Posts Tagged ‘Sam Fickens’

“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Virginia 17 – Penn State 16

In College Football, Penn State Football on September 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

It would be easy to say that this loss can be blamed directly on the NCAA for allowing All Big 10 kicker Anthony Fera to walk away from the Penn State program and immediately become a Texas Longhorn, leaving new head coach Bill O’Brien and the Nittany Lions with an inexperienced kicker, on the road for the first time, and in a tight game when they visited the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Saturday. The truth of the matter is that kicker Sam Ficken should’ve never been in a 1 point ball game.

Penn State clearly outplayed Virginia for the entire ball game and deserved to win that game. It would’ve helped if  Ficken would have made a few of the 4 field goals he missed and didn’t have an extra point blocked, but again, it shouldn’t have come down to field goals. Here are a few facts buried in the game:

  • ·        Penn State forced 4 Virginia turnovers, giving the offense the ball at the 17, 17, 19 and 29 yard line but gained a total of 6 offensive yards after those turnovers and scored only a field goal.
  • ·        Penn State was 1 for 5 in the red zone.
  • ·        Penn State had only 2 defensive three-and-outs all afternoon.
  • ·        Virginia’s final drive was 12 plays, 86 yards and took 6:36.
  • ·        The Cavs had only 295 yards total offense for the game.
  • ·        Virginia was 9-15 on 3rd down conversions and 3 for 3 on the game winning drive.
  • ·        Penn State held Virginia to 32 yards rushing on 25 carries and 2 rushing 1st downs.
  • ·        Penn State averaged only 2.9 yards per carry on 42 carries.
  • ·        Allen Robinson had 10 catches for 89 yards and a TD.
  • ·        Penn State led 7-3 at halftime but lost the game in the 2nd half for the second straight week.
  • ·        Virginia had 10 penalties for 70 yards, PSU 3 for 24.
  • ·        Penn State ran 85 offensive plays to Virginia’s 61.
  • ·        Penn State had the ball for 20:03 seconds of the 1st half to Virginia’s 9:57.
  • ·        Virginia had the ball for 18:16 seconds of the 2nd half to Penn State’s 11:44.

As we discussed last week in the “View from the Philly Pressbox “ – Ohio 24 – Penn State 14, link is attached,, the only statistic that matters are the numbers on the scoreboard. Penn State outplayed and outworked Virginia and should’ve won the game. Matt McGloin played well, passing 19-35 – 197 yards and 2 touchdowns. McGloin battled through an elbow injury and showed solid leadership. The defensive front 7 that was pushed around last week by Ohio was rock solid until the last drive of the game. Michael Mauti led the way with 9 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Gerald Hodges followed with 8 tackles and a fumble recovery.

At the end of the day the ball game fell on Fickens’ shoulders and he didn’t deliver this time. However, as stated a lot of things happened on both sides of the ball that should’ve taken this game away from Fickens and been an easy Penn State victory. Unfortunately that’s not where Penn State football is today.

Next up, the Midshipmen of Navy come to Beaver Stadium for a 3:30 kickoff. This will be the first time Penn State has played Navy since 1974. The Middies opened their season in Dublin Ireland, taking a 50-10 whipping from Notre Dame. They had last week off to lick their wounds and will be looking to get on the winning track. For Penn State this is a “must” game if they’re going to salvage this season.  We look for them to be fired up and ready to play well against Navy and get their first win.

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