Fighting Illini amped for Penn State showdown - KMOV.com

Fighting Illini amped for Penn State showdown

State College, PA (KMOV) --Everyone in the college football world knows about it. If there wasn't a salivating SEC match up for ESPN to feast on, their famed pregame show "College Gameday " would probably be here. I'm, of course, talking about Penn State's annual "White Out" game. Around 107,000 Nittany Lion faithful are expected to be in attendance and in white shirts, creating a chilling effect to visiting teams and coaches alike that makes television viewers adjust the contrast on their sets when the television cameras pan to the crowd. The only non-white-clad people in attendance will be the Penn State players, who are expecting to show up in their traditional blue home uniforms. Illinois senior defensive end Will Davis has been looking forward to this game since he find out the Illini would be travelling to Happy Valley. "Every body's amped up about it," Davis said. "We went there a long time ago, and that was the hypest game I've played in." While Davis and most of the defense are looking forward to the noise of a raucous Beaver Stadium to get them going, Illini junior quarterback Juice Williams says the offense needs to "ignore the noise and try to come out on top." This is likely due to the Orange and Blue's heavy reliance on optimal timing to run their spread offense system. Williams' defensive counterparts, however, take a different stance on the noise issue. While most players list State College's Beaver Stadium, Ohio Stadium or Michigan Stadium as the toughest venues to play in Big Ten, Davis chimes in with a different tune. "I'm kind of different. I'll probably be the most different person saying this, but I'd probably say the toughest place to play is either Indiana or Northwestern," Davis said. "It's harder to keep the emotion. It's not so many people just booing you at the same time."The Mindset of a FreshmanOne of the welcome surprises for Illini fans and coaches early into this 2008 campaign has been the play of true freshman defensive tackle Corey Liuget, who has stepped up to try to fill the void left when defensive tackle Sirod Williams went down with a season-ending knee injury during Camp Rantoul. Liuget has nine total tackles along with two tackles for loss and a half sack. While his play on the field has been a bright spot, he may need to work on his skills with giving opposing teams "bulletin board material." The freshman from Florida was somewhat brash when asked what he expected out of the trip to Pennsylvania. "First, I'm expecting to come out with a victory," Liuget said, "I'm expecting to play my heart out to the fullest and hopefully bring it back home with a big (victory)." Illinois fans can only hope that Joe Paterno didn't find this gem of a quote to fire his squad up before his team leaves the tunnel Saturday night. Alex Symonds is an Illini J-student

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