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Penn State vs. Illinois 2013 final score: Nittany Lions come back for 24-17 win in overtime

The Nittany Lions were pushed to the brink by a feisty Illinois team, but were able to find their footing and pick up the win at home.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty by any estimation, but the Penn State Nittany Lions pulled out the win in overtime, 24-17 over the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Penn State would strike first in this game, with Bill Belton scoring on a five yard run early in the first quarter. They would double their lead on a nine yard scramble from Christian Hackenberg early in the second quarter, but the Illini got on the board with a field goal as the clock expired at halftime, their drive kept alive by a questionable roughing the passer penalty on the last play of the half.

The second half would be a close affair. Illinois made it a 14-10 game on a Josh Ferguson rushing touchdown late in the third quarter, and eventually took the lead with 5:30 remaining on a pass from Nathan Scheelhaase to Ferguson. Penn State drove down within the Illinois 10 yard line, but Belton fumbled on the goal line to give Illinois the ball back. The Nittany Lions were able to force a punt, and after several attempts at the end zone, tied the game with 41 seconds left on a 35 yard field goal from Sam Ficken to get to overtime.

Penn State started with the ball, and Hackenberg connected with Kyle Carter for a touchdown pass to put them in the driver's seat. On the ensuing drive, Scheelhaase was intercepted in the end zone by Ryan Keiser to put the game to bed for the Nittany Lions.


GIF credit: ESPN

Box Score Hero:

Bill Belton was a workhorse for the Nittany Lions, rushing 36 times for 201 yards and a touchdown. Honorable mention goes to Allen Robinson, who caught 11 passes for 165 yards. Without those two, Penn State would be completely lost on offense.

Rankings Ramifications:

Neither team entered the game ranked, and the result today won't change that.

But Did They Cover?

Penn State was a 13 point favorite at kickoff, so they did not cover the spread.

For More On This Game:

For more on the Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries.

For more on the Illini, head over to The Champaign Room.

Next Week's Schedule:

Penn State: 11/9, at Minnesota

Illinois: 11/9, at Indiana

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