Quick-cap: Defense Pulls Out win

Trailing 9-3 at halftime, the Nittany Lions could do next to nothing on offense against a young Illinois team. The scoreboard told a different story in the second half thanks to the emergence of the defense and special teams, which carried the team to a 26-12 victory.

Penn State's offense was flat out flat this week, picking up only 10 first downs to Illinois' 19 first downs. In fact if you compared the stats it would appear that Penn State lost the game. Illinois had 314 offensive yards to Penn State's 165.

Morelli went 18 for 34 for 144 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Surprisingly, the PSU running game simply could not get started thanks to the Illini consistently stacking the box. Tony Hunt picked up only 52 yards on 19 attempts.

That put the game on the shoulders of the defense, which was led by Paul Posluszny with 13 tackles and a sack, resulting in a PSU touchdown off a forced fumble deep in Illini territory.

Dan Connor ended up right behind Posluszny with 12 tackles and a game sealing sack for a safety late in the fourth. Other heroic efforts came from Anthony Scirrotto who had two interceptions and an onside kick returned for a touchdown. Jeremy Kapinos played a colossal role in the battle for field position with eight punts for 365 yards and four pinned inside the 20.

The kicking game continues to struggle going one for two.

Stay tuned to FOS for extensive coverage of the Illinois win, including breakdowns, analysis, photos, interviews and more.

-30-


Fight On State Top Stories