For the first time all season, Matt McGloin started at quarterback for Penn State. Also for the first time all season, one quarterback played the entire game for the Nittany Lions.
McGloin led Penn State, now 7-1 and 4-0 in the Big Ten, to a 34-24 win over Northwestern on Saturday night at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. The junior was 17-of-26 for 192 yards with two touchdown passes. McGloin said the coaches told him they would alternate starters between he and Rob Bolden before last week's win over Purdue, but it wasn't the plan that McGloin would play the entire game against the Wildcats.
"I wasn't really surprised," McGloin said of playing the whole game. "We were moving the ball great as an offense and there was really no need to float two guys in-and-out and I'm happy with the way we played today."
-Penn State's win gave coach Joe Paterno his 408th career victory, tying him for second all-time with the late Eddie Robinson of Grambling State (Division I-AA).
"Eddie Robinson was one of the greatest guys to ever coach," Paterno said after the game.
-Penn State running back Silas Redd had a career-high 164 yards, his fourth straight 100-yard game, on just 18 carries. He also had Penn State's longest run of the season, a 42-yard scamper with 31 seconds left in the first half. The run helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Stephfon Green, his first touchdown since the 2010 season opener against Youngstown State.
"You don’t know how happy I am that (Green) is on the sideline and in the game," Redd said. "I’m really proud of him and he’s been able to battle back from everything that’s happened to him. I’m happy for him.”
-With a six catch, 110-yard performance, junior wide receiver Devon Smith had the best game of his career. He caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from McGloin in the first quarter.
-Wide receiver Curtis Drake saw his first action since the win over Eastern Michigan on Sept. 24. The former West Catholic star had one catch for 11 yards.
"Curtis has been working hard all offseason," fellow wideout Justin Brown said. "He was real excited on the sideline to get back out there and get in the mix of things.”
-Linebacker Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro High School) had a career-high 14 tackles on Saturday night. He also had 1.5 sacks and the game's lone interception, which he returned 63 yards that helped set up a crucial touchdown that put Penn State up 34-24 in the third quarter.
-Penn State had a season-high seven sacks, including two from defensive tackle Jordan Hill.
-Cornerback Stephon Morris did not travel with the team for undisclosed reasons, but Paterno said he expects the junior to be ready to play next week against Illinois.