After winning their first six games of the season and becoming bowl-eligible in the process, the Illinois Fighting Illini have fallen on hard times, dropping the last two games they've played. On Saturday, the task doesn't get any easier as No. 19 Penn State hosts Illinois (3:30 pm ET, ABC/ESPN2; venture here for Penn State-Illinois score updates and here for college football updates from around the country). The Nitany Lions absorbed a loss to Alabama in Week 2 and have been hot ever since, winning five games in a row to improve to 7-1 on the year.
Penn State comes into Saturday's matchup with a strong defense and a passing attack that leaves much to be desired. On paper, Illinois is just about the same, with a struggling passing offense and solid rushing attack and a defense that nearly rivals Penn State. In other words, prepare for punting.
The matchup carries heavy Big Ten implications for both teams. Illinois has dropped its last two conference matchups and is in the middle-of-the-pack with a 2-2 record in the Big Ten. Penn State, meanwhile, sits at 4-0 in conference, ahead of Wisconsin and leading the ... Leaders division.
Here's the information for Saturday's game.
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, Oct. 29
Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
TV channel: ABC/ESPN2/ESPN3
Spread: Penn State favored by 5-1/2
Series history: Penn State leads, 14-1
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries and Illinois blog Hail to the Orange, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.