Big Noon Live: Penn State rides defense to early lead; Deion Sanders joins pregame party

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It’s going to be a wild day of college football on Saturday, and it started early with the “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show in Boulder, Colorado.

The two-hour show included a pregame party hosted by Rob Gronkowski, with appearances by Lil Wayne, Deion Sanders and more. It was a lot of fun, so scroll below to check out all the highlights.

Now the focus shifts East to Champaign, Illinois, where Bret Bielema’s Fighting Illini is playing host to the No.

Check out the action below with live analysis from Bryan Fischer!

Penn State at Illinois

6:09 2Q: BLOCKED!

Now, we move east to Champaign, Illinois where Bret Bielema’s Fighting Illini will host the No.

Check out the action below with live analysis from Bryan Fischer!

Penn State at Illinois

6:09 2Q: BLOCKED!

Illinois blocked Penn State’s field goal attempt to keep it a two-possession game, but that might not be the most worrisome thing on the Nittany Lions sideline, as QB Drew Allar grimaced after his arm got hit by Jer’Zhan Newton on third down. Illini’s defense has only allowed 2.1 yards/rush in this game, and it’s on the young quarterback to make plays on the field. If that is more than a bruise to his arm, then that could put him in danger. Bret Bielema’s offense did not turn over the ball. What’s the bad news? It gets worse, FOX’s Jenny Taft reports that top safety Matthew Bailey is likely to be out for the rest of the game with an upper body injury. Penn State capitalized on the mistake to score and go up 13-0. But you can’t help but think that this should be a bigger blowout than it currently is with such a disjointed Nittany Lions effort offensively.

On top of QB Drew Allar missing at least two touchdown throws on that recent drive, tailback Kaytron Allen running into his own offensive lineman on a screen and falling down on a play he should have scored a TD surely sums up the PSU offense in the first half. Allen did punch it in eventually for a 4-yard rushing score, but this is far from the type of crisp effort James Franklin wants for his team’s first road trip of the year on Big Noon Saturday.

Kaytron Allen punches it in, extending Penn State’s lead to 13-0

Kaytron Allen punches it in, extending Penn State's lead to 13-0

End 1Q: Illini commit three turnovers, Nittany Lions lead 6-0

Illinois opened the game by missing a field goal, fumbling, and then throwing back-to-back interceptions. Luke Altmyer has made some questionable throws. He underthrew his receiver on this particular turnover. So far, the answer is… no.

1:48 1Q: Illini holding Penn State to field goals

Is this the same Illinois defense that ranked dead last in Big Ten after two games or the one from last season that led America in just about every category? Illini hold Penn State to field goal

1.48 1Q: Is this the same Illinois Defense that was ranked dead-last in the Big Ten in two games or is it the one that was ranked first in the country last season in almost every category?

Is the Illinois defense the same as the one that topped the nation in nearly all categories last year, or is this the Illinois team that finished last in the Big Ten in just two games? Penn State was able to respond to two mistakes by stifling them twice in the Red Zone, even though the Nittany Lions were leading 6-0. The offensive line has barely been able to get a push for the run game, and they have given Drew Allar pressure on almost every dropback. As a result, the young QB’s clock seems to be going faster and he is only 3-of-7 so far for 37 yards in the first quarter. The visitors are not having a good start to the conference opener. Josh Kreutz picked up an unsportsmanlike flag to move the Nittany Lions even closer to the end zone. To make matters worse, Josh Kreutz picked up an unsportsmanlike flag to move the Nittany Lions even closer to the end zone.

5:27 1Q:

Penn State takes 3-0 lead Turnovers in a conference game are always going to prove critical, and the first mistake of the day comes via Illinois after Josh McCray was popped in traffic and fumbled. McCray & Co. were able to keep PSU at a field goal with a great red zone stand and a short field. Nick Singleton & Kaytron Allen only have 4 yards in five attempts. There’s also not much room to run when they receive the ball. That third down from the 2-yard line was indicative of just how good the Illini defensive line has been, as they had no room whatsoever.

