Recap: Penn State vs. Northwestern
University Park, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Siemian threw for 258 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns, as Northwestern spoiled Penn State's Homecoming with a 29-6 win over the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.
Dan Vitale hauled in seven receptions for 113 yards to help the Wildcats (2-2, 1-0 Big Ten) emerge victorious in their road and conference opener.
Christian Hackenberg completed only 22-of-45 passes for 216 yards in a largely forgettable performance for the previously unbeaten Nittany Lions (4-1, 1-1). He was intercepted once and sacked four times, while DaeSean Hamilton finished with 100 yards on six grabs.
Siemian scored on a pair of one-yard runs to stake Northwestern a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
The Wildcats had opportunities for more points in the opening frame. However, Jack Mitchell missed a 44-yard field goal attempt on the game's opening possession, and later the Wildcats were stuffed on a fake field goal at the PSU 3.
Early in the second quarter, the Wildcats thought they had a defensive touchdown on a strip and fumble return by Matthew Harris, but the refs ruled the play an incomplete pass to Hamilton.
Northwestern's C.J. Robbins blocked a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 8:10 remaining in the half to preserve the shutout. But PSU's Sam Ficken kicked a 42-yarder just before the half to send the Nittany Lions into the locker room trailing, 14-3.
Following a long punt return by Jesse Della Valle early in the third quarter, Ficken cut the deficit to 14-6 with a 36-yarder.
Siemian was intercepted by Adrian Amos deep in PSU territory on the ensuing series, but the Nittany Lions failed to capitalize as they went for it on a 4th-and-2 at the Wildcats 35 but could not convert.
The first play of the fourth quarter resulted in a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown by Wildcats middle linebacker Anthony Walker, who was making his first career start. Jack Mitchell missed the PAT as the score remained 20-6.
Hackenberg took a big hit by Xavier Washington on the very next play from scrimmage and lost a fumble at the PSU 15. After Northwestern went three and out, Mitchell converted a 23-yard field goal to make it a 23-6 game.
The Nittany Lions turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing series, and Siemian made it hurt with his third rushing TD of the day from one yard out to effectively seal the outcome.
The win was the first for the Wildcats in Happy Valley since 2004.Game Notes