STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State has made some big second-half comebacks to beat Northwestern over the years. Few were as furious as the one the Nittany Lions pulled off Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) scored 22 points in the final 10 minutes to overcome an 11-
point deficit and beat the No. 24 Wildcats 39-28 in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin threw for two touchdowns and ran for the go-ahead score with 2:37 to play. Michael Zordich gave the Nittany Lions some breathing room with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:30 left.
After finding wide receiver Brandon Moseby-Felder for 13 yards on a fourth-and-2 on the go-ahead drive, McGloin, who completed a career-high 35 passes, evaded pressure, rolled to his right and half-jumped, half-dived into the end zone.
The Wildcats (5-1, 1-1) had all three timeouts remaining, but Penn State linebacker Mike Hull
broke up a pass intended for Kain Colter on fourth down. A breakaway run by Zordich set up his own scoring run, and Penn State had its fourth straight victory.
Northwestern did not record a first down until nearly six minutes into the second quarter and had
just 123 yards in the first half, a week after racking up 704 yards of offense in a win over
But the Wildcats got one score -- a 2-yard touchdown run by Venric Mark -- shortly after Penn
State's Jesse Della Valle muffed a punt at his own 17-yard line and another -- an 11-yard pass from Trevor Siemian to Tony Jones -- shortly after a third-down pass interference penalty against Nittany Lions cornerback Stephon Morris.
The Nittany Lions marched 12 plays in 80 yards for a score on their first possession of the
second half, with running back Zach Zwinak getting 37 of them, and the last 8 yards on a pass from McGloin to Allen Robinson. Northwestern answered with a long drive of its own, with Colter taking the ball in from 10 yards on an option run.
Northwestern's defense quickly forced a Penn State punt and Mark, who had 188 all-purpose yards, took it 75 yards, most of that up the left sideline, for a touchdown and a 28-17 lead with 50
seconds left in the third quarter.
Penn State came back again, with McGloin finding Robinson near the back of the end zone for a 6-yard score on fourth down. A two-point conversion run by Zordich made it 28-25 with 9:19 to play.