Penn State football knocks off Northwestern in sloppy, rain-soaked affair

Story posted October 2, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Evan Popalis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa – There was no escaping the wet conditions Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium for the second game of the Big Ten slate between No. 11 Penn State and Northwestern.

A chilly and rainy contest didn’t stop the momentum the Nittany Lions carried throughout the first month of the season as Penn State churned out a 17-7 victory over the visiting Wildcats.

It was a slow start for both sides on the offensive side of the ball. Completions and yards were hard to come by.

The first turnover came from the Nittany Lions. Freshman running back Nicholas Singleton coughed up the ball with six minutes remaining in the first quarter. It is the first fumble of the season for the Governor Mifflin product.

A quick strike was in store for the Nittany Lions as a five play 60-yard drive was capped off by a Sean Clifford 20-yard passing touchdown to Brenton Strange. For Strange, he found his fourth touchdown of the season, eclipsing a season-best total for him from 2021.

Singleton corrected his mistake a couple of drives later. He found paydirt from two yards out to put the Nittany Lions up a pair of touchdowns.

A second fumble from Singleton allowed Northwestern to snag another possession, yet the Wildcats could not convert.

Penn State carried that 14-0 advantage into the locker room to set up the final 30 minutes.

Conditions stayed the same for the second half. A pleasant surprise for Nittany Lion fans was the sighting of freshman running back Kaytron Allen.

Later in the third frame, Northwestern found its groove for the first time in the game. Wildcat quarterback Ryan Hilinski found Jacob Gill through the air for a 47-yard touchdown.

Penn State answered on its next drive. The blue-and-white added a Jake Pinegar field goal to its resume to push the score to 17-7.

The defense for the Nittany Lions came to life when it was called upon in the final quarter. A goal line stand and a fourth down stop at midfield kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard.

The win propels Penn State to 5-0 (2-0) in 2022. The loss sets back the Wildcats to 1-4 (1-1) overall on the season.

Northwestern outdueled the Nittany Lions through the air, but Penn State succeeded in the run game which set the tempo all afternoon.

Clifford ended the day 10-of-20 for 140 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Singleton, Allen and Keyvone Lee each reached 40 or more yards on the ground versus the Wildcats. However, the trio fumbled and turned the ball over four separate times.

Parker Washington led the receiving corps for the Nittany Lions, racking up four catches for 73 yards.

The Northwestern offense went a measly 1-for-4 on fourth downs against the Nittany Lions’ defense.

Penn State outgained Northwestern 360 to 241 total yards on the day.

Evan Popalis is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).