Today’s game between the Nittany Lions and the Fighting Illini is about to get underway. Penn State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, so Illinois will receive to begin the game.
14:54: Penn State’s kickoff couldn’t have gone much better for the team. Sam Ficken’s kick was fielded just outside of the end zone, and Marcus Allen made a tackle at the 7-yard line.
14:04: After the Illini moved the chains right away on an 11-yard pass from Wes Lunt to Malik Turner, Illinois falls to a long third down. A 3-yard rush is followed by a sack by Anthony Zettel, who brought Lunt down eight yards behind the line.
13:26: Lunt’s pass on third down was behind the first down marker and falls incomplete. Intended for Mike Dudek.
13:13: Illinois punts on fourth-and-long and Penn State takes the ball at its own 48-yard line, a 39-yard punt.
13:08: Bill Belton starts the Nittany Lions’ first drive with a run for no gain.
11:55: Belton gets a pass in the backfield the next play and gains nine yards. On third-and-1, Akeel Lynch takes a direct snap from the Wildcat and runs up the middle. He got just enough to move the chains.
11:24: Akeel Lynch takes a carry and finds a seam up the middle, picking up 10 yards and a first down.
10:50: Lynch runs again for a 6-yard gain, bringing up second-and-4 at Illinois’ 25-yard line.
9:41: DaeSean Hamilton picked up a first down on the next play, making a 6-yard catch while falling to the ground. His defender also slipped, giving him room to run if he stayed on his feet. The next play, Belton carried the ball for no gain on first down.
8:24: Touchdown: Following a 1-yard run by Belton, Christian Hackenberg looks to the right side of the end zone, where Chris Godwin ran a fade and caught Hackenberg’s pass for an 18-yard reception. Godwin dropped the ball, but it was after he appeared to take a couple steps and no review followed the play.
The extra point is good, and Penn State jumps to an early 7-0 lead.
7:44: Sam Ficken’s kickoff goes into the end zone for a touchback, and the Illini’s offense is off to a slow start. A rush by Donovonn Young goes for no gain, and then Lunt throws an incompletion to bring up third-and-10.
6:55: Jon Davis caught a pass as he reached the left sideline on third down, but it was for a 9-yard gain, not enough to move the chains. On fourth-and-1, Illinois decides to punt. The kick was low, and Jesse Della Valle returns the 31-yard punt 11 yards, bouncing off a tackler in the process. Penn State will take over at its own 46-yard line when play resumes.
6:50: Bill Belton takes a hand-off up the middle to start the Nittany Lions’ second drive and gets nowhere.
6:17: On the next play, Hackenberg faked a hand-off and rolled to the right side. He fired a pass to tight end Kyle Carter, who broke out to the right and had plenty of separation from any defenders, but Carter couldn’t make the catch.
6:11: On third-and-10, Hackenberg looked long to Chris Godwin but didn’t have much of a look, bringing up fourth down.
6:02: The Lions fake a punt, and Brad Bars takes a direct snap and sprints to the left sideline, gaining 32 yards and a first down in the process.
5:31: Now at Illinois’ 22-yard line, DaeSean Hamilton runs a jet sweep and gains eight yards before getting out of bounds on first down.
4:58: Akeel Lynch runs on second down and picks up three yards for a first down.
4:18: Lynch carries again and gains six yards, moving to the Illini’s 5-yard line.
2:53: Lynch runs for one yard on consecutive carries to bring up fourth-and-2 from the 3-yard line.
2:23: The Lions set up for a field goal but Ficken never gets the kick off. It appears Chris Gulla’s hold wasn’t put down in time, and he was tackled by Darius Mosely for an 8-yard loss. Illinois takes over after the turnover on downs at its own 11-yard line.
1:20: Penn State’s defense continues to look strong. A 5-yard pass from Lunt followed by a 2-yard rush by Devin Church brings up third-and-3, but Trevor Williams was all over Mike Dudek on the next play to break up a pass near the marker. Illinois is forced to punt again.
