NCAA Game Summary - Penn State at Northwestern|
(Saturday, October 31st)
Final Score: (12) Penn State 34, Northwestern 13
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Daryll Clark threw for 274 yards and a score
and ran for another, as 12th-ranked Penn State rallied for 21 fourth-quarter
points to defeat Northwestern, 34-13, at Ryan Field.
Evan Royster ran for 118 yards on 15 carries, including a 69-yard scoring
scamper, and Clark completed 22-of-31 passes with a 53-yard scoring strike to
Derek Moye, who totaled 123 yards on six catches.
Collin Wagner booted a pair of field goals early on in a close game for the
Nittany Lions (8-1, 4-1 Big Ten), who have won five straight and avoided a
letdown a week before their highly-anticipated tilt with Ohio State.
PSU was coming off a big 35-10 victory against Michigan in Ann Arbor last
week and improved to 7-1 over their last eight road games dating back to
Mike Kafka rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown and threw for 128 yards on 14-
of-18 attempts, but came up lame in the second quarter with what looked to be
a hamstring issue and did not return.
Junior backup Dan Persa came on to complete 14-of-23 passes for 115 yards and
also ran for 42 yards. Zeke Markshausen made nine grabs for 60 yards while
Andrew Brewer was the recipient of six passes for 65 yards.
Stefan Demos connected on 2-of-3 field goal attempts for the Wildcats (5-4,
2-3), who were coming off a dramatic 29-28 win last weekend against Indiana.
NU used a late field goal to complete a 25-point comeback, the largest in
program history, for its third win in four games.
Northwestern played the Lions tough and held a 13-10 lead at halftime, but
PSU's defense tightened up in the second half and the offense finally started
to click late in the game.
Wagner kicked a 23-yard field goal to finish off Penn State's opening drive of
the second half -- an 11-play, 53-yard effort buoyed by a 27-yard completion
to Justin Brown.
The Nittany Lions' defense forced a punt deep in Wildcat territory in the
waning moments of the third, setting up the visitors' go-ahead score. Clark
got the offense on track and quickly moved 58 yards in seven plays with
Brandon Beachum's two-yard TD run allowing for a 20-13 advantage.
"We played a little more aggressively in the second half, [and] did a better
job with the pass rush, regardless of whether Kafka was in there or some other
kid," said Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. "I don't think we had quite
realized how good they are offensively and it took us some time to speed up
Penn State then blew the game open with its next two plays from scrimmage
going for touchdowns.
A quick three-and-out from Northwestern had the Lions back in the end zone as
Clark led Moye up the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown. The Wildcats
punted back to Penn State and Royster ripped off a 69-yard run for a 34-13
margin with a little under nine minutes to play.
Northwestern had drives of 51 and 43 yards stopped inside the red zone. Just
outside the two-minute mark, Persa was sacked by Kevion Latham at the six and
fumbled the ball away, and the Lions ran out the clock from there.
"For three quarters we gave ourselves an opportunity to compete to win. In the
last 15 minutes we gave up too many big plays and didn't move the football,"
said Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "There weren't a whole lot of
answers besides us not executing and us not doing the things we needed to do
both coaching and playing-wise. We've got to find a way to finish."
Wagner opened the scoring by capping the Nittany Lions' initial drive with a
32-yard field goal. Kafka coughed up the ball on the second play, handing PSU
the ball at Northwestern's 23-yard line.
The Wildcats made good on their second possession, though, moving the ball 65
yards in 17 plays with Demos' 34-yard boot tying the game. NU set out on its
next scoring drive in the final moments of the first. Kafka easily moved the
ball into Penn State territory with consecutive completions of 15, 13 and 16
yards before taking it in himself for a seven-yard score and a 10-3 lead 2 1/2
minutes into the second.
However, the senior signal-caller left with a hamstring issue on the Wildcats'
next drive that led to a punt, and Penn State evened the score at 10 on a two-
yard keeper from Clark.
Penn State's three-and-out inside the final minute of the half gave
Northwestern good field position and a halftime lead as Persa was able to move
the offense within range for a 45-yard Demos field goal.
The Wildcats and Lions clashed for the first since 2006, with PSU holding a
10-3 lead in the head-to-head series...Beachum ended with 25 rushing yards and
scored his first ever collegiate touchdown...Chaz Powell had four catches for
36 yards and Graham Zug added three grabs for 28 yards in the win...Penn
State outgained the Wildcats, 437-371...The Nittany Lion defense recorded six
sacks while Sean Lee had a game-high 12 tackles. Nate Williams topped the
Northwestern defense with seven stops...Penn State is 11-0 when Royster rushes
for 100 or more yards.
10/31 22:26:50 ET