September 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM
Charlottesville, Va.--Sam Ficken's fourth field goal miss the of the afternoon as time expired cost Penn State a win on Saturday at Scott Stadium. The Nittany Lions dropped their second-straight game to start the season, 17-16.
Penn State started off the fourth quarter with good field position after a Virginia punt went out. McGloin capitalized with a 30-yard pass to Allen Robinson, who dove wide open in the end zone for the catch. These were Penn State's first points since the opening drive of the game. However, Ficken's nightmare continued as his extra point attempt was blocked. The Nittany Lions remained just a field goal ahead of the Cavaliers, 13-10.
After just a couple of plays, Deion Barnes came in off the left edge and blind-sided new Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims. Sims put the football on the ground and PSU linebacker Michael Mauti fell on it on the Virginia 21-yard line. Penn State got just three yards in its next three plays. With the ball on the 14, they choose to give kicker Sam Ficken one more try. Ficken had missed three field goals and a point-after already on the day. Ficken drained the 32-yard field goal, and Penn State went up 16-0.
Ficken booted the kickoff to the back of the end zone for a touchback. Penn State forced another three-and-out with the help of a 9-yard sack by linebacker Mike Hull. A booming punt by Virginia put Penn State on its own 28, but the Lions couldn't muster an attack either.
Deion Barnes continued to have a solid game, showing great pursuit of Michael Rocco, who had since returned to the game for Virginia at quarterback. The Cavaliers got a first down as the rain started to fall. On 3rd-and-long, Rocco completed a 45 yard pass downfield to Jake McGee.
On 2nd down, Virginia passed short to EJ Scott, who fell in behind three lead blockers to reach Penn State's 7-yard line. Rocco ran a bootleg that gave him running back Perry Jones as an option, but linebacker Gerald Hodges didn't bite and contained Rocco's scramble. On 3rd and goal, Rocco found McGee in the end zone for a touchdown. Penn State couldn't get a hand on the critical extra point, and UVA took the lead 17-16. The Lions had 1:28 to get within field goal range.
Penn State had one time out left. McGloin found Robinson in the corner for a 1st down to stop the clock. Penn State found itself in a 3rd down spot at midfield, and McGloin completed to Robinson. The clock stopped as the chains moved, McGloin lined up in the shotgun, and Zack Zwinak dropped the pass. The Lions huddle up, and McGloin threaded one to Kyle Carter. He spiked the ball at Virginia's 25-yard line with 16 seconds remaining.
With 10 seconds left, McGloin centered the ball in midfield on 3rd down and Penn State burned it's final timeout. Ficken stepped on and tried to win it for Penn State in the ultimate redemption kick.
Ficken missed it wide left, and that was it for Penn State.