1:03: After a 31-yard punt gives Penn State the ball at Illinois’ 49-yard line, Hackenberg looks deep right away. DaeSean Hamilton got behind his defender, but the throw went just beyond his outstretched hands.
0:05: Akeel Lynch rushes for a yard to set up a long third-and-9. On the next play, Christian Hackenberg gets quick pressure and is sacked nine yards behind the line. Before the clock runs out in the first quarter, Penn State uses its first timeout, presumably in order to keep the wind at punter Daniel Pasquariello’s back.
0:00: Pasquariello punts the ball 42 yards and Darius Mosely drops the ball, but he scoops it up and breaks free for a 14-yard return. It looked like Mosely may have been a block away from breaking loose on the return.
That’s the end of the first quarter. Penn State leads, 7-0, and the Illini will take over at their own 29-yard line when play resumes.
14:43: Illinois goes three-and-out without burning much time at all. Wes Lunt tried fairly long passes on all three plays. On first down, Matt LaCosse got a hand on the ball but didn’t make the catch. Mike Dudek also nearly made a catch on second down. LaCosse was targeted again on third down, but when he made a cut back toward the line of scrimmage there seemed to be some miscommunication, as Lunt’s throw sailed past him.
14:34: Justin DuVernois’ punt was aided by wind and bounced into the end zone for a touchback. He is credited with a 71-yard punt, but Penn State starts at its own 20-yard line.
13:09: After Belton runs of five and 0 yards, Hackenberg has time in the pocket and finds Akeel Lynch wide open over the middle. Lynch catches the pass and runs for a 16-yard pick-up and a Penn State first down.
12:22: Lynch followed his reception up with runs of two yards and one yard, bringing up third-and-7 at the 44-yard line.
11:02 Lynch lost two yards on another carry up the middle, forcing fourth-and-9. Pasquariello’s ensuing punt was downed at the 24-yard line, a 34-yard kick. Illinois will take over at its own 24-yard line.
10:36: Mike Dudek gets a 12-yard completion to start Illinois’ drive, moving the chains right away. On the next play, Wes Lunt throws an incompletion to set up second-and-10.
10:11: Third-and-3 is brought up after Lunt hits LaCosse for a 7-yard gain. On the next play, Marcus Allen is called for holding on a deep incompletion, giving Illinois a first down at Penn State’s 47-yard line.
9:21: Lunt drops back on first down, and C.J. Olaniyan gets into the backfield and sacks the quarterback for a six-yard loss. The play clock was running out before the next play, so Illinois used its first timeout of the half.
9:12: Lunt evades pressure and dumps a pass over the middle to Josh Ferguson, who gains eight yards on the play to set up third-and-8.
8:40: On third down, Lunt looks toward Malik Turner but freshman Grant Haley dives in front of the pass to break it up. Illinois is forced to punt.
8:30: Another effective punt for Illinois, bouncing out of bounds at Penn State’s 13-yard line.
7:44: Akeel Lynch starts things with a rush for no gain, and then he gets a pass from Hackenberg on the next play for a 7-yard gain.
7:07: On third-and-3, roughing the passer is called after Hackenberg throws the ball and is then taken to the ground. That gives the Lions a fresh set of downs at their own 35-yard line.
6:58: Hackenberg throws to the right sideline on the next play, but nice defense keeps Kyle Carter from making a catch.
6:48: Fumble: Akeel Lynch has a nice run, shedding a tackler and gaining eight yards. But before he was tackled, Lynch lost the ball and Illinois recovers at Penn State’s 46-yard line.
5:35: Lunt starts Illinois’ drive with a pass to the backfield, which results in a two-yard loss. He hits Donovonn Young for an 8-yard gain the next play. On third-and-4, Lunt goes deep to Mike Dudek but heavy pressure nearly ends in an interception. Penalties on Illinois for hands to the face and holding are both declined, so Illinois will punt on fourth down.
5:26: The Illini’s punt falls in the end zone, giving Penn State possession at its own 20. After the punt, Darius Mosely is credited with recovering Lynch’s fumble (it was forced by Mason Monheim.)
