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Oct. 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; October 9, 2010 - Illinois held the ball for 38:12 and shut out Penn State in the second half to register its first win in Beaver Stadium, 33-13.
The Fighting Illini spoiled Penn State's 91st Homecoming, as the Nittany Lions fell to 65-21-5 all-time; 39-6 under Joe Paterno in front of the alumni audience. Penn State lost for just the fifth time in its last 41 home games overall.
Illinois won for the first time in seven games in Beaver Stadium, with the last six games coming as Big Ten competiors. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, 14-4.
The Illini had 23 first downs and ran for 282 yards, the most against Penn State since Minnesota had 288 in 2004. The Nittany Lions were limited to seven first downs, their second-fewest ever under Coach Joe Paterno. Penn State was held to a season-low 235 yards of total offense.
Penn State came into the game with four injured defensive players from the two-deep rotation and five more left the clash due to injury and did not return. Starting defense end Eric Latimore was injured on the first play of the game and the other starting end, Pete Massaro, left in the second half. The Lions played most of the second half with only two defensive ends that had any previous experience, one of whom - freshman DaQuan Jones - was playing in his second career game.
Derek Moye posted his fourth career 100-yard receiving game with three catches for 106 yards, including an 80-yard scoring strike from Rob Bolden in the second quarter. Moye's four 100-yard receiving games tie him with Ted Kwalick and Jordan Norwood for No. 9 in school history.
Senior linebacker Chris Colasanti made a career-high 18 tackles, the most tackles by a Nittany Lion since Dan Connor had 18 stops against Temple in 2007. Colasanti's total was the most by a Penn Stater in a Big Ten game since Connor had 18 stops vs. Ohio State in 2007.
Khairi Fortt made his first career start, becoming the first true freshman to start at linebacker for Penn State since Connor did so against Purdue in 2004. Fortt made a season-high 11 tackles and became the 14th Nittany Lion to make their first career start this season.
Collin Wagner entered the game with a nation's best 11 field goals and made both of his attempts, improving to 13 of 15 for the season.
Penn State was forced to punt from its own 29 with just over seven and a half minutes to go in the first quarter. The 47-yard punt by Anthony Fera was fumbled by Jack Ramsey and snatched by Jake Fagnano, his first career fumble recovery, as the Nittany Lions took possession on the Illinois 23. Wagner connected on 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 4:39 to go in the quarter.
Illinois fought back on the ensuing drive, going 80 yards on 11 plays, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown reception by A.J. Jenkins with 14:17 remaining in the half for a 7-3 lead.
After a three-and-out by Illinois, Penn State faced third and five on its own 21. Bolden's pass was tipped and corralled by Illinois' Nate Bussey, who took it home for a 16-yard touchdown return and a 14-3 Illinois advantage with 9:39 remaining in the half.
The Nittany Lions immediately responded on their first play from scrimmage, as Bolden connected with Moye on a beautiful 80-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 14-10 and energize the throng of 107,638. The connection was Penn State's longest play from scrimmage since an 80-yard touchdown reception by Stephfon Green against Michigan in 2008. The 80-yard reception was a career-long reception for Moye and a career-long pass for Bolden.
After a 50-yard field goal by Illinois' Derek Dimke made it 17-10, another Illinois special teams miscue provided Penn State with great field position late in the second quarter. Ramsey fumbled the 53-yard Fera punt on the Illinois 9 and a hustling Michael Zordich dove and cradled the pigskin to pump up the blue and white faithful. Wagner then knocked home a 22-yard field goal, his 13th in 15 attempts this year, to cut the lead to 17-13.
Illinois drove in the final minutes of the half and Dimke's 31-yard field goal boosted the Illini's lead to 20-13, heading into halftime.
The visitors opened the scoring in the second half with a 68-yard drive that ended in a four-yard completion from running back Jason Ford to Evan Wilson for a 27-13 lead with 8:30 to go in the third quarter. The points were the first allowed by Penn State in the third quarter this season.
The Illini put two more field goals on the board, a 41-yarder in the third and a 37-yard make by Dimke in the fourth to close the scoring.
Penn State is idle on Saturday and will visit Minnesota on October 23, Penn State's first game in Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium. The kick time and TV for the contest with the Golden Gophers will likely be announced on Monday.