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Penn State vs. Northwestern: Nittany Lions Down Wildcats, 34-24

Joe Paterno now stands alongside the late Eddie Robinson at the top of the all-time Division-I college football wins list.

The 84-year old coach earned victory No. 408 for his career on Saturday night when his Nittany Lions defeated Northwestern 34-24 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. and moved into a tie with the former Grambling coach . He will look to pass Robinson next week at home against Illinois.

Probably more important to Paterno than his personal accomplishment, though, is that his Lions moved to 7-1 on the season and 4-0 in Big Ten play with the victory. They also did so on the shoulders of their much-maligned offense, playing for the first time all season with a single starting quarterback.

After starting the Lions' first seven games, Rob Bolden was forced to the bench for the duration of this game as Matthew McGloin got his first start since the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. The redshirt junior put forth a good effort, too, coming up with a pair of touchdowns and 192 yards on 17-26 passing.

The running game worked all night for Penn State, too. Running back Silas Redd piled up a career-high 164 yards on 18 carries, good for a 9.1 yard per carry average, and senior Stephfon Green got in on the action, too, racking up 33 yards on his nine carries.

Wide receiver Devon Smith had his best game of the season while fellow starter Derek Moye missed his second straight game with a broken foot. Smith caught six passes for 110 yards.

It wasn't a great night for the defense, as it gave up 24 points, all in the first half. That's the second highest point total an opponent has put up all season on the unit yielding an average of just 11.6 points per game entering the night. The defense did come up with seven big sacks, however, and shut the Wildcats out in the second half to seal the victory. 

With the win, Penn State now stands alone atop the Big Ten's Leaders Division.

Stay tuned for more on the game tomorrow here at SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.