4:43: Cole Chiappialle is in the backfield now and had a three-yard rush to start Penn State’s drive. Hackenberg had a loss pass to the sideline on the next play, as it hit the ground before Geno Lewis could make a play on it.
4:36: Hackenberg targets Chris Godwin but throws out of bounds on third down. However, a flag was thrown and defensive holding was called, giving the Lions a first down at their own 33-yard line.
4:23: Chiappialle carries to the left and gets three yards.
2:52: After a two-yard gain on the ground by Chiappialle, the Lions throw on third-and-5. Hackenberg looked to tight end Jesse James, who was crossing over the middle, but his pass goes behind James. James got a hand on the ball but it wasn’t enough to reel the pass in. Penn State punted after the incompletion, giving the Illini possession at their own 32-yard line after Pasquariello’s kick traveled 30 yards.
1:56: Reilly O’Toole came in at QB for Illinois and ran three straight times, getting five, zero and then two yards. Penn State calls timeout before Illinois punts, but then Chris Geiss jumps offside to give the Illini a first down.
0:58: After Donovonn Young rushes of five and six yards (giving Illinois a first down), Wes Lunt finds Mike Dudek for a 9-yard completion. The next play, Dudek makes another 9-yard catch at the sideline, getting a foot in before stepping out of bounds and stopping the clock.
0:52: Now facing first-and-10 from the 28-yard line, Lunt throws past LaCosse deep downfield.
0:44: Lunt hits Dudek for a 20-yard reception, and the receiver holds onto the pass as he goes to the ground. The Illini get first-and-goal from the 8-yard line.
0:32: Following an incompletion to Geronimo Allison, Lunt finds Dudek again at the sideline. The receiver stretches for the pylon but is taken out of bounds by Marcus Allen at the 1-yard line. Illinois takes a timeout following the play, facing third-and-goal.
0:25: Touchdown: Penn State makes a nice push up front to stop a run, but Lunt runs a play-action. He sees pressure after rolling out, tosses a quick pass in time and finds Matt LaCosse, who catches the ball while sliding to the ground for a score.
The extra point is good, and the game is now tied at 7-7 just before halftime.
0:25: The kickoff goes out of bounds, giving Penn State the ball at the 25-yard line. The Nittany Lions have one timeout remaining.
0:23: Hackenberg takes a knee to end the first half.
That does it for the first half here in Illinois. The Nittany Lions and Fighting Illini are tied at 7-7.
Some halftime stats:
Penn State has a slight edge in total offense, with 133 yards to Illinois’ 113.
The majority of the Lions’ offense goes to their running game, which accounts for 77 yards. However, 32 of those yards are credited to Brad Bars, whose lone carry came on a fake punt. Akeel Lynch has 13 carries for 42 yards as the team’s leading rusher, although he did fumble once to kill a drive.
Penn State’s backfield has also gotten only six yards on six carries from Bill Belton, while Cole Chiappialle has pitched in with eight yards off three carries.
In the passing game, Lynch is the only Lion with multiple receptions, gaining 23 yards on two catches. Chris Godwin’s 18-yard touchdown reception makes him the Lions’ next-best receiver. Overall, Christian Hackenberg is 5-for-11, picking up 56 yards in the first half.
Hackenberg’s counterpart on Illinois, Wes Lunt, is 8-of-17, passing for 58 yards. His top receiver is Mike Dudek, who has five catches for 57 yards.
14:56: The wind forced a short kickoff by Illinois, and Penn State couldn’t recover it off the bounce. After a scramble for the ball, Illinois recovered at Penn State’s 28-yard line to start the second half.
12:26: Illinois, which kicked off to start the second half, gets three points on the opening drive of the half. The Illini started the drive that ensued the kickoff recovery with a 6-yard pass to Dudek and a 6-yard run by Young for a first down. After a false start brought up first-and-15, Reilly O’Toole hit Allison for an 8-yard gain. O’Toole then followed up a Young run for no gain with a 4-yard pass to the running back, bringing up fourth-and-3.
David Reisner came out for a field goal on fourth down, splitting the uprights with his 28-yard attempt.
