October 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Penn State faced three fourth downs on a drive that started well inside Northwestern territory.
On the first two conversion attempts, O'Brien opted to go for it. On the third, the Penn State coach decided the Nittany Lions were close enough -- on the 4-yard line -- to safely attempt a field goal with Sam Ficken. The sophomore kicker didn't disappoint, punching a 22-yarder through the uprights to put Penn State on the board against the Wildcats, 3-0.
Tailback Bill Belton ran the ball on Penn State's first drive, but it fizzled just outside the redzone and forced an Alex Butterworth punt that was fielded at Northwestern's 1-yard line. After a quick 3-and-out, the Wildcats punted to the Lions from the back of their own endzone.
Penn State's scoring drive was fueled by tailback Zack Zwinak, who rushed for eight yards and caught two passes for 16 yards. Wide receiver Allen Robinson struggled with a holding penalty and a dropped pass, but he did catch a 12-yarder.
Penn State's defense held strong, holding Northwestern 12 yards -- as many minutes as Penn State possessed the ball. The Wildcats did not have a first down.