News: Starting cornerback Nick VanHoose left Saturday's win over Vanderbilt in the second quarter with a back injury, but the Wildcats still had a remarkable improvement against the pass. They limited Vanderbilt to just 217 passing yards.
Analysis: The pass rush was improved and the secondary avoided the costly pass interference calls that led to big plays against Syracuse. That won't make Northwestern a viable fantasy defense for most formats, but they could be spot started against weak teams.
News: The Northwestern D/ST allowed 596 total yards and 41 points, but scored twice in their 42-41 victory.
Analysis: The touchdowns are nice, but the points and yardage allowed negates any gain by the touchdowns. Defensive touchdowns are also a lot less frequent.
News:Analysis: Northwestern allowed 17 points against Indiana Saturday while totaling one interception. They're a sneaky play against Penn State in Big Ten-only leagues, but Northwestern's defense just isn't that good.
News:Analysis: The defense started strong with an interception return for a touchdwon by Quentin Davie in the second quarter as the Cats only gave up a touchdown and a field goal. Davie led the defense with 10 tackles, the Cats had two interceptions, two sacks and 11.5 tackles for losses.
News:Analysis: The Wildcat defense had a tough time containing the rushing attack of quarterback Larry Smith,as they gave up 192 yards rushing. Nate Williams led the team with 12 tackles but the defense is still a work in progress after the departure of several key players from last year's team.
News: Safeties Brendan Smith and Brian Peters are not on the injury report and likely to play against Penn State, but Sherrick McManis is questionable with a leg injury, ESPN reports.
Analysis: The Wildcats have been a disappointment on defense this season amid underperforming veterans and several injuries. They've put together stretches, like the second half of last week's comeback win over Indiana, where they shut out the opponent, but haven't put together a full game. They're a poor matchup this week against Penn State, however.