No. 6 Penn State looks to stay on dominant run when the Nittany Lions visit Northwestern
By The Associated Press undefined
No. 6 Penn State looks to improve to 5-0 when it visits Northwestern. The Nittany Lions have won nine straight since a loss to Ohio State on Oct. 29. And all of those wins are by at least 14 points. The Nittany Lions dominated Iowa 31-0 last week. The 76 yards they gave up were the fewest they’ve ever allowed in a Big Ten game. It’s also the lowest total any team in the nation has given up against a Power Five opponent this year. Northwestern rallied from 21 down last week to beat Minnesota 37-34 in overtime on Ben Bryant’s 25-yard touchdown to Charlie Mangieri. It was the Wildcats’ second win in three games after losing 12 in a row.
No. 6 Penn State (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at Northwestern (2-2, 1-1), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Line: Penn State by 27 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Penn State leads 15-5
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Penn State has won nine straight — all by at least 14 points — since a loss to Ohio State on Oct. 29. The Nittany Lions dominated Iowa 31-0 last week and gave up just 76 yards, the fewest they’ve ever allowed in a Big Ten game. It’s also the lowest total any team in the nation has given up against a Power Five opponent this year. Northwestern rallied from 21 down last week to beat Minnesota 37-34 in overtime on Ben Bryant’s 25-yard touchdown to Charlie Mangieri. It was the Wildcats’ second win in three games after losing 12 in a row.
Penn State’s running game against Northwestern’s defensive line. Led by one of the best running back duos in the country in Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton, Penn State is second in the Big Ten in rushing at 210 yards per game. Northwestern is giving up a league-worst 184.5 yards rushing on average. Allen and Singleton ran for a combined for 173 yards in last year’s 17-7 win over the Wildcats in Happy Valley.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State: QB Drew Allar. Allar is tied for the Big Ten lead with eight touchdowns after throwing for four against Iowa. He has completed 84 of 125 passes for 903 yards without an interception.
Northwestern: WR Bryce Kirtz. The Big Ten offensive player of the week set career highs against Minnesota with 10 catches for 215 yards and his first two touchdowns. The senior had an 80-yard TD late in the first half and a 17-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Kirtz leads the Big Ten in receiving at 91.3 yards per game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Penn State is coming off its first shutout against a Top 25 team since blanking No. 18 Texas A&M 24-0 in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28, 1999. … Penn State leads the country in total defense (219.5 yards per game), pass defense (138), turnover margin (plus-11) and time of possession (37:06). The Nittany Lions are tied with Florida for fewest first downs allowed (46), and tied for second in takeaways (11). … Penn State has scored 30 or more points in 11 straight games. … Northwestern hasn’t beaten a team ranked sixth or higher since knocking off No. 6 Michigan on Oct. 5, 1996. … Bryant threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns last week after struggling through the first three games.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll