NU GAME: State Pulls Out Thriller

For the first time since 1999, Penn State is 4-0. However, achieving that record took an inspired effort to overcome five turnovers and the efficient passing of Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez in Evanston. PSU senior QB Michael Robinson had to overcome his own three intercpetions and fumble to lead PSU to its first Big Ten opening win in six seasons.

Penn State's offense saw a Jekyll and Hyde performance Saturday from quarterback Michael Robinson. With three interceptions and a lost fumble, the Lion signal caller struggled throughout the first half, keeping the defense on the field for nearly 70 percent of the half, resulting in a 23-14 score in favor of Northwestern at the break.

The second half saw some dramatic improvements though, with the Lions scoring 20 points to Northwestern's six, leading to a 34-29 victory. Overall, Robinson went 17 for 36 (47 percent) for 271 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

In terms of the wideouts, the freshmen led the way with Jordan Norwood pulling in five passes for 83 yards, Deon Butler grabbing four for 61 yards and a touchdown, and Justin King taking in one pass for 37 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the most dramatic catch was Derrick Williams' second grab, where he scored his first collegiate touchdown, the game-winner, in the final minute.

On the ground the Lions rolled up 211 yards with Tony Hunt charging to 99 yards on 13 carries (7.6 yards per carry). Robinson had 60 yards on nine carries (6.7 yards per carry) and one touchdown.

On the defensive side of things, the Nittany Lions spent a tremendous amount of time on the field in the first half, surrendering 23 points. The second half was a different story, with the Lion defense only surrendering two field goals. In the end it gave up 229 yards through the air with no touchdowns and 217 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.

Paul Posluszny had an incredible 22 tackles, 14 of which were unassisted with Calvin Lowry pulling down 12 and Tim Shaw, Chris Harrell and Matt Rice each grabbing eight.

The Lions not only overcame four turnovers and a lost kickoff, but also allowed Northwestern to have the ball for nearly 10 minutes longer on the field. Despite the odds being stacked against them the Lions mounted perhaps the most dramatic comeback victory since the 2001 Ohio State win.

Down 29-27 with 2:10 to go and the ball at its own 20-yard line, Penn State struggled on three straight downs and faced fourth and 15 from the 15-yard line. With only one timeout, the Lions had to go, and Robinson threw a perfect ball for tight end Issac Smolko over the middle.

From there, the QB clamly led State down the field. Facing third and long from the NU 36, Robinson was blitzed and unloaded just before being hit. He was on the ground when Williams hauled in the pass, juked a defensive back, and trotted into the end zone for the 34-29 lead.

With less than a minute left and no timeouts, Basanez went to the air on first down when the Wildcats got the ball back. His try was intercepted by PSU DB Anwar Phillips.



The Ultimate PSU Package for the Ultimate PSU Fan: Under $100!

  • Ten Issues of Fight On State Magazine — PSU's ONLY Glossy Mag
  • Complete Access to Fight on State and the Entire Scout Network
  • Fall and Spring Glossy Recruiting Guides
  • A Full Year of The Sporting News
  • A copy of "Penn State Stadium Stories" PSU football book
  • The Power of Fox Sports

    Enter Code: TTLPSUTIX05

    I Want the Ultimate PSU Package Now!

  • Fight On State Top Stories