3 Penn State Football keys to beating Illinois

Keyvone Lee of Penn State (Image via The Record)
Keyvone Lee of Penn State (Image via The Record) /
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Penn State Football
Jayson Oweh #28 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

Secondary needs a bounce back performance

Penn State Football went into their Week 8 matchup on the back of two of the best performances by their defensive secondary all season against Michigan and Rutgers.

After allowing an average of 117 passing yards per game in those two contests, and only one touchdown, the secondary had a first half they would like to forget against the Spartans. Making his first collegiate start, Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne threw for 325 yards and three scores with only one interception. In the second quarter, after failing to move the ball much, if at all, the first three drives, Thorne completed ten straight passes for three touchdowns leading to an 11 point half time lead.

The Nittany Lions did bounce back in the second half allowing only five completions and holding the Spartans to three points, but still not the performance many expected from this defense.

The Illinois quarterback situation might be just what the doctor ordered for though however, after quarterbacks Brandon Peters and Isaiah Williams combined to throw for 107 yards in the loss to Northwestern. It appears the Illini are looking to get the freshman Williams some some playing time so time will tell how they split up snaps Saturday.

Peters is a veteran senior quarterback, but has only thrown for 429 yards in four games this season, missing a few games due to covid-19. Peters has three touchdowns to zero interceptions so he won’t hurt his team with turnovers.

The secondary will not be tested all to much this week regardless who is under center, and the  defense could be in for one of it’s stronger performances of the season Saturday.

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