Two linebackers - Mauti and Colasanti - step up on defense

Posted: November 07, 2010

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Penn State defense knew it had some work to do to get its team back into the game against Northwestern, and linebackers Michael Mauti and Chris Colasanti set the pace Saturday in the second half.

The defense played a vital role in the Nittany Lions' rally from a 21-0 deficit, holding the Wildcats without a point and securing coach Joe Paterno's 400th career victory.

Mauti said the defense was spurred by the Lions' initial touchdown, on Matt McGloin's 7-yard pass to Brett Brackett, with three seconds left in the first half.

"It was real good," he said. "We knew the offense was going to do their job. McGloin was out there throwing touchdowns and [freshman] Silas Redd was out there running like a crazy person possessed."

Redd had a career day, with 131 yards rushing and his initial touchdown as a collegian.

Colasanti, who tied Mauti for team-high honors in tackles with 11, said the defense felt it was necessary to pitch a shutout in the second half.

"We just had to attack it from the first play of the second half and that's what we did," he said.

One big target

Nate Cadogan was moved from offensive tackle to tight end during Penn State's bye week, making him one big target at 6-foot-5 and 297 pounds.

"I think I have hands but I have to prove it to the rest of the team," Cadogan said.

He did that on Saturday, catching the first pass of his career - a 3-yard touchdown throw from McGloin.

Rally records

The game matched the largest comeback in Penn State history under Paterno. The Lions were down by 21-0 on the road to Illinois in 1994, before rallying for a 35-31 victory.

The Nittany Lions' previous biggest recovery at home was 18 points. They trailed Ohio State, 27-9, before coming back for a 29-27 win in 2001, the game that gave Paterno the record for most Division I-A victories with 324, breaking Bear Bryant's mark.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or

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