3 takeaways from Illinois' 63-24 loss to Penn State on Friday

How to watch Penn State vs. Illinois

If one look at the stat sheet could be all it takes to tell the story of a Friday night game at Memorial Stadium, then at first glance it would appear that the Nittany Lions moved the ball authoritatively, badgered Illinois' true freshman quarterback and bottled up the Fighting Illini's ground game.

But a 51-yard run by Corbin set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Ricky Smalling, after the Illini's Daniel Barker fumbled a reception near the goal line, to make it a seven-point game midway through the second quarter. After the defense held, Penn State drove 70 yards for its first score, a pretty 14-yard run by Sanders.

But Illinois (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) was up 24-21 in the third quarter and trailed by only four at the start of the fourth quarter.

Aside from the opening game against Appalachian State and the first two quarters and change against the Illini, the Nittany Lions have not been challenged.

"We were getting movement all day and the backs were hitting the holes", said center Penn State Michal Menet, the former Exeter standout.

After Illinois ran for 174 yards and averaged 7.9 a pop in the first half, the Penn State defense tightened in the second half. The Lions have scored 222 points in four games, more than 55 points a game.

Even redshirt freshman Journey Brown got in on the scoring action in the fourth quarter with his first backfield action as a Nittany Lion.

Penn State overcame a slow start and some inconsistent play to pull away with the big victory.

McSorley ran 15 times for 92 yards, passed for 160 yards and three scores and led the eighth second-half comeback of his career.

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McSorley threw a 16-yard TD to Juwan Johnson on the first play of the quarter. IL even grabbed a 24-21 lead when it opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 17-yard end-around pass from wide receiver Trenard Davis to wide receiver Ricky Smalling.

"Anyone who has seen us the last couple weeks will see what we will be this season", Smith said Friday night.

Illinois' Delano Ware intercepted a deep pass by McSorley into double coverage with about 30 seconds left in the half when Penn State could have opted to run out the clock.

Sanders easily surpassed his previous highs of 118 yards and two TDs.

Reggie Corbin ran for 87 yards.

Cam Brown and Shareef Miller provide pressure off the edge.

"I don't think we've played a complete game", said coach James Franklin, in his fifth season. They were able to get it to 21-17 at halftime.

Based on their competitive performances for most of the games against South Florida and Penn State, the Illini should come away with some victories.

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