Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nittany Lions struggle to get back in the game

Nittany Lions struggle to get back in the game

Nittany Lions struggle to get back in the game


   Penn State faced an uphill battle in the second half of its game against Northwestern in its attempt to obtain win No. 400 for coach Joe Paterno, but a touchdown the Nittany Lions scored before halftime could provide a spark.

   After Northwestern's third touchdown with 1 minute, 1 second left until the half gave the Wildcats a 21-0 lead, the Nittany Lions took over on their own 9 with 50 seconds to play and two timeouts remaining. But instead of just running out the clock, they drove 91 yards in nine plays, with Matt McGloin throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brett Brackett with 3 seconds to play.

    Brackett made a spectacular leaping catch at the back of the end zone and dragged his left foot in bounds just before reaching the end line. The touchdown was upheld upon review and the Lions were within 21-7 at the half.

    After starting quarterback Rob Bolden appeared to be shaken up on a first-quarter sack that led to a lost fumble, McGloin entered the game and played the rest of the half. The redshirt sophomore completed just 3 of his first 10 passes but went 5 for 6 on the touchdown drive for 63 yards, including a pair of 20-yarders to Graham Zug and Joe Suhey.

    Despite the relatively one-sided score, the halftime stats were virtually equal. Penn State outgained Northwestern 244-239 and held the ball for 18 more seconds. Bethlehem Liberty graduate Dan Persa rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats, and threw a scoring pass to Drake Dunsmore.



Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season is Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

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Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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