NCAA Game Summary - Penn State vs. UCF|
(Saturday, August 30)
Final Score: Penn State 26, UCF 24
Dublin, Ireland (SportsNetwork.com) - Sam Ficken drilled a 36-yard field goal
as time expired to give Penn State a 26-24 victory over UCF in the opener for
both schools on Saturday in Ireland.
Justin Holman capped a 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give UCF
its first lead of the day, 24-23, with 1:13 left. Holman's 37-yard pass to
Josh Reese on 4th-and-10 immediately preceded the scoring run on a quarterback
Penn State (1-0) had plenty of time and all three timeouts, starting from its
own 26. Christian Hackenberg converted a 4th-and-3 from the 33 with an 8-yard
run and covered the next 40 yards on three completions -- the last an 18-yard
strike to Geno Lewis -- to set up Ficken's fourth field goal of the day.
The kick made a winner of James Franklin in his Penn State debut. The former
Vanderbilt coach replaced Bill O'Brien, who left in January to take the
vacancy with the NFL's Houston Texans.
UCF (0-1) had won nine straight dating back to last season and also left
Beaver Stadium in September with a 34-31 win during a 12-1 season.
The Lions took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a Zach Zwinak 1-yard run. A
roughing the punter penalty allowed Penn State to keep possession and
Hackenberg followed with a 44-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton to set up the
Hackenberg, who threw for 454 yards, was intercepted on Penn State's next
series and UCF converted with a 36-yard field goal from Shawn Moffitt early in
the second quarter. Ficken then capped a 15-play, 72-yard march with a 22-yard
kick for a 10-3 advantage that the Lions carried into halftime.
Ficken kicked a 33-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and
Holman, who took over under center for starter Pete DiNovo, scored on a 1-yard
run to cap a 70-yard drive in seven plays for the Knights' first TD.
It didn't take long for the Lions to answer, as Hackenberg found Lewis behind
the secondary for a 79-yard touchdown strike just three plays later to make it
20-10. Holman, though, pulled the Knights within three early in the fourth
with a 10-yard TD pass to Reese.
The teams traded turnovers on the next three possessions -- a Hackenberg pick,
a Holman fumble and a Hackenberg fumble. Penn State then extended the margin
to six on Ficken's 24-yard kick with 3:30 to play.
08/30 12:46:14 ET