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Sam Ficken

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SPORTS
December 29, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
November 17, 2012 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
After the last of his four missed field-goal attempts against Virginia - this one the potential game-winner for Penn State - Sam Ficken trudged off the field at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville appearing to be the loneliest person in the world. Initially, the Nittany Lions sophomore kicker became a target of criticism on Twitter. However, the tide of vitriol was reversed by supporters. Encouragement came from not only family, friends and fans but from former Lions kickers Robbie Gould, Kevin Kelly, and Massimo Manca.
SPORTS
September 14, 2012
A Penn State spokesman confirmed that redshirt freshman punter/kicker Matt Marcincin has left the team. Marcincin, who is from Malvern, was the backup for kicker Sam Ficken and punter Alex Butterworth. The spokesman said Marcincin still is enrolled in classes at Penn State. His departure leaves only sophomore walk-on Kevin DiSanto as a backup. - Joe Juliano
SPORTS
August 22, 2012 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Penn State has picked up another addition to this season's freshman class. Linebacker Gary Wooten of Hialeah (Fla.) High School has committed, according to multiple websites, and is expected to be on campus this week for practice. Wooten played his final season at Hialeah in 2010. He fell one core class short of graduating in 2011 and, even though he made up the class, decided to sit out last season. Hialeah coach Marc Berman told the Nittany Nation website that he received a call last week from Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof inquiring about Wooten, whom Berman said is 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds after playing at 6-2 and 190 in high school.
SPORTS
September 16, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State coach Bob O'Brien decided to pass on an onside kick with 2 minutes, 51 seconds to play and one timeout left after the Nittany Lions scored their final points in Saturday night's 34-31 loss to Central Florida. With Central Florida expecting an onside kick, O'Brien had Sam Ficken kick the ball over the head of return man Rannell Hall and try to have it stop short of the goal line so that Ficken's teammates could chase it down. But the kick rolled just a little too far, maybe a yard into the end zone, for a touchback.
SPORTS
November 2, 2012 | BY TIM GILBERT, Daily News Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE - Bill O'Brien is asking, "What's a Buckeye?" Well, not quite. But Penn State's coach did stress at his weekly press conference Wednesday that he has moved on from Saturday's disappointing home loss to Ohio State and has set his sights on Saturday's visit to the Purdue Boilermakers. "Hopefully we have corrected the mistakes from that game in practice and will continue to do that over the next 3 days here, but we have a big challenge for us at Purdue, and we've turned the page," O'Brien said.
SPORTS
September 30, 2012 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Penn State running game is starting to show the power and physicality that made it famous. The rushing identity on display Saturday in the Nittany Lions' 35-7 romp over Illinois included a power tailback and a shifty tailback taking turns behind an offensive line that gets better every week. Zach Zwinak, a 232-pound sophomore, carried 19 times for a career-high 100 yards and two touchdowns. Bill Belton, a 202-pound sophomore from Winslow Township High who was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sprained left ankle, added 65 yards on 16 carries.
SPORTS
September 23, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
December 2, 2012 | BY TIM GILBERT, Daily News Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE - By any measure, Penn State's 2012, a season of firsts, was a whopping success. First-year head coach Bill O'Brien kept the majority of the Nittany Lions together in Penn State's first sanctioned season and led a team that will forever be known for its resiliency to an 8-4 (6-2 Big Ten) record - "2012" is now hung on the Beaver Stadium fa├žade next to undefeated and championship Penn State teams. Here are the highlights: Game of the year Penn State's last game, a 24-21 overtime victory against Wisconsin, easily wins this distinction.
SPORTS
September 12, 2012 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien says that the Penn State kicking job is an open competition from week to week and that Sam Ficken has emerged as the winner every time. That won't satisfy the critics who have knocked Ficken, some with vicious comments on social media, since he missed four field-goal attempts, including the potential game-winning 42-yard try on the last play, in Saturday's 17-16 loss at Virginia. But O'Brien will stick with his routine in preparing for Saturday's game against Navy.
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SPORTS
December 30, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
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)
SPORTS
December 29, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
December 2, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
November 2, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
October 3, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
September 29, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
November 26, 2013 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, Daily News Staff Writer pianovs@phillynews.com
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)
SPORTS
November 25, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 27, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
September 23, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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