September 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM
CHAMPAIGN, Ill.-- It took a little while, but Penn State added to its lead late in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead into the half.
Matt McGloin found tight end Matt Lehman down the middle for a 21-yard touchdown to cap an 8-play, 72-yard drive. It was McGloin's first passing touchdown of the day after scoring on a 1-yard run in the first quarter.
Penn State looked like it was going to pick up where it left off in the first quarter to start the second.
The Nittany Lions received a punt and advanced to the Illinois' 24-yard line. Matt McGloin took a 19-yard sack on the next play, however, which forced Penn State into a long down-and-distance situation.
After failing to move the chains, Penn State sent on Sam Ficken for a 47-yard field goal attempt. He missed, however, and what appeared to be a promising drive went by the boards.
Illinois couldn't capitalize on the good field position, though.
After driving down field themselves and taking the ball all the way to the Penn State 28-yard line, the Fighting Illini tried to convert a fourth-and-short.
But Lions stopped them short and took over to start their scoring drive.
Illinois drove to Penn State's 4-yard line on its final drive of the half, but Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase threw an interception to Penn State's Michael Mauti at the goal line. Mauti returned the ball 99 yards but was stopped at the 1-yard line with one second remaining in the half.
Sam Ficken came on to attempt an 18-yard field goal, but it was blocked to end a rather eventful final minute of the period.
For the half, Penn State outgained Illinois 199-187, and the Lions dominated time of possession, 18:10-11:56. Here are individual stats leaders at the half.
Penn State-Matt McGloin, 11-19, 126 yards, one touchdown
Illinois-Nathan Scheelhaase, 12-22, 107 yards, one interception
Penn State-Zach Zwinak, 10 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown
Illinois-Donovonn Smith, four carries for 59 yards
Penn State-Allen Robinson, three receptions for 35 yards
Illinois-Ryan Lankford, five receptions for 66 yards
NOTES: Illinois' Earnest Thomas was ejected for hitting Lehman helmet-to-helmet on the touchdown play.