So far so good for the Nittany Lions, who have had one of the best offenses in the nation this year, while getting out to a 3-0 start. They are looking like a playoff contender.
The Fighting Illini are 2-1, and have not had much of a passing game this season. As good as the running attack is, you will NOT beat the top teams without a complete offense.
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Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions have not skipped a beat this season after losing Saquon to the NFL. Trace McSorley has five passing touchdowns and six rushing. Sean Clifford, his backup, has looked great coming in as well. Miles Sanders is averaging six yards per carry, while these defense has looked stellar. Jake Pinegar has made all 22 of his PAT tries so far. In just three games. Their defense has been limiting opponents, while they continue to find new offensive weapons every week. This is a special bunch.
In order to get the win against Illinois, they just have to play their game. Move the ball well, extend drives consistently, and limit opportunity. If you can make Illinois try and beat you through the air, you will have a VERY good chance. So, swarm the running backs, and make every yard something that has to be worked for, and is not given.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The passing game has been eh, between MJ Rivers II and Austin Bush. 496 yards and two TD’s in three weeks. The key though is no interceptions. Mike Epstein and Reggie Corbin have both been fantastic, getting the run-game going. They have one of the best kickers in the nation in Chase McLaughlin who is 3-3 from 50+ yards out.
But again, the issue is with those two QB’s, who have not gotten the offense moving. The 496 yards are the total after three games, numbers that Trace McSorley is probably laughing at when he sees them.
In order to have any chance at winning, or well, not getting blown out. Illinois needs one of those quarterbacks to get it going. Against mediocre competition, being a one-dimensional offense may work, but not against these guys. Get it going from the start, and look for the open receivers. Also, they have to slow down Penn State’s running game, because McSorley can burst from the pocket at any time, and Miles Sander is brimming with speed.
Penn State wins big
Yeah, sorry Fighting Illini, but you just don’t have much of a chance. Penn State is favored by 28.5 points, and will probably win by three to four touchdowns.
250 yards and two passing TD’s, and 70 rushing yards and another TD for McSorley should help ensure that the Nittany Lions stay perfect in the year ay 4-0. Take the Penn State Nittany Lions -28 over the Illini of Illinois on Friday night.
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