Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Week Four Preview; Illinois Football vs. #10 Penn State

Lovie Smith speaks to the media in Monday's press conference.
SCREENSHOT / UI ATHLETICS
Germantown Hills, Ill. - It's Friday night lights at Memorial Stadium on Friday, when the Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1) (0-0) open up Big Ten play against the #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) (0-0). Here's everything you need to know before traveling to Champaign for the special 8:00 pm kickoff on Fox Sports 1.

Promotions:
- Hall of Fame Weekend | Members of the 2018 Illini Hall of Fame class honored
- Coca-Cola Family 4-pack Tickets | Four tickets for $69
- Foundation Weekend | UI Foundation's 83rd Annual meeting
- Tailgating at Grange Grove | 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
- Illini Walk | 5:45 pm (through Grange Grove)

Game Info:
TV | Fox Sports 1 (PBP - Justin Kutcher / Color - Petros Papadakis / Color - DeMarco Murray)
Radio | 101.1 ESPN FM (PBP - Brian Barnhart / Color - Martin O'Donnell / Sideline - Jason Davis)

       #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) (0-0)

    • Coaching Staff
      • Head Coach | James Franklin (5th Season; 42 wins, 17 losses)
      • Associate Head Coach | Sean Spencer
      • Assistant Head Coach | Terry M. Smith
      • Defensive Coordinator | Brent Pry
      • Offensive Coordinator | Ricky Rahne
      • Special Teams Coordinator | Phil Galiano
    • Team Captains
      • #9 Trace McSorley (6'0", 201, Senior, QB | Ashburn, Virginia)
      • #4 Nick Scott (5'11", 200, Senior, S | Fairfax, Virginia)
      • #93 Blake Gillikin (6'2", 192, Junior, P/K | Smyrna, Georgia)
    • 2018 Schedule
      • Week 1
        • vs. Appalachian State
        • W, 45-38 (OT)
      • Week 2
        • @ Pitt
        • W, 51-6
      • Week 3
        • vs. Kent State
        • W, 63-10
    • Offensive Statistical Leaders
      • Passing
        • #9 Trace McSorley
          • 126.61 QB rating, 45-87, 1 interception, 603 yards, 5 touchdowns
      • Rushing
        • #24 Miles Sanders
          • 49 rushes, 295 yards, 6.0 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns
      • Receiving
        • #1 KJ Hamler
          • 7 receptions, 129 yards, 18.4 yards per reception, 2 touchdowns 
      • Total Yards
        • #9 Trace McSorley
          • 746 yards (248.7 yards per game)
    • Defensive Statistical Leaders
      • Solo Tackles
        • #21 Amani Oruwariye (12)
      • Sacks
        • #48 Shareef Miller (3.0)
      • Forced Fumbles
        • #21 Amani Oruwariye & #20 Jabari Butler (1 each)
      • Tackles For Loss
        • #48 Shareef Miller (6.0)
    • Special Teams Statistical Leaders
      • Kickoff Return Yardage
        • #1 KJ Hamler (177)
      • Punt Return Yardage
        • #3 DeAndre Thompkins (129)
      • Punting Yardage
        • #93 Blake Gillikin (525)
          • Has four punts of 50+ yards
      • Field Goals
        • #92 Jake Pinegar (1-2)
          • Longest FG is 32 yards
    • They Said It | Notable quotes from James Franklin's Press Conference
      • "Obviously got tremendous respect for Lovie Smith and his career, what he's been able to do. So obviously the guy's won a lot of games and is a very, very good football coach."
      • "We think we're going to have some challenges. There's no doubt."
      • "They put up pretty good numbers statistically offensively. It's going to be a challenge for us."
      • "I think the biggest factor in this game, no doubt about it, is going to be turnovers. That's going to be the storyline of the game."
      • "We've been impressed with their productive linebacker, No. 35, Jake Hansen. Their nose tackle, Tymir Oliver. And then DB, No. 31, Cameron Watkins, we've been impressed with him."
      • "Kicker, No. 43, Chase McLaughlin, seven field goals, a long of 54. And then 16 touchbacks this season. So a really strong leg."
      • On preparing for either Illinois QB
        • "We just have to prepare and assume that these guys will be back. And from everything we've seen and we've read they feel like these are some of their better players."
    Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1) (0-0)
    • Coaching Staff
      • Head Coach | Lovie Smith (3rd Season; 7 wins, 20 losses)
      • Defensive Coordinator | Hardy Nickerson 
      • Offensive Coordinator | Rod Smith
      • Special Teams Coordinator | Bob Ligashesky
    • 2018 Schedule
      • Week 1
        • vs. Kent State
        • W, 31-24
      • Week 2
        • vs. Western Illinois
        • W, 34-14
      • Week 3
        • vs. South Florida (@ Soldier Field)
        • L, 19-25
    • Offensive Statistical Leaders
      • Passing
        • #8 MJ Rivers
          • 130.07 efficiency, 29-45, 273 yards, 2 touchdowns
      • Rushing 
        • #26 Mike Epstein
          • 35 carries, 251 yards, 7.2 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns
      • Receiving
        • #4 Ricky Smalling
          • 7 receptions, 110 yards, 15.7 yards per catch, 0 touchdowns
      • Total Yards
        • #1 AJ Bush
          • 365 yards
    • Defensive Statistical Leaders
      • Solo Tackles
        • #35 Jake Hansen (17)
      • Sacks
        • Four w/ 1 each
      • Forced Fumbles
        • #10 James Knight & #17 Kendall Smith (1 each)
      • Tackles for Loss
        • #35 Jake Hansen (6.0)
    • Special Teams Statistical Leaders
      • Kickoff Return Yardage
        • #11 Carlos Sandy (68)
      • Punt Return Yardage
        • #18 Mike Dudek (26)
      • Punting Yardage 
        • #14 Blake Hayes (876)
      • Field Goals
        • #43 Chase McLaughlin (7-8)
          • Longest FG is 54 yards (career-high; 3rd-longest in Illini history)
    This story will be updated further today! 

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