Inside Predictions: Penn State host the Illinois Fighting Illini

This Saturday, October 31st, the Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Illinois Fighting Illini at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is at 12:00 PM EST and ESPN2 will have the live feed.

The Fighting Illini are 4-3 and 1-2 in the Big Ten. They started out strong with solid wins over Kent State and Western Illinois, but North Carolina got the best of them and after two more wins they are now coming into this game on the heels of a two game losing strea

Quite the team Illinois! They were just getting used to the coaching style of their former head coach Tim Beckman, and now they have to adjust to a brand new interim coach, Bill Cubit. The Illini are showing huge promise after Beckman was fired at the beginning of the season.

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign showed great care and protection of their student-athletes when they fired coach Beckman. He was accused of gross player mistreatment. An internal investigation proved that Beckman had forced players to play through serious injury and furthermore he was able to get the medical staff to clear other injured players much too soon. It would appear the team has responded to their schools support, and, with just five games left in the regular season I am sure we can expect a great surge of power from the Illini.

Penn State is having a good season. They have only lost to Temple and Ohio State to go 6-2 and 3-1 in Big Ten play. Last week they played the Maryland Terrapins and narrowly came out on top. The final score was 31-30, Lions. Quarterback for Penn State Christian Hackenberg wasn’t in his best form, he only completed 13 passes total but it was enough to secure a victory.

Regardless of his less than excellent showing last week, Hackenberg became the school leader in completions, he’s made 608 so far. He also took the school record for passing yards gained, he now has 7,453 yards under his belt. When asked how he felt about breaking the school records after last week’s game he said “Yeah, that’s awesome. For me, I don’t think that’s something that’s going to hit me until later on down the road. It was really cool to go out and get that done today and have my teammates around making plays.”

I think we will see Hackenberg in the NFL, he is that good, but just like any rookie, he will have to have his errors hammered out and there is only one way to do that, face to face with stellar opposition.

Penn State still has a few tough games ahead in their line-up. They have to battle Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State before their season is over. None of those teams will be easy and they have to face them all one behind the other. These last four games for for Penn State will certainly split the boys from the men. Will they have what it takes to stand tall in the face of huge adversity? Or, Will they crumble and fade away? Only time will tell, for now they play Illinois, the easiest challenge of their last four.

My Prediction: I take the Fighting Illini plus the points in this one. I think it will be a close game but given the Nittany Lions home field advantage I think they will win, but I don’t think they will cover their -6.5 point spread. I say the Lions win by a point or two.

October 28, 2015 by : Posted in College Football No Comments

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