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[Live Blog] Penn State Vs. Northwestern

Penn State heads to the midwest to face the 6-2 No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats in what should be a hard-fought Big Ten matchup. The Lions roll into Evanston with momentum on their side after last Saturday’s dominant 39-0 shutout of Illinois. With a win today, Penn State could become ranked for the first time in over three years. Here’s our staff predictions, and here’s today’s gameday coverage.

Fourth Quarter:

Late offensive efforts fell short, and No.21 Northwestern defeated Penn State 23-21.

:09 4Q: Northwestern’s 35-yard field goal attempt is good, and the Wildcats take a 23-21 lead.

1:06 4Q: Jackson gained a few yards up the middle then squeezed through to the side for Northwestern’s first down. With :22 seconds left to play, Penn State called a timeout. Jackson continued to slide up the field and put the Wildcats in a position to attempt a field goal.

2:13 4Q: On the third down, Northwestern’s defense stuffed Barkley. Northwestern took possession. Two incomplete passes boosted Penn State morale, but Oliver completed a 23-yard pass to move Northwestern up the field.

3:13 4Q: Oliver failed on the third down conversion due to a Marcus Allen blitz. Penn State regained possession. The Nittany Lions hold on to a fragile 21-20 lead with 2:28 left in the game.

7:13 4Q: Northwestern intercepted a pass and took over on the 32 yard line with 7:13 left to play.

9:40 4Q: Barkley isn’t done yet. He took the direct snap for the Penn State first down, utilizing the wildcat formation once again.

12:22 4Q: TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE! Barkley took it 23 yards then Hackenberg completed to Godwin, whose sliding play warranted a review. The play was confirmed and the Nittany Lions had a first and 10 from Northwestern’s 13 yard line. Barkley’s seventh of the season and second of the game emerged from the Wildcat. Davis’s extra point was good, and Penn State leads No. 21 Northwestern 21-20.

14:32 4Q: Carl Nassib sacked Oliver for an 8-yard loss and quietly became Penn State’s single-season sacks record holder. Nassib caused a fumble recovered by Northwestern, and Penn State will take over at its 29.

Third Quarter:

:033 3Q: Jackson’s offensive prowess prevailed again. He rushed for 17 on the first play and gained three more on the second. Penn State heads into the final quarter with a chance for a comeback, creeping up 20-14 on Northwestern.

2:00 3Q: Nittany Lion momentum seemingly shaped up in Evanston, and Hackenberg connected with Hamilton for 25 more yards. A holding penalty had Penn State at the third and 14, though, then Hackenberg was forced to throw it away. Chris Gulla punted and the Wildcats gained possession.

3:44 3Q: Northwestern’s possession kicked off with another Jackson first down attempt, but it was called back for a holding penalty. Jason Cabinda utilized unlikely speed to pick off Oliver across the middle.

5:04 3Q: TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE! After a slew of incomplete passes, Penn State got an automatic first down after a rough hit on Hackenberg. Geno Lewis fired one he picked up off the ground to Hamilton for a 33 yard score! The extra point is good, and it’s Northwestern 20, Penn State 14 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.

6:37 3Q: After three straight incompletions, Northwestern attempted a 47 yard field goal and failed. Penn State took possession on the 30 yard line.

6:45 3Q: Although Barkley trucked through and gained five yards, Hackenberg couldn’t connect with Hamilton on the second down. Pasquariello headed out to punt, followed by another Justin Jackson run. This time, Marcus Allen came through and the Wildcats must drive again on the 3rd and 10.

7:58 3Q: Northwestern fell short of the first down, and Penn State took over on its own 14 after a 27-yard punt.

11:27 3Q: Barkley picked up 13 yards to liven up Penn State’s offense. Jordan Lucas is wearing street clothes on the sideline, and he will not return to the game.

Second Quarter:

Penn State couldn’t muster up a sufficient comeback effort, and it heads into halftime trailing Northwestern 20-7.

2:04 2Q: Touchdown Northwestern. Solomon Vault answered Penn State’s lone touchdown with a dominant 96-yard run on the kickoff. The extra point was good, and the Wildcats are up 20-7 with 1:13 left in the first half.

2:18 2Q: TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE! Barkley’s momentum pushed him into the endzone. Tyler Davis’s kick was good, and the Nittany Lions trail 19-7.

2:32 2Q: Gesicki dropped his third pass of the game, but Barkley picked up slack and attained the first down. Penn State entered the Northwestern 30.

6:00 2Q: Touchdown Northwestern. Quarterback Zack Oliver ran it into the endzone, but the extra point attempt went wide. Northwestern 13, Penn State 0 with six minutes left in the first half.

7:45 2Q: Northwestern went on a hearty 48-yard run to snag its first down.

7:54 2Q: Penn State got the first down thanks to Barkley’s four-yard gain. Lynch was tackled short of the first down marker and lost possession.

11:03 2Q: The Nittany Lions took possession and Penn State shimmied up the field with completed passes to Barkley and Godwin. Hackenberg ran the ball as well, for a four-yard gain.

12:56 2Q: Touchdown Northwestern. Oliver finds Christian Zones over the middle and the extra kick is good to make it 7-0 for the Wildcats.

13:49 2Q: Northwestern gained 35 yards before a Marcus Allen tackle. The Wildcats are dangerously close to the red zone. Northwestern is 2nd and 9 from the 14.

First Quarter:

At the end of the first quarter, Clayton Thorson is questionable to return to the game. Penn State and Northwestern will enter the second tied at 0-0.

 1:39 1Q: Nassib crushed Zack Oliver and sent Northwestern on the punt. Hackenberg completed a pass to Hamilton. The Lions are on the 3rd and 6 with :05 left in the quarter.

5:14 1Q: Penn State took possession on the 15 yard line after a successful fair catch call from Thomson.

6:33 1Q: Penn State takes over on the 25 after Thompkins tried to call for a fair catch. Barkley dropped a pass and Penn State was on the 3rd and long again. Hackenberg went down hard on the 13 yard line to warrant an unnecessary roughness call on the defender. Hackenberg fired one to Gesicki but he let it slip through his fingers. Pat Fitzgerald exchanged some words with the officiating crew as Northwestern took possession.

12:37 1Q: Northwestern approached the red zone and Grant Haley came close to intercepting Thorson on the 3rd and 7. Northwestern’s 39-yard field goal attempt was futile.

14:00 1Q: Hackenberg’s first pass to DeSean Hamilton went wide. Pasquariello punted, Northwestern recovered a loose ball.


Joey Julius, Adam Breneman, Chasz Wright, and Christian Campbell did not make the trip to Evanston. Tyler Davis will start at kicker.

Attendance is expectedly sparse in Evanston.


Christian Hackenberg looks ready to break some records 40 minutes before kickoff.

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About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected].

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