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Northwestern vs. Penn State final score: Wildcats suffer first loss, 39-28

The Penn State Nittany Lions scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and knocked off the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats 39-28.

Justin K. Aller - Getty Images

Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matthew McGloin scrambled for a five-yard touchdown with 2:37 left, putting Penn State ahead for good in a 39-28 victory over the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats at Beaver Stadium.

McGloin's run finished off a 15-play, 85-yard drive that marked Penn State's second 80-plus yard drive of the fourth quarter. The Nittany Lions had an 18-play, 82-yard touchdown drive earlier in the quarter that cut a 28-17 Northwestern lead to three.

Penn State started the game strong, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter before a muffed punt swung the momentum in Northwestern's favor. The Wildcats scored 14 unanswered points in the second quarter and took a 14-10 lead into the half.

Penn State grabbed the lead back in the third quarter on McGloin's first of two touchdown passes to wide receiver Allen Robinson. Northwestern then appeared to take control with two straight scores before Penn State's big fourth quarter.

Penn State capped off their 22-point run with an insurance score by running back Michael Zordich.

Box Score Hero: McGloin went 35-of-51 for 282 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also added the game-winning score on the ground.

Rankings Ramifications: Northwestern was ranked No. 24 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the USA Today poll, and will likely fall out out of the rankings with the loss. Penn State entered the week unranked, and while they likely won't enter the rankings with the win, they will probably get a good number of votes.

But Did They Cover?: Penn State was a three-point favorite, so they covered. The over-under was set at 49 points by most betting services, and this game went over.

For More On This Game: For Penn State coverage, head to Black Shoe Diaries. Check out the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple.

Next Week's Schedule: Penn State is off next week before traveling to Iowa on Oct. 20. Northwestern will visit Minnesota.