Northwestern 7, Penn State 0: Chaz Powell fumbled the opening kickoff for PSU, and Northwestern's Jeravin Matthews recovered at the Lions' 34. Dan Persa hit Kain Colter for 13 yards and Jacob Schmidt for 15 yards to set up first-and-goal at the 6. Colter ran a QB keeper to the 2, then PSU stuffed Treyvon Green twice to bring up fourth-and-goal from a foot away. The Wildcats went for it, and Persa, usually in the shotgun, lined up under center and snuck in for the TD with 12:17 left in the quarter.
Penn State 7, Northwestern 7: Powell made up for his mistake by returning the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the Northwestern 44. Silas Redd broke loose for 13 yards on the first play, then Matt McGloin hit Brandon Moseby-Felder for 9 yards and Devon Smith for 6. On fourth-and-1 at the 6, McGloin kept it for 2 yards. McGloin then found Justin Brown for a 4-yard TD on third down to tie it with 8:44 to go in the quarter.
Penn State 14, Northwestern 7: McGloin delivered a 45-yard strike to Devon Smith on the first play the series with 5:51 left in the quarter.
Penn State 14, Northwestern 14: The Wildcats came right back with an 87-yard drive in 10 plays as Persa and Colter did most of the damage. Colter began the drive at QB and got the offense going, then Persa came in and found Demetrius Fields for 26 yards to the PSU 18. Colter went from quarterback to receiver and caught a 13-yard TD pass from Persa with 1:54 to go in the quarter.
Penn State 17, Northwestern 14: Silas Redd had a 25-yard carry to the Northwestern 26, setting up a scoring opportunity. The drive stalled there, however, and Anthony Fera kicked a 37-yard field goal with 12:26 left in the half.
Northwestern 21, Penn State 17: The Wildcats put together another impressive long drive, going 75 yards in seven plays, highlighted by Colter taking a snap and darting up the middle for 46 yards to the PSU 7. Colter scored from 4 yards out two plays later with 8:43 remaining in the half.
Northwestern 21, Penn State 20: A key holding penalty negated a PSU touchdown as McGloin hit Stephon Green on a screen for a 15-yard score, but it was called back for a hold on center Matt Stankiewitch. The Lions had marched down the field behind McGloin's arm as he hit four passes of more than 10 yards, including a 20-yard gainer to Devon Smith. The holding penalty killed the drive, and Fera had to come on for a 34-yard field goal with 4:01 to go in the half.
Northwestern 24, Penn State 20: Persa hit Jeremy Ebert for a 54-yard gain to the PSU 15. The Wildcats faced third-and-3 from the 8, and instead of trying to run twice for the first down, Persa threw an incomplete pass and Northwestern settled for a 25-yard field goal from Jeff Budzien with 47 seconds left in the half.
Penn State 27, Northwestern 24: The Lions took over at their own 37 with 41 seconds to go but were able to score a TD. Silas Redd busted free for a 44-yard gain to the Northwestern 12, and McGloin found Devon Smith for 10 yards to the 2. Stephon Green scored from 2 yards out with seven seconds left, giving PSU the lead at the half and giving Green his first TD in 20 games.
Penn State 34, Northwestern 24: Northwestern drove to the Lion 23, then PSU lineman Jordan Hill deflected a pass from Persa. The ball went right to linebacker Gerald Hodges, who returned it 63 yards to the Wildcat 19. Redd broke through the right side on the first play and scored a 19-yard TD with 11:39 left in the quarter.