(Saturday, October 22nd)
Final Score: Penn State 34, Northwestern 24
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Joe Paterno tied Eddie Robinson for the most wins as a head coach in Division I football history with his 408th victory as his Penn State Nittany Lions went on the road to defeat Northwestern 34-24 at Ryan Field and remain unbeaten in Big Ten Conference action.
Matthew McGloin took over full duty of the quarterback position for Penn State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) after splitting time with Rob Bolden in recent weeks. McGloin took advantage of the opportunity by completing 17-of-26 attempts for 192 yards with two TDs. Tailback Silas Redd dominated on the ground, as he charged for 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Devon Smith gave the NU defense problems as well, racking up 110 receiving yards on six catches with a touchdown.
Northwestern (2-5, 0-4) was led by quarterback Dan Persa, who completed 26-of-34 passes, for 294 yards and a TD before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injury. Kain Colter, who started the first three games of the season at quarterback for the injured Persa, was used in a variety of ways as he had a rushing and a receiving touchdown while racking up 112 all purpose yards. Jeremy Every caught six passes for the Wildcats for 109 yards.
Northwestern opened up a high-scoring first half as Persa ran it in from a yard out to give the Wildcats a 7-0 less than three minutes after kickoff.
McGloin answered with a pair of touchdown passes for Penn State. First the junior quarterback completed a four-yard pass to Justin Brown that evened the score and then followed it a few minutes later with a 45-touchdown pass to Smith to give the Nittany Lions a 14-7 lead with 5:51 remaining in the opening quarter.
Persa tied the game back up at 14 when he completed a 12 yard touchdown pass to Colter with just under two minutes remaining in the opening frame.
Placekicker Anthony Fera gave Penn State a 17-14 lead at the second quarter's 12:26 mark with a 37-yard field goal.
Colter then scored his second touchdown of the day on a four-yard dash to the end zone that put the home team back up, 21-17. Penn State answered with a 33-yard field goal from Fera to make the Northwestern advantage 21-20 with 4:01 remaining in the half.
The Wildcats extended their lead by three with under a minute remaining in the half thanks to a 25-yard Jeff Budzien field goal, but Penn State put together a seven play 63-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Stephfon Green that gave the visitors a 27-24 lead going into the half.
The offensive shootout in the first half turned into a defensive struggle after the break. The only score of second half came courtesy of Redd, as the tailback ran 19 yards for a touchdown with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter that extended the Nittany Lion's lead to 34-24 where it would remain.
Despite losing, Northwestern outgained Penn State with 406 yards of total offense to the Nittany Lions' 381.
Penn State has now won six games in a row. The loss is Northwestern's fifth straight, as Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats are still winless in conference play.
10/22 23:39:15 ET