Johnny Newton is one of the leaders for Illinois this fall, and he’s been one of the best players on the field during Saturday’s game against Penn State.

With halftime approaching, Newton already has 3 tackles, a TFL and a key QB pressure. Penn State was in Illinois territory looking to stretch an already 13-0 lead when Drew Allar dropped back to pass on third down. Newton applied the pressure and hit the QB, forcing an errant throw and fourth down.

With Penn State failing to convert, the Nittany Lions sent out the field goal unit to try a 3rd kick of the first half. Newton was ready, blowing up the line and timing his jump for a picture-perfect blocked kick.

That blocked field goal is now looking like a massive play for the Illini. Instead of trailing 16-0, Illinois used that possession to score its first touchdown of the game to make it 13-7.

As for Newton, his first-half performance is drawing plenty of attention. He’s also balling out with a number of NFL teams sending representatives to the Week 3 game.

Here’s how fans and media are reacting to Newton’s outing so far: