September 22, 2012 at 8:33 PM
Most of the time, a 21-yard field goal to put a team ahead by 18 points in the fourth quarter wouldn't get much of a reaction out of the crowd.
However, when Sam Ficken hit a chip shot kick, the Beaver Stadium faithful let him know about it Saturday in Penn State's 11-point win against Temple. The cheers were a showing of support for the kicker who notably struggled two weeks ago against Virginia.
The sophomore missed four field goals — including a potential game-winner — and had an extra point attempt blocked against the Cavaliers. He followed that up with a missed extra point last week against Navy.
Ficken's made field goal was his first attempt to put three points on the scoreboard since the Virginia game. He was available to the media afterward and talked about his crazy last two weeks.
"It's been a roller coaster ride," Ficken said. "Obviously with what happened in Virginia, I'm pretty disappointed, but it's my job to keep moving forward."
After the Virginia contest, many Penn State players said Ficken should not be blamed for the loss. This Saturday, Ficken opened up on how much responsibility should have been placed on his shoulders for the one-point defeat.
"I missed four kicks, I missed a 20-yard field goal, I missed an extra point. In a sense, yeah I should be blamed for the loss," Ficken said. "But there were other plays. You can't determine the whole game on one play here or there. But do I feel responsible a little bit? Yeah. But it's a whole team sport, so I'm not going to say it was solely my responsibility."
Ficken added he has received support from his family, friends and teammates in the last two weeks and has tried his best to block out any negative things said about him on the internet.
In addition to the made field goal, Ficken nailed all three of his extra point attempts on the afternoon. In fact, the only bad play he made came on a kickoff when he got whistled for a late hit as he dove at a return man near the sideline.
"It's a sense of relief, to have one go through there after the whole mishap at Virginia," FIcken said. "You just try to think of everything as an extra point."
Ficken is now 2-for-6 on field goal attempts this season and has made 10 of 12 extra point attempts.