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NCAAF · 20 days ago

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Preview: Lions Look to Maul



Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Preview: Lions Look to Maul

As the heart of the Big Ten pulsates with anticipation, Saturday’s noon college football kickoff draws near. We’re talking about the titanic tussle between Penn State and Illinois. With the opening spread at the FanDuel Sportsbook poised at 14.5 in favor of the Nittany Lions, it stands pat as we gear up for this Big Ten bout, with the over/under at 48.5.

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While Penn State shined bright in their first two clashes at Beaver Stadium, the challenge amplifies as they hit the road. Champagne awaits them, and with it, an Illinois side that, although stumbling against Kansas, managed to etch a victory over Toledo on opening day.

All eyes are on Drew Allar, with fans keenly observing whether he’ll unleash those big shots for Penn State. But a question lingers in the air: Could Illinois, against the odds, be brewing an upset?

Remember, the last time these two locked horns, history was crafted. October 2021 witnessed an unprecedented nine-overtime game, where Illinois edged Penn State 20-18. The stunning part? Illinois sealed the deal as a 24.5-point underdog.

With Penn State as the rightful favorite, holding ground over a two-touchdown edge and a 48.5 over/under for a prominent Big Ten face-off, it delineates the narrative surrounding Penn State’s formidable defense this year. On the flip side, the mighty defense Illinois prided itself on last year has taken a hit. Departures of stalwarts like Devon Witherspoon, Quan Martin, and Sydney Brown have left voids. Not to forget the loss of the stellar defensive coordinator, Ryan Walters, now helming Purdue.

Though Illinois still parades the prowess of Johnny Newton and Keith Randolph on the frontlines, the chinks in their armor are evident.

Penn State’s offense, bolstered by Drew Allar and the backfield dynamism of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen, is a force to be reckoned with. All pointers hint at a Penn State dominance. Add to it the Lions’ remarkable feat of being one of 12 teams this season to cover all of their games, and the scales tip even further in their favor.

The Penn State Lions seem poised to roar while the Illinois side grapples with finding their rhythm. The stage is set, and the Big Ten waits with bated breath.

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