|2009 Penn State at Illinois Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Drew Sharper|
|Tuesday, 29 September 2009 14:07|
Penn St.-Illinois Odds
The 15th-ranked Nittany Lions will try to rebound from their first loss of the season Saturday when they visit the Fighting Illini.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made
Tho offensive problems became more clear last Saturday in a 21-10 home loss to
"I think we will learn from it," coach Joe Paterno said. "Sometimes you can talk about different things and how games are won and lost and I think they haven't been through it.
"It's still a fairly young football team as far as playing time is concerned, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The wideouts and offensive line, two or three of those kids haven't played a lot. I think it's a question of learning and not feeling that all is lost."
Quarterback Daryll Clark has been the focal point of much of the offensive issues. The senior has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 958 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.
Clark hit his first five passes against
"There were a couple mistakes here and there from everybody," said Clark, who gave the offense a post-game pep talk. "What we do after this will determine what type of football team we are. We still have a lot of football left."
The Nittany Lions hope a matchup with
The Illini are giving up 28.0 points and 386.0 yards per game - both second-worst in the Big Ten. No team in the conference is worse at preventing opponents from converting on third down, failing 46.7 percent of the time.
They gave up 236 rushing yards last Saturday in a 30-0 loss at then-No. 13
Overall, the Nittany Lions defense has been solid, allowing 935 total yards while recording 12 sacks and picking off five passes.
The unit could get a boost Saturday if linebacker Sean Lee can return from a knee injury that kept him out last week. The senior, considered one of the top players at his position, suffered the injury against
Lee's collegiate career has been plagued by knee injuries, including one that forced him to miss all of 2008.
The Nittany Lions beat the Illini 38-24 last year when both teams were ranked, as
Senior quarterback Juice Williams has been limited to 256 yards passing and 94 rushing this season after throwing for 3,173 and running for 719 last year.
Williams completed 13 of 25 passes for 77 yards and two INTs last week as the Illini generated a season-low 170 yards.
"I'm more tired of saying it than you are of hearing it, but obviously we didn't play once again the way we are capable," coach Ron Zook said. "Everyone's written us off and that's fine. I would too if I was in your shoes."
Posted: 9/29/09 7:07PM ET