EVANSTON, Ill. — Our report card from Penn State’s 23-21 loss to Northwestern here Saturday.
OVERALL: The Nittany Lions rallied after an ugly first half but fell apart down the stretch.
OFFENSE: Again, PSU finally figured some things out in the third quarter and began moving the ball. But you have to be able to convert a third-and-1 when the game is on the line. The fourth-quarter interception was bad, too.
DEFENSE: The first time this year this unit had a chance to close out a game late in the fourth quarter and did not get the job done. But there is something to be said for allowing only three second-half points.
SPECIAL TEAMS: It is bad when you can’t execute a simple kickoff. And giving up a kickoff return for a score in a tight game like this was a killer.
COACHING: Too many errors in every phase of the game. Sooner or later, you have to blame that on coaching.
INTANGIBLES: The Lions really never seemed to be playing with a lot of juice.
OTHER GUY: This is not a Top 25 team. Some nice, tough players, though.
OFFICIALS: Never a good sign when the game starts with a zebra taking a ball off his skull.
CROWD: People were leaving with the home team trailing 21-20 in the fourth quarter.