Sep 29, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Zach Zwinack dives in the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

Penn State - Illinois: 1st Half Observations

So we’re half way through and Penn State appears to have this one in control. However, it’s early and anything can happen. Here are a couple things I’ve noticed.

It’s good to have Bill Belton back. He hasn’t been a huge factor, but you can just tell that he is capable of doing things that his replacements have not.

To piggyback on that, the line is opening huge holes right now. The drive that Zwinak was featured on was an impressive set of snaps from the hogs up front. It would have been interesting to see a guy like Belton in on those plays.

McGloin struggled early with accuracy issues. He’ll need to get that worked out but his TD pass to Lehman was on point.

The Illinois defense is keeping an eye on Allen Robinson. Every time he goes out wide, you can see the safeties take notice and shift. Expect to see more of that as the season goes along. Fortunately, Penn State’s tight ends have a chance to flourish on the backside.

Defensively, Michael Mauti is a beast.

Nathan Scheelhaase hasn’t ran the ball much, which is a bit of a surprise. He might try to do more of that in the 2nd half. Penn State’s linebackers will likely be up to it.

Not much that Illinois is doing has been working, especially on offense.

Has anybody ever seen a player ejected for a tackle like that?

Also, poor Sam Ficken.

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