The Nittany Lions needed a third-quarter interception from linebacker Gerald Hodges to break open the game and left Evanston, Ill. with their sixth consecutive victory.
Hodges’ interception led to a Silas Redd touchdown and helped the Lions down Northwestern 34-24. Penn State’s offense had its way in the first half as Matt McGloin earned his first start of the season and the Lions’ offense scored on its first six possessions.
The Lions (7-1, 4-0) were paced by Redd who rushed for a career-high 164 yards on 18 carries. The sophomore tallied his fourth consecutive 100-yard game and tailback Stephfon Green was in on the action too as he picked up his first touchdown of the season.
McGloin played the entire game and finished 17-of-26 for 192 yards with two touchdowns. McGloin found receiver Devon Smith early and often as Smith hauled in six passes for a career high 110 yards and added a touchdown.
The Lions’ defense took over in the second half after giving up 24 first-half points. Tom Bradley’s unit turned in a season high seven sacks and had it’s way with Wildcats quarterback Dan Persa in the second half. Persa finished 26-of-34 for 294 yards and a touchdown and interception. Persa was sacked four times and left the game in the fourth quarter with a turf toe injury.