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Northwestern vs. Penn State: Nittany Lions come from behind to drop Northwestern

The Penn State Nittany Lions came from behind to beat No. 24 Northwestern Saturday.

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8 Total Updates since October 6, 2012
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Penn State fans impressed with comeback victory

After a tough, hard-fought win against the No. 24 Northwestern Wildcats, the folks at Black Shoe Diaries, SB Nation's Penn State Nittany Lions community, were proud of how far their team and program has come. They were particularly impressed with the preparation of coach Bill O'Brien and his staff.

Today's come-from-behind win symbolized everything this staff has imbued into these Nittany Lions, and that's why it's unlike any Penn State game in recent memory. It was tough. And it was frustrating. But at the end, most of all, it was pretty damned fun.

Just when we thought we could count Penn State out, they went and did something none of us saw coming. And we've never been so happy to be wrong.

But it is not just the attitude and effort of the team that Penn State fans are excited about. O'Brien's coaching has also been a cause for celebration, specifically his decisions in third and fourth down situations.

The folks at Black Shoe Diaries were also impressed with Northwestern's effort.

Northwestern came into Beaver Stadium expecting to win, and they didn't wilt or throw in the towel. Not even when they fell down 10-0 early in the second quarter.

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Penn State upsets No. 24 Northwestern, 39-28

The Penn State Nittany Lions scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and knocked off the previously-undefeated Northwestern Wildcats 39-28.

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Penn St. trails after three quarters, 28-17

The Penn St. Nittany Lions have some work to do in the fourth quarter, as the Northwestern Wildcats tacked on another two touchdowns in the third quarter, extending their lead to 28-17.

Penn St. gained the lead again midway through the third quarter, when Matthew McGloin connected with Allen Robinson on an 8-yard touchdown strike, giving the Nittany Lions a 17-14 lead.

That lead, however, was short lived.

Kain Colter scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 3:12 left to go in the third quarter, giving undefeated Northwestern a 21-17 lead.

Northwestern added to that lead with just 50 seconds left in the quarter, when Venric Mark returned Alex Butterworth's punt 75 yards for a touchdown, extending Northwestern's lead to 28-17.

Mark also ran for a touchdown earlier in the game, as he's firmly entrenched himself as a difference-maker in the contest.

Penn St. will have 15 minutes to ruin Northwestern's perfect season.

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Penn St. trails Northwestern at half, 14-10

The Northwestern Wildcats have scored 14 unanswered points, and now lead the Penn St. Nittany Lions at halftime, 14-10.

Penn St. scored the game's first points, when much-maligned kicker Sam Ficken kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter, giving the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions added to that lead midway through the second quarter, when Zach Zwinak capped off an eight-play, 40-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run, giving Penn St. a 10-0 lead.

Northwestern caught a break in the second quarter, when Penn St. return man Jesse Della Valle fumbled a punt, giving the Wildcats the ball at Penn St.'s 17-yard line. Northwestern needed just three plays to capitalize on the mistake, as Venric Mark scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, to cut Penn St.'s lead to 10-7.

Northwestern took the lead with just 30 seconds left in the first half, when Trevor Siemian connected with Tony Jones for an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Wildcats a 14-10 lead.

Penn St.'s defense, which was dominant in the first quarter, displayed vulnerability in the second quarter. Still, Penn St. has held Northwestern to just 123 total yards, 34 of which rushing on 13 carries.

Penn St. quarterback Matthew McGloin completed 16-of-28 passes, but has only thrown for 132 yards. Zwinak leads the Nittany Lions in rushing, with 37 yards on 11 carries.

The Nittany Lions will need to come up with some more offense in the second half, if they're to give Northwestern their first loss of the year.

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Penn St. leads 3-0 after first quarter

The Penn St. Nittany Lions are on their way to giving Northwestern their first loss of the 2012 season, leading the Wildcats after the first quarter, 3-0.

Penn St.'s defense has dominated play, holding Northwestern to 12 total yards in the first quarter. The Wildcats did not convert a first down.

The Wildcats have been held to just 10 yards rushing on four attempts, while Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian is just 1-of-2 passing for two yards.

The Nittany Lions capped off a 12-play, 33-yard drive with a 21-yard field goal by Sam Ficken with 3:41 left in the first quarter. (Bill O'Brien looked visibly relieved when Ficken was done kicking, and the Penn State fans gave him a huge round of applause -- it's been a rough year for Ficken.) Penn St. had a 1st-and-goal opportunity from Northwestern's seven-yard line, but the drive stalled at Northwestern's four-yard line, after two runs and an incomplete pass.

Penn St. quarterback Matthew McGloin completed 10-of-13 passes for 73 yards. Bill Belton leads Penn St. in rushing so far, with 12 yards on three carries.

The Nittany Lions head into the second quarter facing a 3rd-and-10 at Northwestern's 43-yard line.

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Nittany Lions look to keep winning streak alive

Kain Colter and the Wildcats will look to spoil Homecoming in Happy Valley.

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