EVANSTON, Il (WTAJ) — While things got off to a slow start, No. 6 Penn State handled business against Northwestern 41-13 on Saturday.
Penn State didn’t lead during the whole first half but still came away with a four-score Big 10 win against the Wildcats in large part to their defense and an explosive second-half offense.
The game started off rough for PSU as Nicholas Singleton fumbled the ball on their own 11 on the kickoff, giving the Wildcats a chance to take an early lead. PSU’s defense was able to hold them to a field goal though.
The teams then shared punts and Penn State finally had a scoring drive late in the first quarter. With a mix of runs from Kaytron Allen and Singleton, plus passes from Drew Allar, Alex Felkins was able to get a 20-yard field goal to tie the game.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats would take a 10-3 lead after a 10-play, 54-yard drive saw Bed Bryant rushing into the endzone from a yard out.
A few drives later, Trey Potts would once again tie the game for Penn State with a 14-yard rushing score. The game would go to half time and PSU made some needed adjustments for the second half.
The third quarter would be all Nittany Lions as Allar would score a rushing touchdown to take a 17-10 lead. Just two minutes later Felkins would put up a 47-yard field goal to extend the lead to 20-10. To close out the quarter Allar would find Singleton for a two-yard score as PSU began pulling away from Northwestern 27-10.
The Wildcats would add just three more points with a field goal to start out the fourth. Penn State would add Singleton’s rushing touchdown and a Potts 30-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback Beau Pribula late in the fourth quarter and would leave Illinois with a 41-13 win.
While Penn State’s offense had a slow first half on the road, the Nittany Lion’s defense really handled business against Northwestern. The Wildcats had just 175 yards and were limited to just 45 on the ground. Daequan Hardy also came down with a second-half interception that would lead to the last PSU touchdown of the game.
On the flip side, Penn State had 353 yards, as Allar went 18-33 for 189 yards a passing and a rushing touchdown. Outside of the opening fumble, Singleton had a strong performance, finding the endzone twice while adding 80 yards on the ground on 21 carries. The ball was also spread around the offense as Allar and Pribula combined to find eight different targets.
No. 6 Penn State moves to 5-0 on the season and notches their third Big 10 win this season. The Nittany Lions won’t see action again until Oct. 14 when they host Massachusetts at 3:30 p.m. After that, Penn State will travel to Columbus ahead of a Top 10 matchup against No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes.