September 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM
It took a little trickery, but Illinois finally got on the board nearly five minutes into the fourth quarter.
Illinois quarterback Nate Scheelhaase started the scoring play off with a screen pass to Josh Ferguson, who quickly lofted the ball to a wide-open Spencer Hayes in the end zone. The 22-yard touchdown made the score 21-7 and closed out Illinois' 3-play, 42 yard drive.
The Illini's excellent field position on the scoring drive was aided by punter Justin DuVernois' 57-yard punt on Illinois' prior drive that backed Penn State up to its 1-yard line.
Penn State responded to the Illinois touchdown with a lengthy drive all the way into the red zone, highlighted by Bill Belton, who rushed six times for 31 yards. However, the drive offense ultimately turned the ball over on downs after Matt McGloin was sacked for 13 yards on fourth and five.
Still, the Lions fought back for another touchdown on their next possession, culminated by a 1-yard rushing touchdown by McGloin. The score returned the team's lead to three touchdowns and gave McGloin his second rushing touchdown on the day.
Other than Illinois' touchdown drive, it continued its struggles on offense. Despite converting their first third down of the game, the Illini were unable to extend drives and Michael Mauti stifled one such drive toward the end of the quarter with his second interception of the game.
After stringing together several positive plays, the Lions ended the half inside Illinois' red zone primed to add on to its three-touchdown lead.
Notes: After the second half's opening kickoff, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong limped off the field and was carted into the locker room. He didn't return to the game in the third quarter.