10:35 1Q: A slow start

Shaky opening series for Drew Allar in his first road start, with a three-and-out coming on the back of two passes that were well wide of the mark. It would seem that the coaching staff should have relied heavily on the running game to ease their young quarterback into the position, but this wasn’t true. There were several quick dropbacks with only one or two readings required of the signal-caller. Luke Altmyer was pressured by the Illini’s defense on almost every throw. This may have been the reason for the Illini to go with some tempo when it came to third downs. While all eyes will be on Boulder and Coach Prime’s Buffs for the Big Noon game, it is the Big Ten that takes center stage. This will be a litmus test to see if No. Penn State’s ranking is a true reflection of their ability to compete for a national championship and conference title. Here are some pre-game thoughts for the kick-off in Champaign. The team’s second-year quarterback has already shown his impressive arm in the first two games, with a few downfield throws. He’ll have to show it again for the league opener away from home. Allar, who has made zero career turnovers and is an All-American, will have to continue this streak if PSU hopes to maintain its winning ways on the offensive side. This latter pair has averaged over 150 yards in offense this season despite not being involved much in the team’s most recent victories. They are equally as dangerous running between the tackles as they are out of the backfield. Illinois’ QB Luke Altmyer, who transferred from Ole Miss to Illinois in the past year, has shown he can be a solid quarterback. His legs will give the offense a new dimension. He will need to scramble to get a few first-downs, but he must also be more careful with the ball (three interceptions). Illinois’ defense was sloppy against Kansas last week and is currently last in the Big Ten for yards/play. New DC Aaron Henry has to get the mental mistakes corrected and let the Illini play much freer than they have so far if they’re going to show some improvement where it’s needed most for the home side.Pregame in Boulder

Finally, Coach Prime stopped by the set for a live interview. And if his comments are any indication, the Buffaloes will not be going easy on Colorado State tonight.

Deion Sanders discusses exceeding expectations, more!

After lighting up the stage, Lil Tunechi got a special gift from Coach Prime.

Gronkowski worked up an appetite in Boulder.

The first Club Heisman of the season with

Mark Ingram

and

Matt Leinart

.

USC’s Caleb Williams and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders lead Club Heisman candidates | Big Noon Kickoff


Mark Ingram, Matt Leinart and others discussed Club Heisman nominees including Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans; Shedeur Sanders from the Colorado Buffaloes; and Marvin Harrison Jr.
Big Noon Kickoff

Urban Meyers analyzes how the Colorado Buffaloes are able to succeed even when their plays fall apart.
Lil’ Wayne talks about Colorado’s turn around, Packers’ fandom and more! | Big Noon Kickoff

Lil’ Wayne joins “Big Noon Kickoff”, to discuss the Colorado Buffaloes’ turn-around this season, as well as his support for the Green Bay Packers.
Is Drew Allar, Penn State’s quarterback, the best in the Big Ten? | Big Noon Kickoff

Deion Sanders discusses exceeding expectations, more!

Joel Klatt discusses the Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar, and whether he’s the best quarterback of the Big Ten Conference.

Gronk got the crowd going this morning!

Things got underway early in Boulder, with a pre-dawn gathering.The Illinois game could be the first real challenge for Penn State (2-0), and coach James Franklin knows Illinois fans will be ready, especially with the Illini promoting an “orange-out. “It will be a great atmosphere for college football at Illinois,” Franklin said in a statement this week. “We started our Big Ten Season last year at Purdue. A blackout occurred. The Illini opened at home with a come-from-behind 30-28 win over Toledo, before stumbling in a 34-23 defeat to Kansas in Week 2.0. Big Noon Kickoff
James Franklin, head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, spoke to Jenny Taft to discuss what he expects from his team today against the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Chris “The Bear” Fallica shares his ‘Best bets’.

Penn State (the Big Noon Kickoff), Florida State (the Big Noon Kickoff), and Tennessee are the three teams that top Chris ‘The Bear Fallica’s list of ‘Best bets’.
Chris “The Bear” Fallica’s picks for the third week of college football include the Florida State Seminoles and Tennessee Volunteers.
Check back Saturday for pregame coverage, followed by live in-game analysis from FOX Sports’

USC's Caleb Williams and Colorado's Shedeur Sanders lead Club Heisman candidates | Big Noon Kickoff

Bryan Fischer

!

