Penn State Football

No. 7 Penn State Football vs. Illinois Picks, Predictions for College Football Week 3

No. 7 Penn State Football (2-0) quarterback Drew Allar has answered the bell and lived up to the hype through the Nittany Lions’ first three games of the season, but the sophomore faces arguably his most daunting task to date in Week 3.

Allar has completed an astonishing 78.2 percent of his passes for 529 yards with four touchdowns, while not stepping onto the turf for the fourth quarter against either West Virginia or Delaware.

However, Saturday afternoon will be Allar’s first start against a Big Ten opponent, the Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1), and his first career road start.

The Nittany Lions have legitimate College Football Playoff aspirations, but to reach those lofty heights Penn State must prove capable of handling tests such as Saturday.

Here’s how we see it playing out:

Penn State Football vs. Illinois Picks, Predictions

Robert Casturo, Senior Penn State Football Reporter

After learning lessons on defense with a rushing quarterback in week one against WVU, Penn State shuts down Altmyer and Illinois offense, creating 3+ turnovers en route to an easy victory.

Allar continues his offensive player of the game performances for Penn State with 3 touchdowns through the air.

Penn State 35 – Illinois 10

Alec Whitaker, Senior Penn State Football Recruiting Insider

Before the season, this looked like the third hardest games on Penn State Football’s schedule.

Now, not so much. A

fter giving up just 12 PPG in 2022, Illinois is giving up 31 points a game on this young season. Obviously an 11 a.m. local start on the road isn’t fun, but this Illinois team is still struggling to find its identity after losing its star-studded secondary and workhorse running back Chase Brown from last season.

Penn State 33 – Illinois 13


Lamarr Fields, Penn State Football Reporter

Illinois struggles to stop the run, and Penn State is an outstanding running team. I see the Illinois offense doing little against the Nittany Lions’ defense.

Penn State 41 – Illinois 14

Joe Staszak, Penn State Football Reporter

The Nittany Lions bring an 2-0 record into Champagne on Saturday to begin their conference schedule with the Fighting Illini of Illinois.  

After opening with a 38-15 win over West Virginia, the Nits crushed Delaware 63-7 last week showing domination in all facets of the game.  

Penn State has won 14 straight games against non ranked opponents and are a two touchdown favorite on the road on Saturday.  

Illinois beat Toledo on a late field goal in their opener but lost to an unranked Kansas team last week leaving them with a 500 record after two weeks. The Illini’s defense doesn’t look a thing like they did last year when they boasted one of the top defenses in the country.  

If Penn State can maintain the focus that they showed in their first two games, with their eyes on the prize, they should leave Champagne with an unblemished record while avenging the nine overtime loss they suffered to this team back in 2021.  

Quarterback Drew Allar and his sophomore running back tandem of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen has proven to be a lot for opposing defenses to handle through the first two games and I don’t see things changing too much on Saturday. Penn State cruises and covers on the road.

Penn State 31 – Illinois 13

Nolan Soffer, Penn State Football Reporter

I think this game turns out awfully similar to West Virginia.

First half should seem a little bit closer, Illinois is no pushover team. However James Franklin and the second half squad will turn on the jets and come out with a victory.

Penn State 48 – Illinois 20


Chris Snyder, Senior Penn State Wrestling Reporter

Prior to the start of the season, I had this Illinois game circled as an official “Chris Snyder Game of Concern“.


And since the season has begun, the Nittany Lions offense has struggled in developing explosive run plays and the defense has been susceptible to tough runs up the middle.

Everyone and their mothers know the Fightin’ Bret Bielema’s are going to try and run the ball. And they will do whatever they can to play tough on defense and stop the run.

Did I also tell you this is a Big Ten road game at noon?

All of the above items should be cause for concern.

But Illinois has shown absolutely nothing on the gridiron this season and I think it will happen for yet another game.

Penn State 40 – Illinois 10

Evan Smith, Senior Penn State Basketball Reporter

The first road game of the Allar era will result in the first-year starter’s first turnover. But, Penn State is significantly better than the Fighting Illini.

There’s a reason the spread jumped from 10 to 14 within hours of posting.

Penn State 31 – Illinois 13

Dave Malandra, Penn State Reporter

Penn State faces its first road test of the season, but look for Drew Allar to pass for at least 200 yards with two touchdowns, and Nick Singleton to have over 110 yards on the ground.

Penn State 34 – Illinois 13

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