1 of 2
Charles Cherney, Associated Press
Northwestern's Kain Colter celebrates after scoring the first of his touchdown runs as Northwestern defeated Indiana 44-29 in an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Northwestern defensive end Quentin Williams is tuning out the whispers from skeptics.

Beat Penn State on the road Saturday and Williams and the No. 24 Wildcats might take another step toward quieting the doubters and proving their 5-0 record is no fluke.

Comment on this story

Northwestern (1-0 Big Ten) rolls into Happy Valley behind an exhausting spread offense averaging 466 yards per game and the top rush defense in the league. Coach Pat Fitzgerald's team is back in the Top 25 for the first time since 2008 and is shooting for the program's first 6-0 start in five decades.

But Penn State (3-2, 1-0) will be Northwestern's toughest test yet. The Nittany Lions have won three straight in part because their opportunistic defense is the league's stingiest unit in the red zone.