Penn State–Illinois Live Game Thread
So here we are, a week later and the chips are on the table. You’ve got the 15th ranked Nittany Lions going up against a struggling Illinois team. That’s not to say that the Lions dont have their share of issues, a shaky offensive line, and an offense that has struggled to produce points. A lot is a stake in today’s game, to win puts the season back on track, a loss puts the Lions hopes of another trip to Cali at stake. In 15mins we’ll have the first glimpse at the future of the Lions season.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
1. Offensive Line-Lots of people are on Clark after a pretty bad showing, and it is true that the stats dont lie, but they dont show the fact that for 80% of the game he had less than 3 seconds to fine an open target. You can’t expect to pass the ball well if you have to throw it as so as it is in your hands. If the offensive line can get it together there is a chance that this season won’t be riding the struggle bus for long. If they dont get it together it might be a long long season.
2. Secondary- Juice Williams and Arrelious Benn have had a bit of an underwhelming season, but they are a combo that can go off at any given moment. Benn almost always has a good game against the Lions and if they can’t keep him in check it might not matter how much time Clark has to pass the ball.
3. Pass Rush- It really hasn’t been around this season, and frankly it is kinda sad. Get in William’s face and you’ve got a good chance to intercept a few passes. Juice is prone to turnovers, so make him make the tough throw. It would be nice to see a game that the Lions get 3-4 sacks.
—-5Mins Til Kick—
Since we’ve got the time- UM lost to MSU in OT (got enough shortened names for you?) and Michigan loses their first game of the season. Tate Forcier led a pretty well constructed drive to finish off the game but threw an INT in OT and it was all Sparty from there. Both teams are now 1-1 in the Big Ten.
Orange Out is looking a little suspect but you get points for trying. Last min Vegas lines have the Lions likely hood of winning at 74% and the Illinois chances at 24% which is odd because that doesn’t add up to 100%…
Kickoff–As usual the coverage team gives the gift of a starting field position of anything past the 25 yardline. Knowledge Timmions almost picks off the pass, not exactly how you want to start if you’re Mr Williams.
3rd and 7- As much as I love the Eagles they always give up first downs on 3rd and long, the Lions have had the same problem this year, you can’t give up 21 yard gains.
Illinois to punt-Josh Hulls stash makes its first showing on the screen and children scream, Illinois hurts themselves after a good punt by stealing the ball from the Lions…way..to…go..15 yard penalty.
And just like that Penn State is going to punt…but hey this one goes 66 yards…can I get a Booonnnee! TV Timeout so lets look at whats going on, the Lions went 3 and out, but they had positive rushing yards and it looks at an early early glance that the Lions will have some success running the ball (4.5) Illinois already looks like it’s going to be a pass first day, but with the likes of Benn you can’t blame them.
Illinois runs the option-And it reminds me of the days of Zach Mills and Larry Johnson, they used to run the same option play every play. The only thing was that it worked really well. So far it is the same old same old from the Orange. Williams is going to run a draw play for what seems to be every other play, but at a clip of 4-5 yards a carry you can’t blame him. Illinois punts….TV timeout.
(wasn’t that an epic movie?…speaking of which, Sandlot is on tonight)
And we’re back–Quarless makes a nice grab, he should get a lot more touches, when he is on he can run guys over for a bunch of yards. Royster gets bottled up, sometimes it seems like he waits too long, no doubt he is a great runner, but he could hit the hole faster. Clark is putting together a nice drive and Quarless had another big third down catch, the pocket is having issues staying open but Clark is exploiting a suspect Illinois secondary.Brett Bracket almost makes a huge catch, I love that kid, he’s a great guy…delay of game and now Boone is out to work his magic again. For the most part things are looking much better than last weeks Iowa game, but then again, things couldn’t have looked much worse..
Is there something I dont understand about holding? You would think that for the most part wearing White colors would make it easier to spot, but hey, I’m just watching on TV…
END OF THE 1st QUARTER–Apparently Juice really is going to run the ball all game. It’s not that I dont understand, but at some point the Lions are going to catch on..right?
We’ve got time, and I love this play:
So the Lions have the ball back and are looking to put points on the board…but I guess that is the point of the game. The kids across the hall seem to be enjoying themselves…
Am I the only onewho wishes Green would have a breakout game? He has really quick feet but this season things just haven’t been clicking. Two first down passes in a row, apparently the weather is coming, so lets bomb the ball for maybe the next 15 mins and then sit on the lead in good old Joe Pa style.
Well….I guess somebody was reading this post..50+ yarder for Green 7-0 Penn State…6 plays 80 yards, reminds me of last year. Lets keep it up. This is where the defense needs to make its money. For the most part they’ve done a pretty good job.
Maybe I should stick to only making positive comments-Juice with a bomb, first and goal Illinois. Anybody see a Josh Hull Linebacker leap coming? I’d love that more than you’d really understand. Good goal line stand and the Orange have to settle for 3.
7-3 Penn State
The Wings are here-So it’s going to be a balancing act between the thread and the wings…and while we’ve got a timeout, does anybody think it’s wierd that the Illinois fans yell on offense almost more than they do on defense? It seems pretty basic not to yell into your Quarterback’s ear, but then again maybe it’s a cultural thing..
