October 6, 2012 at 2:41 PM
Penn State gained the lead to start the half, but the third quarter was all Northwestern from then on.
A 12-play, 80-yard drive, ending with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson, was fueled by Zach Zwinak, who had 37 rushing yards on the drive. The score gave Penn State a 17-14 lead.
Northwestern fought back with a lengthy drive of its own to regain momentum. The Wildcats took the lead back after Kain Colter finished an 11-play, 71-yard drive with a 10-yard rush for a touchdown.
Running back Venric Mark led the Wildcats' speedy drive with 36 rushing yards on just four carries, to make the score 21-17, with just over three minutes to go in the quarter.
Northwestern made the most of the final portion of the quarter, pushing the Nittany Lions backward on the following drive and forcing them to punt.
Mark made an even bigger impact on the quarter when he received Alex Butterworth's 54-yard punt, navigated his way through Penn State's coverage, and turned the punt into a 75-yard touchdown return. The touchdown gave the Wildcats an 11-point lead to enter the final frame.
Penn State ended the quarter driving within its own 30-yard line.