Penn St. scored the game's first points, when much-maligned kicker Sam Ficken kicked a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter, giving the Nittany Lions a 3-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions added to that lead midway through the second quarter, when Zach Zwinak capped off an eight-play, 40-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run, giving Penn St. a 10-0 lead.
Northwestern caught a break in the second quarter, when Penn St. return man Jesse Della Valle fumbled a punt, giving the Wildcats the ball at Penn St.'s 17-yard line. Northwestern needed just three plays to capitalize on the mistake, as Venric Mark scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, to cut Penn St.'s lead to 10-7.
Northwestern took the lead with just 30 seconds left in the first half, when Trevor Siemian connected with Tony Jones for an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Wildcats a 14-10 lead.
Penn St.'s defense, which was dominant in the first quarter, displayed vulnerability in the second quarter. Still, Penn St. has held Northwestern to just 123 total yards, 34 of which rushing on 13 carries.
Penn St. quarterback Matthew McGloin completed 16-of-28 passes, but has only thrown for 132 yards. Zwinak leads the Nittany Lions in rushing, with 37 yards on 11 carries.
The Nittany Lions will need to come up with some more offense in the second half, if they're to give Northwestern their first loss of the year.