Drew Allar threw for a touchdown and ran for one, and No. 6 Penn State beat Northwestern 41-13 on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (5-0, 3-0 Big Ten) buried the Wildcats (2-3, 1-2) in the second half, scoring 17 in the third quarter to break open a game that was tied at 10 at halftime, and won their 10th in a row since losing to Ohio State last October.
Allar completed 18 of 33 passes for 189 yards. He scored from the 1 on Penn State’s first possession of the second half and threw a 2-yard TD to Nick Singleton in the closing minutes of the third to make it a 17-point game.
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Nick Singleton ran for 80 yards and a score. He also had a touchdown catch.
Trey Potts ran for a TD and caught one, helping Penn State pull away for a lopsided win.
Northwestern had won two of three. But after rallying from 21 down to beat Minnesota in overtime last week, the Wildcats came up short against one of the nation’s best teams.
Ben Bryant threw for just 122 yards after passing for 396 and four touchdowns in the previous game. He ran for a 1-yard score in the second quarter, but exited in the fourth after he landed on his right shoulder getting sacked for the fifth time.
Bryce Kirtz caught three passes for 12 yards after setting career highs last week with 10 catches for 215 yards and his first two touchdowns.
Cam Johnson had 81 yards receiving. But the Wildcats managed just 175 yards overall against the nation’s No. 1 defense.
Coming off a 31-0 win over then-No. 24 Iowa and its first shutout of a Top 25 team since blanking No. 18 Texas A&M 24-0 in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28, 1999, Penn State was out of sync in the early going. But the Nittany Lions found their rhythm in the third.
Allar gave Penn State a 17-10 lead when he pushed in from the 1 on fourth down, after keeping the drive going with a 35-yard pass to KeAndre Lambert-Smith on third-and-10 at the 50.
The Nittany Lions — aided by fourth-down stops in Northwestern territory — then tacked on 10 more points.
Alex Felkins kicked a 47-yard field goal after the Wildcats stopped Bryant on fourth-and-1 at the 31. Northwestern lined up for a punt on fourth-and-4 at the 31 on its next possession, but tight end Charlie Mangieri came up a yard short on a run.
That led to a 2-yard pass from Allar to Singleton that made it 27-10.
Northwestern then drove to the 1, only to settle for a field goal early in the fourth after Bryant got sacked for nine yards. He appeared to land on his right shoulder, and Brendan Sullivan took over at quarterback on the next possession.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions never let Bryant get comfortable and made enough plays in the second half to pull away. They’ve won by at least 14 in each game since last year’s loss to Ohio State.
Northwestern: The Wildcats showed they can hang with one of the nation’s best teams — at least for a half.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions are off next week, then host UMass on Oct. 14.
Northwestern: The Wildcats host Howard on Oct. 7.