4. Penn State 63, Illinois 24
This is what Penn State does.
It lingers, and then … kaboom. Few teams in college football can explode like this one, but a little consistency might be nice.
That’s nitpicking for an offense that can do this.
That doesn’t matter when you can hang up 35 points in a quarter like the Nittany Lions did to close out and blow away a game Illinois team.
All America will notice is an ugly home loss – there’s no exciting giving up 63 points if you’re supposedly improving – but the Illini ran for 245 yards, QB MJ Rivers was okay, and yeah, there was a moment going into the fourth when there was a chance to dream something big.
And then it all went so terribly, terribly wrong.
The biggest fail so far under Lovie Smith – a brilliant defensive coach in the NFL – is his defense isn’t a differentiating factor. His D allowed Penn State to convert 9-of-11 third down chances and gave up close to 600 yards.
A Lovie Smith defense shouldn’t be allowing close to 400 rushing yards and 42 unanswered points. It all started here …
Trace McSorley took target practice, Miles Sanders ran for 200 yards and two scores, and Ricky Slade added two more touchdowns.
Now we get to see if that same – to go Clark Kellogg – spurtability can show up against Ohio State next week. But for right now, at 4-0 and rolling along with point totals of 45, 51, 63 and 63 to start the season – and without offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead or Saquon Barkley anymore – Penn State is rolling at just the right time.