Saturday’s Big Ten matchup between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Illinois Fighting Illini will mark the 27th meeting between the two squads. The Nittany Lions have dominated the all-time series, although they lost the most recent meeting. In this contest, Penn State is a big favorite on the road.
For college football fans, it’s easy to hear the name “Illinois” and immediately think of Penn State football. Not because of any deep rivalry between the two schools, but rather, the programs will be forever linked thanks to their historic nine-overtime battle in 2021 — a classic that somehow still failed to hit the over on the points total.
And while Penn State enters Saturday’s contest again as the favored team, don’t expect any similarly wild outcomes this time around. Do expect more offense. Led by a trio of sophomores, quarterback Drew Allar and running backs Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, the Nittany Lions have one of the most productive offenses in the NCAA. They’re one of 16 teams in the country totaling more than 500 yards of offense per game (509.5, which leads the Big Ten). With 50.5 points per game over their first two, PSU is tied for sixth nationally. Throw in the fact that their opponent, Illinois, allows 31 points per game, and the double-digit point spread makes sense.
However, things can get silly (that 2021 meeting is proof). The Illini would love nothing more than for things to get silly, and their best chance at doing so is having their own sophomore quarterback, Luke Altmyer, display his best Juice Williams impression.
All odds from BetMGM. Looking for College Football tickets? Find them here.
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How to watch and stream Penn State at Illinois
Penn St. and Illinois will play at noon ET at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. The matchup will air on FOX.
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(Photo of Nicholas Singleton: Gregory Fisher / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)