With the field goal, Illinois takes a 10-7 lead.
12:20: A 21-yard kickoff return gives Penn State possession at its own 32.
11:43: The Lions ran back-to-back plays with DaeSean Hamilton running through the backfield to start the drive. Hamilton ran a jet sweep on the first play, gaining 11 yards and a first down. He faked a carry the next time around, while Akeel Lynch took the carry and picked up six yards.
9:56: After another run by Lynch got the Lions three yards, Lynch took a snap from the Wildcat on third-and-1 and gained four yards for a first down. Hackenberg went deep with a fresh set of downs but overthrew Geno Lewis down the left sideline.
9:09: On second down, Illinois was reading for another Hamilton carry, bringing the receiver down for a 5-yard loss. Hackenberg threw to Lewis on third-and-15 but was off the mark, and his pass landed at the feet of a defender.
8:59: Daniel Pasquariello punted for the Lions and his kick bounced into the end zone for a 49-yard punt and a touchback. Illinois takes over at its own 20-yard line.
7:32: Illinois goes three-and-out. Mike Hull stopped Donovonn Young for a 4-yard gain on first down. On the next play, Hull got in on another stop when Reilly O’Toole ran the ball for a yard. When O’Toole looked to the sideline on third down, Adrian Amos got in front of Mike Dudek to force an incompletion.
7:19: The Illini punt into the wind, and the kick travels 41 yards to give Penn State possession at the team’s own 34-yard line.
6:31: Akeel Lynch takes two carries for three yards apiece to start the drive, giving Penn State a third-and-4.
5:58: Hackenberg looks to pass from the shotgun on third down but ran right into a blitz. He’s sacked for an 11-yard loss to force a punt.
5:11: Pasquariello punts for Penn State, and the Illini get a 4-yard return on his 49-yard punt. Illinois takes over at its own 26-yard line.
5:06: Josh Ferguson carries to start the drive, and Jason Cabinda teams up with Carl Nassib to bring him down two yards behind the line of scrimmage.
4:13: Following an offside penalty on Penn State, Ferguson carries again on second-and-7 and loses a yard.
3:20: Dudek makes a catch on third down but is well short of the chains, setting up fourth-and-4. The Illini will punt.
2:51: The Illini punt to the 23-yard line.
2:43: Mike Gesicki makes a catch on first down for a seven-yard reception to start Penn State’s drive.
2:13: Akeel Lynch carries the ball two yards to set up a short third down.
1:30: Lynch takes a snap and moves to the 35-yard line for a fresh set of downs.
0:56: Geno Lewis runs a reverse and cuts slightly back to the middle, gaining just one yard.
0:20: Lynch gets a hand-off and gains five yards to bring up third-and-4.
The clock runs out, and that’s the third quarter. The Lions face third-and-4 from their own 41-yard line following a brief break in action.
14:54: Jesse James takes a pass running toward the sideline and is forced out of bounds at midfield, good for a first down.
14:25: Akeel Lynch carries on the next play for a 3-yard gain to set up second-and-7.
13:37: Touchdown: Lynch takes another carry up the middle and finds a seam. He makes a man miss while cutting to the right and then uses a blocker to get the rest of the way on a 47-yard touchdown run.
The extra point is good, and Penn State takes a 14-10 lead.
13:37: Ficken’s kick sails out of bounds. The penalty gives Illinois possession at its own 35-yard line.
13:04: After a Malik Turner reception goes for 8 yards, Donovonn young carries for 14 yards and a first down.
12:19: With a fresh set of downs, Mike Dudek gets six yards on a catch and Young rushes for two more yards. The Illini are on the edge of field goal range and face third-and-2.
11:19: Aaron Bailey gets only a yard on third down, but the Illini decide to go for it at Penn State’s 34-yard line on fourth-and-1. Reilly O’Toole almost got sacked but got a pass of in time, hitting Tyler White for the first down. But the Lions are called for holding, anyway, moving Illinois to the 24-yard line.
