Penn State Score Late; Illini Cannot Come Back, Lose 10-7



Despite a strong showing in the snow from their defense, the Illinois Fighting Illini (6-3) could not close out a win against the No. 19 Penn St. Nittany Lions (8-1). With the win, Penn State coach Joe Paterno earns his 409th all-time win, making him the all time Division I leader in wins.

The Illin held Penn State scoreless through the first three quarters, themselves not scoring until the turnover-laden third quarter. Illini quarterbacks Nathan Scheelhaase and Reilly O'Toole combined for only 94 yards passing, but it was sophomore Sheelhaase who looked in control, leading the Illini down the field late for an attempt at a game-tying field goal.

Scheelhaase finished the day with 63 passing yards and an impressive 89 rushing yards, while senior running back Jason Ford reached the century mark on the ground, rushing for 100 yards on 24 carries. The Illini defense, which had abused the Nittany Lions offense all day, generating three turnovers and limiting quarterback Matthew McGloin to only 98 yards passing, could not stop the Penn State defense late.

With only 3:05 remaining in the game, McGloin drove down the field, leading to a crucial Silas Redd three yard touchdown run. The Illini had nearly stopped the surging Nittany Lions, but a key pass interference on 4th and 6 extended the drive and may have cost the Illini their win.

The Illini were able to drive as far as the Penn State 25 yard line with only 0:05 seconds left, but kicker Derek Dimke's 42 yard field goal attempt clanged off the right upright, ending the game.

Be sure to visit Black Shoe Diaries for the latest Penn State news and notes. For all of your University of Illinois needs, pay a visit to Hail to the Orange.

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