LG&T: Penn State Grabs Their Best Start Since 2015Posted: Updated:
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – No. 10/9 Penn State totaled 387 rushing yards, led by 200 yards and three touchdowns from junior running back Miles Sanders, as it defeated Illinois, 63-24, Friday night in Memorial Stadium in the Big Ten football opener for both teams
Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) put the game out of reach with 42 unanswered points in the second half, with 35 coming in the fourth quarter. Penn State had built a 21-7 lead to start, only to see Illinois (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) score the next 17 points for a 24-21 lead early in the third quarter. However, a Sanders 48-yard touchdown run with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter put Penn State back in the lead, and the Lions never looked back.
The fourth quarter scoring surge pushed Penn State past 50 points for a third consecutive game – a school first – and marked the first time since 1917 that Penn State scored 60-plus points in consecutive games.
Joining Sanders in the prolific Penn State running attack was senior quarterback Trace McSorley, who rushed for a career-high 92 yards, and freshman running back Ricky Slade, who ran for a 61-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and totaled a career-best 94 yards and two touchdowns for the game.
McSorley added three passing touchdowns, completing 12-of-19 passes for 160 yards. Freshman tight end Pat Freiermuth hauled in his first career touchdown reception, while Juwan Johnson and KJ Hamler came up with big touchdown receptions in the second half.
Penn State returns to action next Saturday night for the annual Penn State White Out. Kickoff against No. 4/4 Ohio State is slated for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
Courtesy: Penn State Athletic Department