Illinois vs. Penn State: Spread Info, BCS Impact, Line and Predictions

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIOctober 27, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 15:  Rob Bolden #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions hands the ball off to Curtis Dukes #26 against the Purdue Boilermakers during the game on October 15, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  The Nittany Lions defeated the Boilermakers 23-18.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Illinois Fighting Illini will travel east to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in a showdown of two teams in the Big Ten Leaders division.

Penn State enters the game with a 7-1 record, 4-0 in conference play. After starting 6-0, Illinois is now 6-2, and have a 2-2 record in Big Ten play.

Where: Beaver Stadium. State College, Pennsylvania

When: Saturday, October 29 at 3:30 p.m. EDT

Watch: ABC/ESPN2 Streamed live on ESPN3.


Penn State (-5.5), according to Betus. It's not that I have a lot of confidence in Penn State. Their record is good, but their schedule has been less than impressive.

But while I have little confidence in Penn State, I have less in Illinois. Honestly, I just don't like betting on this game. But if I had to make a bet, I would go with Penn State to win and cover.


41, according to Betus. That doesn't sound like much, but these offenses have struggled this year. I am expecting a traditional low-scoring Big Ten game, dominated largely by the defenses.

Key Injuries

Illinois' FB Zach Becker (ankle) is out for the season.

Illinois' OL Corey Lewis (knee) is out indefinitely.

Illinois' WR Darius Millines (foot) is probable.

Penn State LB Michael Mauti (knee) and QB Paul Jones (academics) are out for the year.

Penn State WR Derek Moye (foot) is doubtful.

Penn State CB Stephon Morris (undisclosed) is questionable.

Penn State RB Brandon Beachum (ankle), S Malcolm Willis (leg), and RB Suhey (shoulder) are probable.

BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications

If Illinois has any chance of winning the Big Ten Leaders division, they must beat Penn State on Saturday. 

Penn State currently leads in the Big Ten Leaders division, but is encountering a tough stretch of competition. They will need a win over Illinois to stay atop the division.

Keys to Illinois Win

Nathan Scheelhaase is the leading rusher and passer for the Fighting Illini. He'll need to be the best player on the field on Sunday for Illinois to win.

Keys to Penn State Win

Silas Redd has been the best player for Penn State this season, with nearly 900 rushing yards this season. If Illinois doesn't contain him, Penn State will win.


Again, while the records are good, I haven't been blown away by either team this year. But Penn State has the more talented roster, and is playing at home. I'll go with them here.

Penn State 24, Illinois 14

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