Coach Bill O'Brien earned his first Big Ten victory and his first career road win.
Penn State posted a season-high 35 points and limited Illinois to seven points, equaling a Penn State opponent season low.
Penn State led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and has now outscored opponents 49-0 in the first quarter on the year, with at least one touchdown in the first quarter of every game on the season.
Penn State led 21-0 at the end of the first half and has now outscored opponents 76-9 in the first half on the year.
The Nittany Lions have not allowed a touchdown in the first half this season.
The Penn State defense held Illinois nearly 20 points below its 26.5 ppg average entering the game.
The Penn State defense held on fourth down twice inside its own 30 in the first half and held Illinois to an 0-9 start on third down conversions before the Illini's first conversion late in the third quarter. The Illini went 4-of-15 on third down conversions. Penn State's last three opponents have combined to go 11 of 42 (26%) on third down.
Penn State forced three turnovers (2 INT, 1 fumble) and has now forced 11 turnovers on the year against committing just four. In the last four games, Penn State has forced 11 turnovers and committed only one.
The Penn State defense forced five Illinois drives of zero or negative yardage on the day.
The Penn State defense recorded three sacks on the day, its fourth-straight game with at least three sacks. Penn State has recorded 14 sacks on the season.
Penn State held Illinois to 0-for-3 in the Red Zone. The Illini entered the game 11-of-14 in the red zone with 10 touchdowns on the year.
Before the final Illini drive of the game, Penn State allowed just one of 13 Illinois drives to extend longer than six plays.
QB Matt McGloin moved into seventh all-time in career touchdown passes at Penn State with his 21-yard TD pass to TE Matt Lehman in the second quarter. He now has 32 on his career passing Anthony Morelli (31) and trailing Chuck Fusina (37) for sixth place.
QB Matt McGloin surpassed 200 yards passing (211) for the 11 th time on his career, a mark that ties Chuck Fusina (1975-78), Tony Sacca (1988-91) and Anthony Morelli (2004-07) for the fourth-best mark in Penn State history. Daryll Clark (2006-09) is third with 14. McGloin has thrown for 200 yards or more in four of five games on the season.
For the season, Matt McGloin leads the Big Ten in passing (243.4 ypg), and is second in TD passes (11) and second in completions (101)
RB Zach Zwinak posted career highs in carries (19) and rushing yards (100) on the day. He became Penn State's first 100-yard rusher since Silas Redd posted 137 vs. Illinois in Beaver Stadium last year. Zwinak scored his first career touchdown with a one-yard dive for Penn State's first score of the game and recorded two touchdowns in the game.
RB Zach Zwinak averaged 5.3 yards per carry on the day. He now has a team-high 196 yards on 40 carries on the year, for a team-best average of 4.9 yards per carry on the season.