October 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM
After converting 38 first downs in the its game against Indiana last weekend, Northwestern’s offense was held without a first down until six minutes into the second quarter on Saturday. The strong defensive effort from Penn State held the Wildcats to just 247 yards in the game.
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill said the defensive unit was tired of hearing about the Wildcats’ offense tallying 700 yards last weekend.
“When we came back out [after warm-ups], we were like, ‘We’re done with this,’ and we were fed up with it,” Hill said. “We were like, ‘Hey, it’s our game now.’ ”
The added emphasis paid off, as Penn State held Northwestern to just 12 total yards in the first quarter and still has yet to give up a point in the first quarter all season.
Coach Bill O’Brien said, despite giving up 28 points, the defense played a great game considering Northwestern often began its drives with favorable field position.
The Nittany Lions handled the elusive quarterback/receiver Kain Colter especially well, holding him to just 24 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards. Gerald Hodges said the defense prepared for Colter specifically throughout the week and it showed in the game.
“That definitely was one of the main roles, just being out there and finding [Colter],” Hodges said. “They say, ‘Where’s Waldo?’ and that’s finding No. 2, wherever he is on the field.”
However, Hill said the team primarily made arrangements to defend the Wildcats’ potent offense as whole.
“It’s the offense that they run, they run it so efficiently,” Hill said. “They’re not going to hurt themselves. We knew that we had to come out and play our ball and play physical and that’s what we did.”