Instant analysis: PSU 39, Northwestern 28
October, 6, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Northwestern has waited half a century to start a season with a 6-0 record.
The Nittany Lions made sure it will have to wait at least one more season.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin composed himself and led the Lions to a 39-28 victory after trailing by 11 points in the second half. McGloin dove in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Penn State's defense answered by forcing a Northwestern three-and-out, and Michael Zordich added another touchdown. Penn State improves to 4-2 with the win, and Northwestern falls to 5-1.
It was over when: Mike Hull deflected Northwestern's last chance at a comeback. On 4th-and-7 from the Wildcats' own 28, Trevor Siemian attempted a pass over the middle, but Hull got his hand on it right in front of the receiver. The sideline erupted after the stop.
Game ball goes to: McGloin. Trailing 28-17, McGloin put the team on his shoulders and didn't make a mistake. He led Penn State to two scoring drives and rumbled for a 5-yard TD run to put his team up 32-28. He finished 35-of-51 for 282 yards and two touchdown passes.
Stat of the game: 161. Rushing yards by Penn State. Northwestern came in with the nation's 13th-ranked run defense, and PSU entered with the No. 86 rushing offense. Still, somehow, PSU was able to have one of its best rushing games of the season.
Unsung hero: Zach Zwinak. Against a tough run defense, the Penn State fullback-turned-tailback finished with 121 yards on 28 carries. He entered this season as the team's last option at tailback, but he has shown in the past three games that he might just be the best running back on the team.
What it means: Penn State is a legitimate contender for the title in the Leaders Division. The Nittany Lions showed they can make a comeback, and it showed this offense is for real. For Northwestern, it showed it still has some defensive issues to fix -- but the offense is certainly dynamic.
The Early Offer: March 5
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35