Penn State-Illinois Report Card
OVERALL: We know there were still some rough edges, particularly in the first half. But we liked the way the troops rallied. One need only look to the opposite sideline in this game to see an outfit that does not know how to react to adversity.
OFFENSE: How nice was it to see the Penn State ground attack put away a game in the second half? Stephfon Green and Evan Royster both looked unstoppable in the fourth quarter, thanks to a strong effort by the offensive line.
DEFENSE: Again, not a perfect game by any means. But the Lions clamped down when it mattered.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Even in victory, many issues remain. The Lions are getting nothing from their return game. Kickoff coverage is spotty at times. And this week, there was a muffed punt return. Jeremy Boone remains the lone shining light here.
COACHING: We think Joe Paterno and company pushed all of the right buttons, especially in the second half.
INTANGIBLES: Penn State showed heart and character in bouncing back from what Paterno called an embarrassing loss.
OTHER GUY: We don't know what it is. But whatever it is, Illinois doesn't have it.
OFFICIALS: The PSU sideline complained a lot about offensive holding and seemed to have a point. But the Illinois sideline could have been beefing about the same thing.
CROWD: Pretty evident this group has given up on Ron Zook.