Penn State ground game overpowering Illini

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Penn State's offensive line had been the team's Achilles' heel for the first four games, particularly last week against Iowa. Quarterback Daryll Clark, head coach Joe Paterno and others urged patience with a group that returned no starters to the spots where they played last year.

It looks like patience is finally paying off for the Lions.

Penn State's offensive line has performed very well against Illinois, and the Lions are starting to pull away in the third quarter. I really like Penn State's plan to mix the running backs, as Stephfon Green appears to have the hot hand today. Evan Royster remains a big part of the offense, but Green is getting opportunities to make things happen. Clark also has been effective with his feet.

If the offensive line jells, Penn State will be dangerous down the stretch. Linebackers Navorro Bowman and Josh Hull are making things miserable for Illinois, and they'll be even better when Sean Lee returns from injury.

Illini fans, by the way, are booing the offense right now. Ouch.