Matt McGloin threw for two touchdowns and rushed for the go-ahead score in PSU’s 39-28 win. (Getty Images)
Snap Judgments from the Week 6 early slate. For more, check out our midday Snaps, late Snaps coverage of LSU-Florida, Georgia-South Carolina, West Virginia-Texas and complete Top 25 review.
• Penn State 39, No. 24 Northwestern 28. Pat Fitzgerald’s herd of cats was 5-0 and well on its way to a 6-0 start, a feat unequaled by any Northwestern squad since 1962. The Wildcats had one conference win and three victories over AQ nonconference opponents to their credit. So, naturally, Week 6 was when they ran into a fourth-quarter buzzsaw in the form of … Penn State?
Pointed momentum swings characterized Saturday’s contest. The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 10-0 lead, only to see the Wildcats retake the scoreboard and then some, carrying a 28-17 lead after three quarters. Then, for lack of a better description for what happened next, the fourth quarter commenced and Penn State proceeded to outgain Northwestern 186-23. Matt McGloin displayed some serious poise in this period, passing for a touchdown, running for a two-point conversion and scoring again on a five-yard run with less than three minutes to play. Penn State scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the last coming on a Michael Zordich three-yard run precisely one minute after McGloin’s dash for the end zone.
Wildcat fans might be wondering about now why Venric Mark took a knee on a kick return with 2:37 remaining after he’d already returned a punt 75 yards for a score at the end of the third quarter. They might also be flexing their claws (because they’re cats!) at the sight of Mark and Kain Colter, averaging a combined 180-plus rushing yards heading into today’s contest, finishing with a mere 96 combined. But Penn State has now won four straight, including two in league play. A fitting beginning, maybe, to a curious day of football. [BOX | RECAP]