Happy Valley Brought to Latrobe

Penn State Minnesota 2013

The last time Illinois won a Big Ten conference game Joe Paterno was still the coaching at Penn State. Illinois was 41 seconds short of breaking the streak of 17 straight conference loses. But the Nittany Lions weren’t going to let that happen.

The Lions got up early against the Illini, scoring twice in the first 16:47 of the game to take the 14-0 lead early, seeming as though this game would be a Penn State blowout.

The Lions drove the ball again but got nothing out of it. Sam Ficken who has been having the hot leg all season has all of a sudden got the cold leg, he missed a 37 yard field goal. The momentum was completely shifted at this point. Illinois took all of it. Sort of.

It was a stalemate for about five minutes until Illinois had the ball with a minute left and drove right down Penn State’s throat. Illinois had the ball on Penn State’s own 7 with 44 seconds left to go in the first half down 14. Illinois had no more timeouts and only had two plays after the timeouts. The second play was interesting and quite frustrating. As time was winding down Illinois’ quarterback, Nate Scheelhaase, rolled out to the near side of the field and threw a ball to the endzone but the pass was broken up. Halftime right? Wrong. Penn State was tagged with a roughing the passer call, giving Illinois one more opportunity for points. The call wasn’t the best but either way Illinois had one more chance, they capitalized with three points and went into halftime down 14-3 and with all the momentum.

Illinois scored the next 14 points and took a 17-14 lead with 5:30 left to go in game. The Lions and Illini traded off possessions with each other so the Lions got the ball back with 1:44 left, down three on the fifty yard line.

It was quite easy for Penn State to go and get points, only took :38 seconds for Ficken to tie the game off his right foot, 17-17.

The game was still tied at the end of regulation so that meant overtime for the second time in as many games at Beaver Stadium and the the third under Bill O’Brien, they also won the previous two. Overtime wasn’t new for the Lions, they know what to do in these situations.

Penn State got the ball first and got on the board first after a 15 yard touchdown pass from Christian Hackenberg to tight end Kyle Carter.

Then when Illinois got the ball, they went to the end zone right away, which wasn’t a good idea. Scheelhaase threw the ball up to the end zone, broken up and tipped up by corner Jordan Lucas into safety Ryan Keiser’s hands to end the game, 24-17 win.

Penn State had too many penalties in key situations, they had 11 penalties for 95 yards. Not good. Also a total of 20 penalties from both teams.

A win is a win. It really doesn’t matter who your opponent is and what the score is or how you did it. It still counts in the win column.