No. 24/22 Northwestern became the first ranked team to lose in Beaver Stadium since No. 17 Michigan State in 2008.
Penn State ran 99 offensive plays on the day, equaling the Penn State record of 99 plays first set in a 38-6 victory at West Virginia on Oct. 22, 1966. That game marked the sixth game of Joe Paterno's first season. Today's victory over Northwestern was the sixth game of Bill O'Brien's first season.
Penn State held the ball for 39:17 compared to Northwestern's 20:43.
Penn State's 30 first downs on the day are the most for the Lions since posting 35 in a 44-14 victory over Minnesota in 2005. It marks only the Lions third game with 30 or more first downs since 1995.
Penn State scored a season-high 39 points on the day, its most points since a 41-7 victory over Indiana State in the season-opener last year.
Penn State outscored Northwestern 22-0 in the fourth quarter. The 22 fourth quarter points were its most in a quarter since posting 28 in the third quarter of a 42-14 victory at Michigan State in 2009.
Penn State had scored a combined 26 fourth quarter points in its first five games.
Penn State held Northwestern to season-lows in total yards (247), first downs (14) and rushing yards (112) one week after the Wildcats logged a school record 704 yards of total offense, as well as 394 rushing yards and 36 first downs in a win over Indiana.
Penn State held a 3-0 lead after the first quarter and has now outscored opponents 52-0 in the first quarter and 86-23 in the first half. Penn State had allowed nine first half points coming into the game, but trailed 14-10 at the half as Northwestern posted the first two first half touchdowns vs. Penn State on the season.
Penn State has forced 12 turnovers in the past five games and turned the ball over only twice. Penn State has 12 forced turnovers on the year against five lost turnovers.
In Northwestern's 13 losses to Penn State, the Lions have averaged 37.6 ppg.
Penn State forced four straight three and outs by the Northwestern offense to start the game and six total on the game. Northwestern went 4-of-13 on third down on the day. Penn State has held its last four opponents to 15-of-55 (27%) on third down in its four-game winning streak.
Penn State went 5-of-6 in fourth down conversions on the day and is now 13-of-20 on the year. The Nittany Lions lead the nation in fourth down plays converted and attempted.
Northwestern's touchdown on a three-play, 17-yard drive after a Penn State muffed punt in the second quarter was the first TD Penn State has given up in the first half this season.
Northwestern's third quarter TD was the Wildcat's first second half points vs. Penn State in the last five meetings and the first second half TD for the Wildcat's vs. Penn State since 2004. Penn State had not allowed Northwestern to score in the second half of four-straight games, dating to 2006
Penn State posted three of its longest drives of the season in the game going 85, 82 and 80 yards for touchdowns. The Lions also had 80 yard TD drives vs. Ohio and Temple. Penn State's longest drive of the season is a 90-yard TD drive vs. Navy.
Penn State's 18-play, 82-yard touchdown drive to start the fourth quarter is its longest drive of the season by plays.
The 75-yard punt return for a touchdown by Northwestern's Mark Venric in the third quarter was the first punt returned for a TD vs. Penn State since Florida State's Willie Reed had an 87-yard return for a TD in the 2006 Orange Bowl.
QB Matt McGloin set a Penn State record with 35 pass completions, breaking the previous mark of 33 set by Wally Richardson in 1995 vs. Wisconsin. McGloin also had a career-high 51 pass attempts on the day tying Rashard Casey (51 vs. Iowa in 2000) for the second-most all-time at Penn State. Kerry Collins holds the record with 55 attempts at BYU in 1992.
QB Matt McGloin passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He now has four-straight 200 yar