Daniel Dufrene brakes through a tackle.
Sept. 27, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Derrick Williams dazzled in one of the best performances Penn State football has ever produced.
The speedy senior caught a touchdown pass, ran for a TD and returned a kick 94 yards for another score as the Nittany Lions stayed unbeaten with a 38-24 win Saturday night over No. 22 Illinois.
Penn State (5-0, 1-0) rolled to four nonconference victories by easy margins, lighting up the scoreboard like a pinball machine. This time, they faced an offense that could keep pace -- though Illinois was held back by a bunch of mistakes.
Matt Eller missed a 33-yard field goal after Illinois ran the ball down the field against what had been a stout Penn State rush defense. Daniel Dufrene ran for 96 yards on 14 carries, but fumbled with less than nine minutes left in the game.
Eller hit a 42-yard field goal to pull Illinois within 24-17 before Derrick Williams pulled off a crowd-pleaser, taking the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to put the Nittany Lions ahead by 14.
Evan Royster had 19 carries for 139 yards rushing, and Williams finished with six catches for 75 yards, and six carries for 33 yards.
Juice Williams connected with a wide-open Benn for a 54-yard touchdown catch to draw Illinois within 31-24 with 12:48 left in the game.
Clark then connected with tight end Andrew Quarless for 17-yard touchdown to put the Nittany Lions ahead 38-24 before Dufrene's fumble. Illinois dropped to 0-6 at Happy Valley.
Clark finished 14-of-20 passing for 181 yards and two TDs.