December 30, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Sam Ficken lined up next to his kneeling holder and, with his head down looking at the torn-up field, counted three steps back. Penn State's senior placekicker picked his head up and stared at the uprights directly in front of him for a brief moment. The lanky, 6-2, 186-pound Indiana native then took two steps to the left and twisted his shoulders right to left. He was ready; ready to deliver Penn State its most significant, far-reaching win in years. The Nittany Lions (7-6)
December 29, 2014 |
NEW YORK - The script for Sam Ficken's career at Penn State could easily be the stuff of a compelling movie. A mild-mannered kid from Indiana travels East, almost gets chased home by angry fans after a horrible game in his second outing as the team's regular kicker, improves with the help of a former Nittany Lion, and drills two successful kicks in his final college game to give the Lions their first bowl victory in five years. Ficken kicked a game-tying, 44-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter Saturday and then capped the Pinstripe Bowl with what amounted to a walk-off extra point that gave Penn State a 31-30 victory over Boston College at Yankee Stadium.
December 2, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - After singing the postgame alma mater on Saturday, redshirt senior linebacker Mike Hull and his teammates didn't stick around to take in the scene at Beaver Stadium. They went straight to the locker room. "We wanted to give [the fans] a good show. We weren't able to do that," Hull said. "It wasn't a good feeling. We got our butts kicked. " Losing to No. 10 Michigan State, 34-10, on Senior Day wasn't what Hull or any of his fellow upperclassmen had in mind.
November 2, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Frustrated over not having won a football game in six weeks, Penn State tried to keep its focus Saturday after Maryland stood up its captains by refusing to shake their hands at the coin toss. The defense and kicker Sam Ficken did a good job of following through, but the offense and the punt team once again did not, and the Terrapins gladly ended their long streak of bad luck against the Nittany Lions with a 20-19 victory on Brad Craddock's 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds remaining.
October 3, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE - It's been an overtold and well-known first few chapters, but the author is still working to finish one of Penn State's most puzzling and polarizing narratives in recent memory. Sam Ficken will always be remembered for Sept. 8, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. One second remained in a one-point game against the Cavaliers. Ficken, a then-sophomore who had missed three field goals and had an extra point blocked earlier in the afternoon, lined up in the middle of the field for a 42-yarder to win it - and missed wide left.
September 29, 2014 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - After four games of feeling good about a new head coach, building up some momentum, and generating hope that a bowl bid would soon be possible, Penn State wiped out that optimism in a dismal performance Saturday. A sun-splashed crowd of 102,910 homecoming attendees at Beaver Stadium watched in disbelief as the Northwestern defense completely dominated the overmatched offensive line of the Nittany Lions and handed James Franklin his first loss in Happy Valley, a stunning, 29-6 defeat.
November 26, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE - Sam Ficken's 37-yard, overtime field goal sailed wide-right of the uprights, eliciting a collective groan from the Beaver Stadium faithful on Saturday. And, to make matters worse, it was far from the first poor special-teams play that hurt the Nittany Lions in a 23-20 loss to Nebraska on Senior Day. After Ficken's miss, the Cornhuskers got the ball and their kicker, Pat Smith, nailed a 42-yard field goal to send the team back to Lincoln victorious. On a cold, blustery and sometimes snowy afternoon, Ficken also missed an extra point, punter Alex Butterworth bobbled a snap that resulted in a blocked kick and the Lions (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten)
November 25, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - In an effort to keep his final Beaver Stadium appearance alive, Penn State defensive tackle DaQuan Jones strained with all of his 318-pound might to reach the Nebraska kicker. As the football flew over his head, he glanced toward the goalpost. "I looked at it and there was nothing I could do," said Jones, one of 17 players on the field in Happy Valley for the last time. "I turned around and saw it was going straight down the middle. " Pat Smith's 42-yard field goal didn't clear the crossbar by much, but it was enough to give the Cornhuskers a 23-20 overtime victory over the Nittany Lions on senior day before a crowd of 98,517 that braved cold and blustery conditions and a few snow squalls.
September 27, 2013 |
In the opinion of Penn State kicker Sam Ficken, the NCAA's decision to restore football scholarships to the program was "definitely good news" and "important to us. " But that was about as philosophical as he was going to get. "To be honest, the players, they're not really looking into it too much," Ficken said Wednesday. "That's more of an administration thing, a coach thing. So it's big news, but we're players here. We're not interpreters of what's happening. So we're going to go out there and try to win games for this university.
September 23, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Sam Ficken launched Penn State's longest field goal in 34 years Saturday, the final points of the Nittany Lions' 34-0 win over Kent State. It's too bad he never saw the ball go through. "I saw the ball go up and it was between the uprights," the junior kicker said, "but [holder Alex] Butterworth grabbed me and turned me around. So I had no idea if it went in or not, but I assumed from his reaction that it did. That's always a good feeling. " Ficken tied Herb Menhardt, who kicked Penn State's last 54-yard field goal, in 1979, for the fourth-longest kick in school history.