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Must-Win Games For B1G Teams

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Penn State should be favored against Illinois, but it's the kind of game the Nittany Lions have to win to claw out of the pit created by the Sandusky scandal. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.
Penn State should be favored against Illinois, but it's the kind of game the Nittany Lions have to win to claw out of the pit created by the Sandusky scandal. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

Penn State is fighting a different kind of fight.

The Nittany Lions are working toward not only restoring a quality on-field product, but rebuilding a reputation on and off it. It needs to win and win the right way and maybe they'll have a shot at becoming a viable program again this decade. 

PSU doesn't necessarily need to win every marquee matchup, but one or two wouldn't hurt. The biggest thing I think is to display a good product to its fans, growing pride and faith once again. That means home wins are paramount. 

The Nittany Lions host Illinois (Nov. 2) smack in the middle of their season. They should win and they need to win. But this game is tricky. Illinois is known to do some surprising from time to time. 

Prediction: Penn State holds the line and doesn't let Illinois do the upsetting. It'll be a relatively meaningless game, but none are at this point for Penn State.