Penn State-Illinois Football: Lions Offense Finally Shows Up

Megan KlockContributor IOctober 3, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Daryll Clark #17 of the Penn State Nittnay Lions looks for a open receiver while playing the Iowa Hawkeye's on September 26, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

After suffering from a shocking loss to Iowa in last weeks match-up in the Whitehouse, PSU fans now feel at least a bit relieved after tonight’s victory against Illinois.

Many fans left last weekend’s game in disbelief and grew uncertain about the potential of the Penn State team. All week long comments were thrown around about how our team was overrated and we didn’t have the potential to win the Big 10 this year.

What we needed was reassurance, and after tonight’s performance fans feel a little more confident in their lions.

The Nittany Lions prevailed with a final score of 35-17 over the Fighting Illini. With it being the first away game of the season for Penn State, many questioned how their performance would be after losing in the Whitehouse, one of the best college football atmospheres to play in. But with 338 yards rushing against Illinois, the Penn State offense finally seemed to show their true talent.

Clark, who has been criticized for not running the ball enough, proved that he could make some effective running plays. Penn State’s offense looked a little shaky in the first half, but once the second half rolled around the team picked up the intensity and started to put points on the scoreboard. Both Stephon Green and Evan Royster had a great game, both running more for 100 yards. 

The defensive line also looked much better this week. Many fans were happy with the play calling of defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, which helped put pressure on the Illinois offense.

Lee Yochum, a junior, agrees that the Lions played much better this week. 

“The offense was really clicking today. The run game performed well with an inexperienced line. The passing game showed improvement, utilizing the short and long ball. It was a decisive win after a heart breaking loss last weekend.”

Although the Nittany Lions came through tonight with a win, and maybe providing a little bit of comfort to the fans, some are still questioning how the rest of their season will go. Many will admit that they are nervous for the November 7th match-up against Ohio State, and that they still have doubt whether or not they can defeat the Buckeyes and claim another Big 10 title. Regardless of having home field advantage, it’s been proven that the Lions can be defeated by an underdog team in Beaver Stadium.

How will it be for us when we face a tough team such as Ohio State at home? The fans are staying positive, but agree that they still need to see more from the Penn State team in order to be confident that they can once again win the Big 10 and bounce back from a devastating loss.