If you thought Penn State Football winning 30-13 over Illinois on Saturday was a bit of a “tough watch” you’d be right. But, if you thought the Lions’ first victory on the road this season was a “beautiful win” like head coach James Franklin did, you’d also be correct.
Just like on Sundays in the fall, there are no bad wins on Saturdays in big time college football.
3 Things We Learned from Penn State Football Grinding Out Win Over Illinois
Takeaways Pave The Way
Yes! There were many. Five all told by the Nittany Lions’ defense, and that is a recipe for success at any level.
Penn State’s defense was stingy holding the Illini to just 62 yards rushing or 2.1 yards per carry. They also notched six tackles for loss, for the 11th straight game, good for the longest current streak in college football to go along with three sacks of quarterback Luke Altmyer.
When the offense isn’t clicking, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’ aggressive havoc-wreaking defense has stepped up and has taken over when needed.
The Nits proved they can win on hostile turf when their star QB isn’t at his best.
After completing 78% of his passes in his first two games Drew Allar struggled on Saturday in Champaign, going 16 for 33 for just 208 yards and no touchdowns, averaging just 6.3 yards per completion.
But, the offense did make Illinois pay for their offensive transgressions by converting five turnovers into 20 points to give Penn State a bumpy but comfortable victory.
It was the tenth straight game Penn State put up 30 or more points, the longest current streak in the nation.
Just For Kicks
There are just some days when your least athletic player has to carry the team.
It appears that senior kicker Alex Felkins has solidified a role for himself on this team since replacing sophomore Sander Sahaydak in the second half of the West Virginia game, after Sahaydak missed two chip shots in the first half.
In Week 3, the Nits had trouble finding the end zone so they needed Felkins to come through and come through he did.
Felkins scored 12 of Penn State’s 30 points connecting on three field goals in the first half including a 28 yarder as time expired. Felkins has made four or his five field goal attempts and all 14 of his extra point attempts since assuming the starting kicker duties a couple of weeks ago.