Penn State Notes & Quotes

There is a lot going on in State College, but Penn State still has a game to play.

--Penn State is 5-0 in Big Ten play for just the fourth time since joining the conference in 1993.

--Penn State coach Joe Paterno passed former Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson's mark of 408 career wins with the Nittany Lions' 10-7 win over Illinois. Paterno, the career Division I-A wins leader, now trails only John Gagliardi of St. John's (482 wins) for most career wins in any division.

--Penn State and Illinois played to a scoreless first half. It was the first time the Nittany Lions had been involved in a scoreless first half since their 6-0 loss to Alabama in 1984.


KEEP AN EYE ON: DE Brad Barsm -- The redshirt freshman blocked a punt early in the fourth quarter, which set up Penn State's first score of the game. Bars has had trouble breaking into the playing rotation this season behind veteran defensive ends Jack Crawford, Eric Latimore and Sean Stanley but has been able to contribute on special teams and gives the Nittany Lions another young play-maker.

LOOKING GOOD: Penn State's defense set a dominant tone against Illinois early in the game, holding the Illini to minus-5 total yards in the first quarter. Linebacker Gerald Hodges, who made a career-high 19 tackles, gains confidence with each game, and defensive tackles Devon Still and Jordan Hill continue to collapse the pocket and make it difficult for opponents to run the football. Running back Silas Redd has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his last five games.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Penn State's passing game was mostly lifeless until wide receiver Derek Moye returned from injury in the fourth quarter and help spark a touchdown drive. Quarterback Rob Bolden has completed only 11 of 31 passes in Big Ten play and is holding onto the ball too long on the limited number of opportunities he has to throw. Penn State's punt returners have had trouble with ball security this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He never runs out of confidence. The kid's a fighter, he's a scrapper, and he's always going to fight, no matter what." -- Penn State offensive tackle Chima Okoli on quarterback Matt McGloin after McGloin led Penn State on a game-winning, 80-yard touchdown drive in the final three minutes against Illinois.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES:

--RB Silas Redd ran for 137 yards on 30 carries against Illinois, giving him 703 yards on 133 carries in the month of October alone. He became the 12th different Penn State player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season during the Illinois game.

--LB Gerald Hodges made a career-high 19 tackles against Illinois and has averaged 11.4 tackles over his last five games. He also has at least one sack in three of the last four games.

--PK Anthony Fera has connected on 12 of his 14 field-goal attempts this season but is 0-2 on attempts of longer than 40 yards.

ROSTER REPORT

--CB Stephon Morris, who had missed the previous week's game for undisclosed disciplinary reasons, played on special teams against Illinois but did not see action on defense.

--WR Derek Moye, Penn State's leader in receptions and receiving yards, returned from a two-week absence due to a broken foot in the fourth quarter against Illinois. Moye caught two passes for 29 yards and drew a pass interference penalty that set up the game-winning touchdown.

--LT Quinn Barham had to leave the game for a couple of plays on the game's final drive with a minor right leg injury but was able to return in time for Silas Redd's 3-yard touchdown run.


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