Zach Mills' touchdown pass to Senior running back Eric McCoo with only 22 seconds in the game gave Penn State a 38-35 lead they would not relinquish.
The victory was the first of the season for the Nittany Lions, and it came against a tough opponent, the 20th ranked Northwestern Wildcats. The win also gave Joe Paterno his 323rd career victory as head coach at Penn State, tying him with Bear Bryant for all-time victories by a head coach in Division-I history.
"We needed a win," Paterno said. "The team needed a win. The record is nothing. These kids, they came back. I think they found out something about themselves. I'm very proud of them."