EVANSTON, Ill. - Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State's 34-24 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night at Ryan Field:
Play of the game: On first down at the Nittany Lions' 23 and Northwestern driving to start the third quarter, Dan Persa was intercepted by Gerald Hodges, who returned it 63 yards to the Wildcats' 20. On the next play, Penn State took a 34-24 lead.
Offensive player of the game: Penn State tailback Silas Redd rushed for 164 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown. He averaged 9.1 per attempt.
The Associated Press
Penn State’s Silas Redd picks up some yards during the first half.
Defensive player of the game: Along with his interception, Hodges made a career-high 14 tackles, including 1.5 for loss.
Most telling statistic: The Lions recorded seven sacks.
Hidden statistic: PSU has allowed just nine points in the third quarter all year.
Best run: Redd burst 44 yards to the Northwestern 12 late in the first half, setting up the Nittany Lions' go-ahead touchdown with seven seconds remaining.
Best pass: PSU quarterback Matt McGloin uncorked a 45-yard touchdown to Devon Smith, leading him perfectly and tying the game at 7-7.
Worst pass: McGloin missed a wide-open Michael Zordich on second-and-goal from the Northwestern in the first quarter.
Best catch: Smith snagged a 10-yard slant pass in traffic, putting the Lions at the Wildcats' 2 with 11 seconds left in the first half.
Catch it, will ya: Penn State's receivers had no big drops, but Northwestern's Jeremy Ebert dropped a TD pass in the fourth quarter that would have cut Penn State's lead to 34-31.
Hold it, won't ya: After a 30-yard return, Chaz Powell coughed up the opening kickoff that Northwestern recovered at the PSU 34.
Best move: Smith juked a Northwestern corner in the open field and turned a flanker screen into a 21-yard gain in the second quarter.
Best call(s): Penn State kept sending Hodges on blitzes in the fourth quarter.
Worst call: That's easy. On third-and-2 from the Northwestern 34, up 34-24 with Redd averaging 10 yards a carry, does the Lion braintrust go for the knockout punch with a run that the Wildcats can't stop? No. It drops McGloin back, and he's dumped for a 20-yard loss, forcing a punt.
Best block(ing): Zordich kicked out the corner and sprung Redd's 20-yard touchdown run. He actually did it several times as Redd's escort.
Best tackle: Devon Still drove his man into Persa and sacked him for a 7-yard loss in the third quarter, forcing a punt.
Best hit: Northwestern safety David Arnold stood up Redd in the first quarter, closing a hole and limiting Redd to a 3-yard gain.
Best kick: Anthony Fera's 37-yard field goal put the Lions up 17-14.
Worst kick: Backup PSU punter Alex Butterworth shanked one 22 yards in the fourth quarter, but it did put Northwestern at its 18.
Worst penalty: Lion center Matt Stankewitch was hit with a 10-yard holding penalty that wiped out a touchdown to Stephfon Green on a second-quarter screen pass.
Best coverage: Nick Sukay deflected a pass in the end zone late in the second quarter, forcing a Northwestern field goal. Northwestern's Brian Peters did the same, breaking up a possible TD to Justin Brown.
Best effort: Northwestern backup quarterback Kain Colter does it all: He rushed nine times for 51 yards, caught six passes for 43 yards and was 2-for-2 passing for 18 yards.
Worst effort: Tying to win a promotional contest with a 25-yard field goal, a Northwestern fan dribbled one into the endzone. He was booed.
Unsung hero: PSU defensive tackle Jordan Hill deflected the interception that Hodges returned 63 yards.