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No. 6/7 Penn State Moves to 5-0 with 41-13 Victory over Northwestern

Photos by Tim Weight (file photo)

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Nittany Lions outscore Wildcats 31-3 in the second half

EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 6/7 Penn State (5-0, 3-0 Big Ten) breezed past Northwestern (2-3, 1-2 Big Ten) behind a dominant second half, winning 41-13 at Ryan Field on Saturday.

An outstanding defensive performance once again fueled the complimentary win for the Nittany Lions. Penn State limited Northwestern to just 175 total yards, including just 45 on the ground, compared to its own 353 total yards and 134 rushing yards.

The Nittany Lions posted six sacks, an interception, and forced two turnovers on downs in the game on defense, putting pressure on Northwestern all afternoon. The unit yielded just three points in the second half and provided outstanding field position for many of the Nittany Lions’ scoring opportunities.

Twenty-three Nittany Lions recorded tackles in the game, with Kevin Winston Jr. picking up a team-high five. Zane Durant led the squad with three tackles-for-loss, including one of Penn State’s six sacks. Daequan Hardy filled up the stat sheet with two tackles, an interception, a tackle for loss, and a pass breakup.

Offensively, Allar posted yet another turnover-free performance, completing 18-of-33 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Beau Pribula stepped in late in the game and completed his only pass for a 30-yard touchdown to Trey Potts. KeAndre Lambert-Smith led the team with 86 receiving yards on four catches while Nicholas Singleton caught six passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Singleton led the way on the ground for Penn State, carrying the ball 21 times for 80 yards and another score.

Defense led to offense all afternoon for the Nittany Lions, who posted 30-plus points for the 12th-straight game, increasing the longest active streak in the nation.




Northwestern scored first on its opening possession of the game, the result of Penn State’s first turnover of the season. After the Wildcats gained possession of the ball on Penn State’s 15-yard line on a fumbled kickoff, the Nittany Lion defense pushed them back four yards and forced a 33-yard field goal. Northwestern went up 3-0 at the 12:47 mark of the opening quarter.


The Nittany Lions bounced back and evened it up at 3-3 with under three minutes to play in the first quarter. Penn State constructed an 11-play, 53-yard drive that culminated with a 20-yard field goal by Alex Felkins to tie the game.


With 5:16 remaining in the first half, the Wildcats were able to tack on a touchdown to take the lead back from Penn State. Northwestern took 5:16 off the clock on its 10-play scoring drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ben Bryant.


The Nittany Lions responded immediately, creating their own six-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 13-yard run by Potts. The teams entered the halftime break tied 10-10. Penn State’s defense yielded just 46 total yards in the opening half against the Wildcats, including -10 rushing yards.


Following a defensive stop on Northwestern’s first possession of the second half, Penn State found the end zone once again, constructing a 12-play, 68-yard drive to go up 17-10 at the 8:40mark of the third quarter. On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Allar was able to push his way into the end zone for the score.


Penn State made it 17 unanswered points with a 47-yard field goal from Felkins, his second of the game. The Nittany Lion defense once again came up big to set up the score, creating a turnover on downs with a fourth-and-one stop at the Northwestern 31-yard line.


Another fourth-down stop in Northwestern territory led to Penn State’s next score. The Wildcats attempted a fake put, but fell short of the first down marker, giving the Nittany Lion offense possession of the ball at the 34. Allar led the Nittany Lions into the end zone once again, tossing a two-yard touchdown pass to Singleton to complete the scoring drive, extending Penn State’s lead to 27-10.


Northwestern was able to chip in a field goal early in the fourth quarter, cutting Penn State’s lead down to two scores, at 27-13. The Nittany Lion defense prevented further damage by standing tall in a third-and-goal scenario from the one-yard line. Durant broke through the line of scrimmage and brought down Bryant for a nine-yard loss, forcing the field goal on fourth down.


Singleton punched in another Penn State touchdown, this one with just over four minutes left to play in the game. A 13-play, 54-yard drive resulted in Singleton’s one-yard score, giving Penn State a 34-13 lead.


On the ensuing Northwestern drive, Hardy recorded his second interception of the season, giving the Nittany Lions possession at the Northwestern 30-yard line. It took just one play for Penn State to find the end zone, with Pribula finding Potts on a 30-yard catch-and-run for the tally.


The Nittany Lions carried their 41-13 advantage through the final horn to move to 5-0 on the season.


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