Penn State Postgame Report: Nittany Lions Open Big Ten Play with win over Illinois

Sep 16, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) scores a touchdown against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Penn State (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten), thanks to five defensive takeaways, improved to 3-0 on the season with a dominate 30-13 win over Illinois (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten). Saturday’ defensive performance marked the first time in seven years the Nittany Lions forced five turnovers in a game.  The win also kicked off conference play for Penn State.

Sticking with the defense, LB Dominic DeLuca and S Zakee Wheatley led the Nittany Lions’ defensive attack with six total tackles each.  DeLuca also forced a fumble recovered by LB Kobe King . The quartet of LB Abdul Carter, CB Johnny Dixon, CB Daequan Hardy, and CB Cam Miller recorded an interception each, rounding out the Penn State takeaways.

Offensively it was the same old song and dance for Penn State.  The running back trio of Kaytron Allen, Nicholas Singleton, and Trey Potts all registered touchdowns.  Allen rushed 13 times for 54-yards and a score while Singleton added 37-yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.  Potts added a touchdown through the air when he connected with TE Tyler Warren from 11-yards out.  Quarterback Drew Allar was steady, the sophomore signal caller went 16-for-33 for 208-yards of turnover free football. Senior K Alex Felkins went 3-for-4 on field goals with a long of 45-yards and 3-for-3 on PAT’s in the win.


Offensive Game Balls

  • Penn State RBs Kaytron Allen, Nicholas Singleton, & Trey Potts– all recorded a touchdown on Saturday.

Defensive Game Balls

  • Penn State Defensive Unit– The Nittany Lions defense forced five turnovers and held Illinois to 13 total points on Saturday.  The Nittany Lions held the Illini rushing attack to 62-yards, the unit had been averaging 153.5 per game.

Game Notes

  • Saturday marks the 10th straight game Penn State has scored 30+ points.  It’s the longest active streak in the nation.
  • The Penn State defense forced turovers on three-straight posessions to start the game.
  • Speaking of turnovers, Penn State scored 20-points off turnovers on Saturday.
  • Penn State recorded four INTs for the firs time since 11/15/2014 (Temple).
  • RB Nicholas Singleton’s 4th quarter touchdown was the 17th rushing touchdown of his career.
  • K Alex Felkins eclipsed the career 200-point mark with his 2nd quarter, 28-yard field goal.


Penn State vs. Illinois Box Score

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Penn State 6 10 7 7 30
Illinois 0 7 0 6 13


Next for the Nittany Lions

  • 🏈 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
  • 📅 When: Saturday, September 23, 2023
  • 🕖 Time: 7:30 PM/EDT
  • 🏟 Where: Iowa City, IA | Kinnick Stadium
  • 📺 Broacast: CBS