It may not be a battle of two top ten teams, but in many ways Penn State’s game Saturday at Illinois is Big Game No. 1 of the Bill O’Brien era.
Before the season started many thought that the games at Virginia and at Illinois would go a long way in determining how good this Nittany Lion team would be.
Well, the loss at Virginia was as crushing as losses get. Yet, Penn State has won two straight since then and has shown improvement throughout the season.
Now, it’s the Big 10 opener and a win at Illinois puts the Lions above .500 mark and gives them as many wins as many detractors predicted they would get all season.
It also gives them an idea if their dream of winning a Big 10 division title is realistic or not. A loss to a less than mediocre Illinois team would not bode well for the remainder of the season.
However, a win on the road at Illinois means that all the goals this team had before the season are still attainable – a winning record and division title among them.