10:02: O’Toole completes passes to Dudek (9 yards) and Ferguson (2 yards) for a first down before Young takes a five-yard carry to the 8-yard line.
8:46: Young carries again on second down, gaining a yard. On third down, O’Toole was backed up with plenty of pressure and threw an incompletion toward Mike Dudek.
8:43: David Reisner’s 25-yard field goal is good.
With the field goal, the Illini cut Penn State’s lead to 14-13.
8:43: Penn State will get the ball at the 25-yard line after Illinois’ kickoff goes through the end zone.
8:36: Hackenberg rolls to the right and finds Kyle Carter for a quick gain. However, the Lions had five men in the backfield and are penalized for an illegal formation, bringing up first-and-15.
8:15: Lynch takes a carry up the middle and gains three yards.
7:36: Lynch runs again and moves his feet, picking up six yards. Third-and-6 will follow for Penn State.
6:54: Lynch runs a draw on a shotgun snap to Hackenberg but cannot get the first down. He gained only two yards, and the Lions will punt.
6:15: Pasquariello punts 39 yards into the wind, and Illinois will take over at the 30-yard line.
6:10: Deion Barnes batted down Reilly O’Toole’s pass to start the Illini’s drive.
6:01: On the next play, Donovonn Young bounces out to the left side and runs 18 yards for a first down at the 48-yard line.
5:43: One play after an incompletion by O’Toole, Dudek makes a catch eight yards downfield. He’s tackled right away, so Illinois will face third-and-2.
5:00: Matt LaCosse gets a 6-yard completion to move the chains.
4:16: Following an 8-yard completion to Ferguson, Young takes a carry and loses two yards to bring up third down.
3:34: On third-and-4, O’Toole threw a bit behind Malik Turner. The Illini will try a field goal to take the lead.
3:29: Illinois had the benefit of wind on the field goal, but David Reisner’s 50-yard attempt goes wide left. Penn State will get the ball at its own 32-yard line following the miss.
3:20: Lynch takes a carry for three yards to start the Penn State drive.
2:39: After the Lions take their time in the huddle, Hackenberg hands off to Lynch again. He gains two more yards, and Illinois calls a timeout, its first of the half, before third-and-5.
2:17: Hackenberg rolled out on third down and ran for the sideline. As he tried to reach for the first down he was knocked out of bounds, and the officials will stop to review the spot of the ball.
2:20: The ruling on the field stands. It’s fourth-and-1 for the Lions, and the game clock is reset to 2:20.
1:53: Coach James Franklin lets the play clock run down before using Penn State’s first timeout of the half.
1:48: Pasquariello punts the ball 31 yards. A fair catch gives Illinois possession at the 28-yard line. The Illini have two timeouts to work with on this last-gasp drive that’s upcoming.
1:40: Reilly O’Toole finds Mike Dudek over the middle for a 25-yard reception and a first down.
1:19: O’Toole gets another first down on a 17-yard pass to Marchie Murdock, who steps out of bounds.
0:56: At the edge of field goal range and with time to spare, the Illini run. Ferguson got the ball and found space, gaining 16 yards for another Illini first down. He then picked up five yards on a carry the next play. Penn State calls its second timeout of the half, and the spot of the ball will be reviewed.
1:04: After review, Ferguson was ruled down after a tackle by Nyeem Wartman for a loss of three yards. The Illini now get the ball with 1:04 on the clock, facing second-and-13 from the 17-yard line.
0:58: Josh Ferguson runs up the middle and loses a yard. The ball popped loose but well after he was down. Penn State uses its final timeout before third-and-14, with the ball near the middle of the field.
0:48: Donovonn Young centers the ball a little more on a hand-off, gaining no yards in the process. The clock continues to run, and Illinois faces fourth-and-14 from the 18-yard line.
0:13: Illinois takes its second timeout after allowing the play clock to run down.
0:08: Reisner’s 35-yard field goal is good, giving the Illini a late lead.
Illinois goes ahead 16-14 with the field goal, and the Lions have eight seconds to work with on the kickoff.
0:08: The kickoff goes into the end zone, and Penn State takes over at the 25 following a knee.