No. 400: The High Five

It was a tale of two halves as Penn State fell behind 21-0, but roared back with 35 unanswered points to grab another epic comeback over the Northwestern Wildcats. See the highs and lows here.

Penn State opened with one of their worst halves of play this season, dropping 21-0 to the Wildcats. However the Nittany Lions finished with perhaps their best half of play to give Joe Paterno win No. 400. Here are the highs and lows:


"400" The Glory: Joe Paterno has had a plethora of milestones, but few career landmarks may end up being sweeter given that PSU matched the greatest comeback ever under Paterno; a 21-point deficit not overcome since the 1994 team did it against Illinois.

Running Wild: Once it got going, the ground game, led by Evan Royster with 25 carries for 134 yards (5.4 YPC) was a double-shot attack. Silas Redd carried 11 times for 131 yards (11.9 YPC) and a touchdown helping to absolutely break open the game. Tip of the hate to the offensive line and particularly the left side which opened lanes early and often in the second half.

Big "Mac": No matter your stance on the QB debate, it's undeniable that Matt McGloin had an impressive outing, going 18 for 29 for 225 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That's 475 yards and five touchdowns in the last two weeks. A tip of the hat to the wideouts who made it easier for McGloin, particularly Derek Moye, Joe Suhey, Evan Royster, Graham Zug and Brett Brackett.

Simply "D" Best: The defense more than made up for their first half lackluster play in second half. With some key adjustments and players like Michael Mauti and Devon Still leading the way, the defense had Dan Persa running for his life instead of running over the defense.

Spark Speech: We're not sure what was said at halftime or who said it, but what a difference a halftime makes. The Lion squad went from flat to fabulous. Whether it was Al Pacino, Herman Boone or Larry Johnson, let that person fire up the troops from the get-go.


Brackett Coverage: Sure, he had a drop, but Brett Brackett made a clutch catch with seconds left in the second quarter to give Penn State some big time momentum heading into the half. Brackett's really stepped up and earned his keep for this team.


Stalled Start: Penn State looked downright horrible with uncovered gaps, poor tackling, sad execution and all-around uninspired play on both sides of the ball.

Wrong Number: The first half play-calling was downright confusing at times, going to the run consistently on second and long and tossing out some gimmick plays which got blown up. Fortunately, PSU found the ground game and rode it to victory.

Red Alert: One of the most baffling moments of the game was when Penn State challenged a Derek Moye pass that he clearly dropped. Moye knew he dropped it, but PSU still opted to challenged what had to be one the fastest rulings in the history of instant replay.

Yellow Alert: Penn State went into the game as one of the least penalized teams in the country, but the squad got sloppy in this one with six penalties for 59 yards, a few of which were key drive killers.

Stripe Slight: There were some flat-out strange calls in this game; holding on a fair catch? Personal foul on a clear QB hit on an option run? And how about that missed facemask on Royster? The officials did little to boost up their reputations in the Big Ten.


Mom Cam: OK, we get it; Dan Persa's mom was in the stands. Do you have to show her every 45 seconds? Next time just set up a stationary web cam that is continually accessible. I am all for pointing out the feel-good stories, but must they be revisited 85 times during the game?


Fight On State Top Stories