ESPN's FPI predicts outcome of Illinois-Penn State showdown
Two teams coming off a bye week are set to face off when Illinois travels to Penn State for Week 8.
The Illini have had a disappointing season in Year 1 for Bret Bielema. Illinois is just 2-5, though one of those wins was a Week 0 victory over Scott Frost and Nebraska. The Illini were shut out by Wisconsin in Week 6.
The Nittany Lions started off 5-0 and were leading on the road against Iowa in Week 6. Unfortunately, an injury to starting quarterback Sean Clifford swung the momentum. Penn State dropped that game and Clifford’s status is still unclear for this weekend.
With or without Clifford, Penn State will enter the game against Illinois as heavy favorites at home in Happy Valley. After Week 8, the schedule gets much tougher, but it will take a big effort from the Illini on the road to make an impact.
According to ESPN’s FPI, the Nittany Lions are given a 93.7% chance of coming away with a win. A win would allow Penn State to keep pace in the B1G East and set up a dramatic stretch run to the season. An upset for Illinois would provide a signature win for Bielema but will also require a gargantuan effort.
Saturday’s kickoff is set for 12 pm EST on ABC.