Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images
The Northwestern Wildcats jumped into both the Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25 this week after starting the season 5-0. Penn State will look for its first home win over a ranked team since 2008.
For the first time since 2008, Northwestern is ranked in the top-25 of both the AP and Coaches polls, just in time for their appearance in Beaver Stadium for Penn State's homecoming game this Saturday afternoon at noon. It's the Wildcats' first appearance in the AP poll since being ranked #23 at the end of the '08 season before dropping the Alamo Bowl to Missouri.
For Penn State, Northwestern ascent into the polls provides the Nittany Lions with an opportunity to pick up its first home win over an AP-ranked opponent since defeating #17 Michigan State at the end of the 2008 season, a win that propelled Penn State into that year's Rose Bowl. Since that game, the Nittany Lions have fallen to Ohio State (2009), Michigan State (2010), Alabama (2011) and Nebraska (2011) when they came into Happy Valley with a number attached to their name.
Northwestern comes into Saturday's game at 5-0 after a 44-29 win over Indiana on Saturday. While Kain Colter and the Wildcat offense is a talented group and this team hasn't dealt with defeat yet this season, there is a stat that favors the Nittany Lions:
Northwestern's last win as a ranked team in the AP Poll? October 13, 2001. 0-4 since then.— Rodger Sherman (@sippinonpurple) September 30, 2012
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