Another big lead in the second half, another blown lead in the fourth quarter for Northwestern.
It’s been the trend for the Wildcats dating back until last season. They find themselves sitting in great position to win the game and somehow forget to finish.
Penn State was able to come back from a 28-17 deficit after Venric Mark’s electrifying 75-yard punt return with 50 seconds left in the third quarter. QB Matt McGloin scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to put the Nittany Lions ahead with 2:37 left.
The Wilcats were dominated offensively, only managing 14 first downs to PSU’s 30. They were also outgained 443-247, something they aren’t used to with Mark and Kain Colter leading the offense.
Colter, who had nearly 300 yards of total offense last week, was held to five carriers for 24 yards and three catches for 17 yards. He couldn’t find any room to run and was keyed on all game by PSU’s ballhawk linebackers.
McGloin was the other big story in this game. The gutsy senior led his team back from an 11-point deficit to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season. He may very well be having the best season for any quarterback in the conference this year.
Pat Fitzgerald has found a way to turn a struggling program around and give players a reason to come to Northwestern. He’s built a respectable program with the ability to compete in every game they play.
Now he has to find a way for his team to kick the habit of giving away games.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.