes. Yes, I do. Sanguinary PennLive.com posted a headline on Facebook alluding to a rout. So, what they’re saying is that they watched a different game than I did — or they didn’t watch it at all — because the final score sure as hell did not depict the story of the game. Illinois handed the Nittany Lions a win here folks. Make no mistake about that.
After two games, the speculation that PSU would be either in the Peach Bowl or the Orange Bowl at season’s end was comical. Pure sanguinarian bullshit, not even warmed over, but straight from the bull’s ass. This team, my sanguinarian friends, has a rocky road ahead if they cannot get their act together better than what we saw on Saturday.
James Franklin was his usual boisterous, sanguine self: “This was a beautiful win. Anytime you can win on the road in the Big Ten, especially in an 11 o’clock game in front of a big crowd, it’s pretty. We grinded it out, especially in the first half. We didn’t take control then, but we didn’t lose control.” That’s a nice way of saying that we sucked. I guess it depends on what your definition of “pretty” is. If the defense that showed up was as ineffectual as the Penn State offense, we would be crying over a 2-1 record right now.
Illinois’ scheme of stopping the run at all costs worked. They dared Drew Allar to pass, and he did exactly what they wanted. He and Penn State receivers then collaborated on a show of incompetence, abetted by an offensive line that allowed four tackles for loss and one sack. However, Illinois junior defensive lineman Jer’zhan Newton, who will be a force in the NFL, was a good reason for that apparent incompetence by the Nittany Lion offensive line. They sucked, but his excellent play made them look worse. Allar wound up 16-33 for 208 yards, no TDs and no INTs, for a QBR of 66.6. (The devil’s mark).
Penn State needed a trick play to score its only passing touchdown on a halfback pass from Trey Potts to Tyler Warren.
On the ground, Penn State mustered only 164 yards, a testimony to the Bielema stodgy-pig defensive scheme. It looked worse than that number depicts. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen couldn’t get a good rhythm going, winding up with 91 yards between them.
Illiniwekian QB Luke Altmeyer threw four INTs before being benched. Also, early in the first quarter, the Fighting Peorians coughed one up. Turnovers’ll killya. Give the Penn State defense credit there.
Giving additional credit where due, the Penn State defense held Illinois to 2.1 yards per rush, a net total of 62 yards on the ground. They were able to record seven TFLs and three sacks, along with the aforementioned four INTs.
So, the defense showed up. The offense needs work. Kohler, Wisconsin beckons if the act fails to congeal. They ain’t going to beat Michigan and tOSU playing like that!
Iowa looms ahead, a game that will be played in Beaver Stadium, thank God. However, the offense must show up. Iowa just laid 41 points on Western Michigan.
I’ll be back midweek with a further look at the Hawkeyes and the usual bullshit.