STATE COLLEGE (AP) — No. 11 Penn State outlasted Northwestern 17-7 in the slop on Saturday.
Penn State defensive captain PJ Mustipher stuffed Northwestern quarterback Ryan Hilinski at the goal line early in the fourth quarter to snuff out the Wildcats’ second-half momentum, and Penn State scored 14 points off three Northwestern turnovers to overcome five of its own giveaways.
“It was a grimy game,” Mustipher said. “We executed our defense, made the plays we were supposed to and that’s about it.”
Nick Singleton had 21 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown, Sean Clifford completed 10 of 20 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown and Kaytron Allen added 86 rushing yards on 21 carries to help Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) stay unbeaten heading into an off week where they’ll have plenty to clean up.
Both teams struggled early, combining for six turnovers in the first half.
Penn State coughed up the ball twice on its first three drives. Xander Mueller recovered a Singleton fumble and Bryce Gallagher intercepted Clifford, but Penn State’s defense kept the Wildcats (1-3, 1-1) from taking advantage.
Northwestern gained just 13 yards in the first quarter and gave the ball back when Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted Ryan Hilinski and returned it to midfield.
Clifford led a quick five-play drive from there, and found tight end Brenton Strange open in the flat. Strange leapt over a defender at the goal line to make it 7-0 late in the first.