Blue White Illustrated

Illinois Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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P R E G A M E R E P O R T P E N N S T A T E @ I L L I N O I S N O O N E T , N O V . 2 2 E S P N 2 ILLINOIS FACTS COACH Tim Beckman (University of Findlay, '88) COACH'S RECORD 10-24 in three seasons as head coach (2- 20 Big Ten); career record: 31-40 2014 RECORD 4-6, 1-5 Big Ten RECORD VS. PSU The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series against Illinois, 17-4. MOST RECENT MEETING Kyle Carter caught a 15-yard touch- down pass in overtime, and Ryan Keiser intercepted Nathan Scheelhaase on the Illini's subse- quent possession to clinch a 24- 17 victory last November in Beaver Stadium. GOOD NEWS The Illini are very good at cashing in on turnovers. They have three defensive touchdowns this year, which is tied for the Big Ten lead. V'Angelo Bentley has scored on a fumble return and interception, while Taylor Barton also has a pick-six. BAD NEWS The Illinois defense certainly knows what to do when the ball comes its way, but it isn't very proficient at creating those op- portunities. It has a Big Ten-low four interceptions and ranks 13th in the league in turnover margin. DID YOU KNOW? Bentley, a junior cornerback, owns a piece of Illinois history. He's the only player in 125 years of Illini football to score on kickoff, punt, fumble and interception returns. One other Illinois player came close to that accomplishment during his career, scoring on kick- off, punt and interception returns. The player's name: Red Grange. T I M   O W E N | O W E N . T I M . B W I @ G M A I L . C O M N O V E M B E R 1 9 , 2 0 1 4 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 BALL SECURITY Hull tackles Donovonn Young during last year's Penn State-Illinois game at Beaver Stadium. Young is the Illini's second- leading rusher this season with 248 yards and five TDs. Photo by Steve Manuel ELIMINATION GAME The Illini can still go bowling, but they'll need a win over PSU On Monday night, Mike Hull received a phone call from his old buddy and current Minnesota Vikings linebacker Michael Mauti. Mauti, the Penn State All-American who had a notable role in holding the 2012 squad together in the face of the Jerry Sandusky scan- dal and ensuing NCAA sanctions, had one message: Congratulations on bowl eligibility, some- thing that at least a couple years ago, didn't seem to be part of the Nittany Lions' near fu- ture. With Penn State traveling to Illinois this week, thoughts of Mauti are prevalent. When the NCAA handed down those crippling sanctions, one of which was a free transfer period for all of Penn State's players, the Illi- nois coaching staff jumped at the opportu- nity, sending assistants to State College in hope of tempting a few Nittany Lions to join the Illini.

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