First points in the last 14 possessions?Lets keep that stat on the DL and move on..Lions to start at the 13 yardline or so. Quarless is having a good 1st half, 4 catches and he is making you earn the tackle. Love that kid. Speaking of which, Greene with a sick run and he is doing his job today.The blocking is great and the key block in that play? Andrew Quarless.
Clark is 10 out of 14–Only for 73 yards, but it is more important to complete the passes than it is to have every pass you throw be 40 yards down the field. Coaches challenge on the Zug catch, I’m going with the ruling on the field. He may have kept his arm under it when he rolled but my guess is they’re going to say the ground helped him catch that…close either way.
And I was right–It’s all good though, I’d rather be wrong. Good effort by Zug either way. Quarless almost came down with a moon ball. It’s nice to see the play calling going deep. Boone with a kick downed at the 1, this kid is on fire today, could be the game changer in the long run.
20 yard pass-And an Illinois first down..
Am I allowed to join the Dont Play Deep Zone Coverage Club?-Whoever is the leader of the DPDZCC is about to gain another member, they’re giving Illinois 15 yards a play on passing downs, but hey we’re winning, I guess that’s all I want.
Ok now I’m joining the Tackling isn’t that hard club-I’m just saying that you should wrap a guy up when you’ve got him in both arms..Oh my favorite ad…COME TO PENN STATE!!
SACK!! Thank you, .27 ticks left, too far away for a field goal, time to hold the line and leave the half with a 4 point lead, seems a little bit like last week, but this game isn’t playing out the same way so far so I’m not worried…yet..And yet again…first down on the Penn State 23, 19 seconds left.
SACK!!well…Jack Crawford gets the pressure and the intentional grounding. 13 ticks left and on the 43 yardline. Just holding on for a bomb with 3 seconds left. I’m not going to say anything because so far I’ve called all sorts of things in this game right before they’ve happened but for the sake of having fun I’m ready for a Pick 6….just saying
Wow….guess that just almost happend.Halftime…7-3 Penn State..
Reporter”what did you do to get your team excited?”
Joe” I didn’t do much bu Bowman bit the head off a chicken, that was pretty nuts.”
Time to eat those wings, be back in the third.
START OF SECOND HALF–Ok so this half, instead of pretty much calling the games play-by-play I’m going to update in 5min chunks short of anything noteworthy happening, you’re watching the game, and it’s not like you dont know what just happened so we’ll spice it up a little bit and break it down in chunks instead of little snippets as it happens.
Keys to the second half-Turnovers, Field position, and playing your own game. Seems simple and basic, but in a low scoring game it is the difference maker.
So here we go—Evan Lewis is fast, but for some reason he can’t get past the first wave of defenders in kickoffs.
Fumble- The Lions are having moderate success running the ball, and that could be the difference in the game. Clark breaks out for a 20 yard gain, the first time this season he’s run for more than 5-10 yards. A good first down pass turns into a fumble when Moye gets blindsided and drops the ball. A tough killer to a drive that was moving well down the field. Time for the defense to step it up.
Just had to butt in to say they finally called holding, finally somebody noticed…
Does anybody think it’s funny that Howie Long does car ads even though his son had gotten atleast 2 DUI’s? Ok it isn’t that funny, but maybe a little ironic.
10:00 Daryll Clark wont lose, just pulled out a 51 yards run. 1st and goal
6.34-TOUCHDOWN! Clark with a QB sneak and it’s 14-3
So with a quarter and a half left, what needs to happen? The Lions need to play sharp on defense and play with the pedal on the floor on offense. If you want to win that’s one thing, if you want to make a statement, you dont sit on a lead. I guess Joe and I dont always agree but all I want is a W. I think I’ve figured out the kickoff situation. It’s not that the kickoff coverage is bad, the kicks aren’t going deep. I’m not sure what the situation is with using Fera, but I dont see any issue with letting him at the very least doing kickoffs.
5:00- The Lions need to milk the clock, taking 5-8 mins off the clock and getting a score could put this game pretty much away. Even with the 4th quarter left to go Illinois hasn’t really done much with the ball on a consistent basis.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER–Not sure what to think of Clark, he seems to be ok, but the shot to the back didn’t look too great. He’ll be ok, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ice it after the game…that’s my medical advice, he’ll thank me later.
208 yards to 8 yards, that’s how you win ball games. Clark seems ok, still calling for that ice pack.
TOUCHDOWN-21-3 Penn State. Clark on the keeper.
Illinois with their 3rd three and out. It’s looking bleak for the faithful in orange, but I know how that feels.
TOUCHDOWN! Royster with a 15 yard run. 28-3 Penn State.Five plays, five first downs…thats how you win!
10:00 left. The Lions have a way of letting teams run around on them after they get a big lead. Chances are Illinois wont make a comeback, but you dont need to make it any easier for them. TOUCHDOWN Illinois 28-10
For whatever reason Illinois didn’t go for the onside kick, so the Lions sat on the ball and Boone blasted it and Illinois will attempt to move the ball, which has been hindered by the fact they just fumbled it. Sean Stanley created the fumble.
TOUCHDOWN!! Brent Carter witha 3 yard run. 35-10 Penn State 5mins left.
5 rushing TD’s this week,2 different 100 yard rushers. Didn’t see that coming.
I’m not a big fan of playing prevent D. Sure a win is a win, but you dont need to let up just because you’re winning by so much. At the very least on the defensive side of the ball. TOUCHDOWN Illinois..35-17
Newsome is in, just cracked out a 15yard run to end the game.