Penn State's Offense Should Break Through Against the Northwestern Wildcats

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIOctober 19, 2011

Penn State's Devon Smith on the run
Penn State's Devon Smith on the runJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

Saturday is homecoming for the Northwestern Wildcats (2-4) and they will host the No. 22 Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1) at Ryan Field.

The Wildcats enter the game with one of the worst pass defenses in the nation. It doesn't look to get any better as the secondary will have their hands full with Justin Brown and speed demon Devon Smith. However, Penn State offense is based around the run. 

Penn State enters the game averaging only 17 points per game in Big-Ten action. However, they average 202 rushing yards per game and with NU's weak pass defense, they likely will exceed their 17 point average in the first half.

Joe Juliano of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote in his article "Paterno says Lions playing well despite close games" and that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said he sees no change for Saturday's night game at Northwestern. Rob Bolden will start, and Matt McGloin will come off the bench.

Despite the close games, Paterno is happy with his team's performance.

"I think the other guys have played well." Paterno said Tuesday at his weekly teleconference."We have had pretty good control of most of the games. We've lost one game to a pretty darn good football team (Alabama). The rest of the time I think we've done a pretty good job."

NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald feels his defense does well against the run. The pass defense is another story. Not only are they allowing the nations worst 9.9 yards per pass attempt, they have not recorded a sack for two consecutive games and are near the bottom in tackles-for-loss.

The combination of Penn State's running game and Northwestern's pass defense could result in a disastrous homecoming for the Wildcats.