Penn State returns to the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium this Saturday, looking to put last weeks’ 63-14 blowout loss to #4 Ohio State behind them. The visiting Illini are reeling in their own right, licking their wounds from a 42-3 loss at home to Michigan State last week. That became Illinois’ 17th loss in a row in Big 10 play, 11 of which have come under Tim Beckman’s leadership.
- Penn State (4-3, 1-2) vs. Illinois (3-4, 0-3)
- Coaches: Bill O’Brien (2nd year, 12-7) vs. Tim Beckman (2nd year, 5-14)
- Kickoff: 12:00
- TV: ESPN
- Opening Line: PSU -10
- Illinois Site: Writing Illini
- Bill O’Brien Press Conference Recap
Over a year removed from “Culturegate” and Beckman’s shady recruiting visits to State College, some of the venom from last season’s meeting will likely have passed, but plenty of PSU players will remember Illinois sending 8 coaches to Happy Valley in the wake of the the NCAA sanction announcement. This is also Beckman’s first visit to PSU, at least since then, and Nittany Lion fans will be ready as well.
PSU can’t get too wrapped up in revenge, as they are of course dealing with the fallout from the 49 point loss to the Buckeyes. The biggest question to be answered is the health of Christian Hackenberg’s shoulder. O’Brien downplayed it following Saturday’s game, but the extent of the injury is not known. The Illini offense should provide some relief to a PSU defense that was dominated to the tune of nearly 700 yards in Columbus, and has come under fire in the last week.