We are now just one team away from going through the entire Penn State schedule with opponent previews. Today we take a look at the Illinois Fighting Illini.
After winning just six games the last two seasons combined, the Illinois Fighting Illini will look for their first winning season under third year head coach Tim Beckman. Illinois doubled their win total from 2012 to 2013, but that’s not saying much because they only went from two wins to four.
The Fighting Illini actually got off to a pretty good start last season. They won three of their first four games (only loss was to No. 19 Washington) and they averaged over 45 points per game in those three victories. But it went downhill from there, as Illinois went 1-7 in Big Ten play with their lone win coming against a really bad Purdue team by only four points.
Penn State got a good scare from Illinois in 2013, as the Nittany Lions needed overtime to avoid the upset bid. This year, Illinois is a member of the new Big Ten West and the two teams will face off on November 22 in Champaign.
- Head Coach – Tim Beckman, 3rd season at Illinois (6-18); 6th season overall (27-34)
- Conference – Big Ten Conference
- 2013 Record – 4-8 (1-7 Big Ten)
- Key Departures — QB Nathan Scheelhaase, WR Steve Hull, LB Jonathan Brown, DL Tim Kynard
- Key Returners – RB Josh Ferguson, TE Matt LaCosse, DB Earnest Thomas III, LB Mason Monheim, DB V’Angelo Bentley