EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Trace McSorley threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, Saquon Barkley ran for two scores in the second half, and No. 4 Penn State beat Northwestern, 31-7, on Saturday.
McSorley completed 25 of 34 passes. He threw a 10-yard touchdown to backup quarterback Tommy Stevens in the second quarter and added a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
Barkley scored on a 1-yard leap and 53-yard dash in the third quarter to make it 24-0. The Heisman Trophy candidate finished with 75 yards rushing after being held to minus-1 in the first half.
Shaka Toney had two sacks, and the Nittany Lions (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) came away with an easy victory.
Clayton Thorson threw for 142 yards and two interceptions while getting sacked four times in another rough outing for Northwestern (2-3, 0-2). Justin Jackson finished with 66 yards after rushing for 67 in the first half.
The Wildcats also had two of their top defensive players get ejected for targeting in the second half, with linebacker Paddy Fisher flagged for a hit on McSorley and safety Godwin Igwebuike for striking Miles Sanders.
Barkley flashed his Heisman form in the third and broke open a 10-0 game. He leaped in from the 1 in the opening minutes and scored on a 53-yard run through the middle and up the right side late in the quarter, making it 24-0.
Penn State: Barkley showed how dangerous he can be even when he’s being held in check. McSorley delivered another strong performance and the defense again gave an opponent little room to move.
Northwestern: The Wildcats continue to struggle. And Thorson’s shaky play isn’t helping. He struggled again after throwing two interceptions and getting sacked eight times in a loss at Wisconsin the previous week.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions are off next week, and then face a tough one-two combo. They host Michigan on Oct. 21 and visit Ohio State on the 28th.
Northwestern: The Wildcats visit Maryland on Oct. 14.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.