Will Drew Allar lead Penn State to a win over Illinois?

No. Check back Saturday for pregame coverage, followed by live in-game analysis from FOX Sports’

Urban Meyer discusses how Colorado succeeds when plays break down | Big Noon Kickoff

Bryan Fischer

!

Will Drew Allar lead Penn State to a win over Illinois?

Lil' Wayne joins to talk Colorado's turnaround, Packers' fanhood and more! | Big Noon Kickoff

No. 7 Penn State at Illinois

PREGAME NUMBERS TO KNOW

20-6:

PSU’s all-time record against Illinois. The Nittany Lions have won the six of the last eight meetings.

Is Penn State's Drew Allar the best quarterback in the Big Ten? | Big Noon Kickoff

78.2:

Completion percentage for QB

Drew Allar

, which ranks sixth in the nation. He also sits 16th in passing efficiency (183.0) and 21st in yards per pass attempt (9.62).

9:

Consecutive games PSU has scored at least 30 points — the nation’s longest streak.

6-of-17:

Passing

Penn State HC James Franklin talks to Jenny Taft about his pregame expectations vs. Illinois | Big Noon Kickoff

Delaware

was held to last week by PSU; the seventh time PSU has held an opponent below 50% passing over the last two seasons, tied for most in the nation.

9th:

Penn State, Florida State, and Tennessee headline Chris 'The Bear' Fallica's 'Best Bets' | Big Noon Kickoff

Current

Big Ten

  • rank for Illinois in scoring (26.5 PPG), total offense (357.5 YPG) and passing (204.0). The Fighting Illini also sit at seventh in rushing (153.5).
  • 164:

Yards needed by QB Luke Altmyer to crack Illinois’ all-time top-10 list for rushing yards by a quarterback. Altmyer has already surpassed the 139 yards he currently holds as the team’s leading rusher. Williams is sixth in receiving yards (150).

Week 3 preview: Can Illinois upset Penn State?

Will Drew Allar lead Penn State to a win over Illinois?

PREGAME READING

Week 3 wagering:

Chris “The Bear” Fallica shares his predictions from all the top games, including Penn State-Illinois. Read more

.The Prime Effect … on coaches: One interesting aspect of the instant success Deion Sanders has had at Colorado is the very real possibility that it could increase pressure on coaches — even established and successful coaches like James Franklin and Bert Bielema — to change the way they operate. Read more.How Penn State Prepared Drew Allar For This Moment:

Many observers believe this is the best Penn State roster in the James Franklin years, but Franklin went to great lengths to ensure his young quarterback was ready to lead. Michael Cohen takes us behind the scenes. Heisman Watch:

The reigning Heisman-winning Caleb Williams, of USC, continues to be the frontrunner to win this prestigious award. Check out our breakdown of the top 10 candidates. Check out our breakdown of the top 10 candidates.Why Illinois has a chance: The Nittany Lions are big favorites vs. Illinois, but the Illini do have one top-notch NFL prospect who could wreak havoc — defensive lineman Jer’Zhan Newton

. Rob Rang, NFL Draft expert, explains why Newton is a potential problem for Penn State. He also highlights other top prospects that scouts are watching during Week 3. RJ Young and Michael Cohen, along with Bryan Fischer, break down the Penn State-Illinois game. Read more.Bonus reading!“It’s hard to stop all of us”: Everyone knows about Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, but Colorado has found success in large part due to the wealth of options it has compiled on offense. Read more.

Colorado will decide its ceiling: Some have doubted Deion Sanders’ methods at rebuilding Colorado, but it will ultimately be the Buffs who decide how high they can climb. RJ Young explains why.What’s next for Texas

? The Longhorns are flying high after their stunning victory at Alabama in Week 2, but coach Steve Sarkisian has bigger goals. Steve Sarkisian said that championship teams are always improving. Laken Litman is the reporter.

Bryan Fisher is a college-football writer for FOX. He has covered college athletics at outlets like NBC Sports and CBS Sports for almost two decades. Follow him on Twitter at .FOLLOWFollow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

[More numbers to know in Week 3 games]

Penn State Nittany Lions

Week 3 preview: Can Illinois upset Penn State?

Illinois Fighting Illini

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