Penn State-Illinois Game Notes
Oct. 29, 2013
Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium, hosting Illinois in the first of three November home games. The Nittany Lions are 5-1 in games following a loss under head coach Bill O'Brien.
The Nittany Lions own a 16-4 on-field advantage in the series, including a 35-7 win in Champaign last year. The teams have met every season since 2005 and also will meet in 2014 and '15. Penn State has won the last two meetings. With this week's contest, the two teams have met in 17 of Penn State's 21 years in the Big Ten.
Allen Robinson posted his third career game with double-digit catches and fifth game this season over 100 yards last week at No. 4 Ohio State. The 2012 Big Ten Receiver of the Year made 12 receptions for 173 yards and caught a 65-yard touchdown pass, his longest career reception. Robinson put up identical numbers earlier this season at Indiana, with his 12 catches ranking second in school history (13 - Freddie Scott, `95).
Bill Belton rushed for 98 yardsagainst the Buckeyes, the most rushing yards allowed by the No. 3 rushing defense in the Big Ten. Brandon Felder caught his third touchdown pass of the season, all coming in the past two games, and caught four passes for 42 yards.
True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg leads the Big Ten in completions (144) and passing yards (254.9 ypg) and is tied for fourth in touchdown passes (12). Robinson leads the Big Ten in receptions (7.9 rpg) and receiving yards per game (125.4), ranking 10th and 5th, respectively, in the NCAA. Senior DT DaQuan Jones leads the Big Ten with 8.5 tackles for loss.
Illinois is led by quarterback Nathan Sheelhaase, who ranks fourth in the Big Ten in passing yardage with 235.6 yards per game and 12 passing touchdowns. He has completed passes to 14 different receivers, with eight of them catching touchdown passes. Linebacker Jonathan Brown leads the Big Ten at 10.6 tackles per game.