In a matchup of the oldest and youngest coaches in Division I-A,
Joe Paterno and Penn State defeated Pat Fitzgerald's Northwestern
Wildcats 33-7 on Saturday.
Deon Butler set a Penn State record with 216 yards receiving and
Tony Hunt ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
Linebacker Sean Lee had a sack and an interception to thwart
back-to-back Northwestern drives in the third quarter, and Penn
State took advantage each time by following up with scoring runs by
Hunt to break open the game.
The second TD, from six yards out, was trademark Hunt -- stopped
just short of the goal line before trudging forward, with help by a
gaggle of teammates, to give the Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) a
With a white towel draped around his neck and blue Penn State
jacket, the 79-year-old Paterno walked to midfield to hug and shake
hands with the 31-year-old Fitzgerald after beating the Wildcats
Penn State was able to move the ball easily most of the day
behind Hunt and long completions from Anthony Morelli to Butler.
The Lions outgained the Wildcats 329-127 by halftime, but led just
16-7 after having to settle for field goals early.
Penn State finally broke the game open in the third quarter
thanks in part to big plays on defense.
Northwestern redshirt freshman Andrew Brewer, making his first
start in place of injured starter Mike Kafka, was sacked at his own
10 by Jay Alford. A penalty pushed Northwestern back another 5
yards before a Maurice Evans and blitzing Lee sacked Brewer at the
Three plays later, Hunt scored from 14 yards to give the Nittany
Lions a 26-7 lead.
Lee then picked off Brewer's pass at the Wildcats' 44 on
Northwestern's next play from scrimmage. Morelli hit Butler on a
couple short completions and connected with a jumping Derrick
Williams on a perfect throw over tight coverage before Hunt had his
Butler finished with 11 catches, and set the Penn State record
on his last reception, a 7-yard reception from backup quarterback
Darryl Clark late in the fourth quarter. Butler broke O.J.
McDuffie's single game receiving yards record of 212, set against
Boston College in 1992.
Morelli, making his fifth career start, finished 19-of-33 for
288 yards. Brewer was 14-of-30 for 157 yards and one interception,
and ran 17 times for 41 yards.
The Wildcats' only score came in the second quarter after Nick
Roach picked off Morelli's only interception of the day and
returned it to the Penn State 16.
On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Tyrell Sutton took an option
pitch from Brewer and was tackled just short of the end zone by
Paul Posluszny but was able to extend the ball over the goal line
before going out of bounds to cut the Penn State lead to 9-7.