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Penn State Wins, but It's Not Pretty : Big Ten: Nittany Lions give up 475 yards and need turnovers to get past Northwestern, 45-17.

November 20, 1994|From Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — When is a 45-17 victory unsatisfying? When you're the No. 2 team in the nation and looking to move up.

Penn State, 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the Big Ten, extended the nation's longest winning streak to 15 with a 45-17 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.

But the Rose Bowl-bound Nittany Lions, missing four injured defensive starters, looked vulnerable in giving up 475 yards and lost another player.

"It's kind of late in the year to not be able to stop guys," linebacker Willie Smith said. "We won, but I'm disappointed in the way we played defensively."

The Wildcats gained 172 yards more than their average, despite the suspension of career rushing leader Dennis Lundy. Darnell Autry replaced Lundy and ran for 171 yards in 39 carries.

Penn State overcame the defensive problems by coming up with four first-half turnovers that led to 28 points.

Safety Kim Herring scooped up Chad Lilly's fumble on the Wildcats' first possession and ran it back 80 yards for a touchdown. On the next drive, he intercepted a pass intended for Lilly.

Two plays later, Bobby Engram took a short pass from Kerry Collins, broke a tackle and ran 50 yards for a score. At the end of the first quarter, Penn State led, 14-0, despite having the ball for only 19 seconds.

In the second quarter, Herring injured his knee and he will miss next week's game against Michigan State, although he might be ready for the Rose Bowl.

Northwestern (3-7-1, 2-6) used everything in the playbook, setting up a field goal with a pass from quarterback Steve Schnur to Mike Senters and back to Schnur.

Northwestern recovered an on-side kick and drove to the Penn State 31, but Brad Scioli intercepted Schnur's pass and ran it back to the Northwestern 17, setting up the first of three touchdown runs by Ki-Jana Carter.

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