Originally written on Nittany Lions Den  |  Last updated 11/11/14

There is a funny thing about kickers in football. No matter how many kicks one may miss in the first 59 minutes of a game, it always has a way to ensure that the one opportunity that comes in the final minute can erase the pains leading up to it. For Penn State kicker Sam Ficken, that opportunity was there to rewrite the game story on the final play of the game at Virginia, but a last second field goal attempt sailed wide left and Penn State dropped to 0-2 with a 17-16 defeat at Virginia Saturday afternoon.

Ficken was 1-for-5 on field goal attempts, and a missed extra point attempt in the fourth quarter would come back to haunt Penn State as Virginia took the lead on their final extra appoint attempt of the day. Rather than see the game head to overtime following the missed field goal attempt as the clock expired, Virginia celebrated the one-point victory.

Penn State opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with Matt McGloin connecting on an eight-yard touchdown pass over the middle to tight end Kyle Carter. The converted extra point attempt would be just one of the two kicks Sam Ficken would make on the day. Penn State missed on an opportunity to put more points on the scoreboard just before the half with some questionable clock management.

Virginia took their first lead of the game early in the third quarter when Michael Rocco capped a nice drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Mathis to the left side of the field. Penn State retook the lead with a big touchdown pass from McGloin to Allen Robinson, but a missed extra point attempt would leave the Nittany Lions in a less than desirable position despite having the lead. A 32-yard field goal from Ficken a couple minutes later gave Penn State a 16-10 lead but the kicking woes would not be overcome for Penn State.

Rocco’s second touchdown pass of the game, a six-yard pass to Jake McGee, put the Cavaliers in front following a successful extra point conversion by drew Jarrett, 17-16. Penn State moved down field and had a chance to win the game with a last second field goal but Ficken’s fourth missed field goal sailed wide left and doomed any sort of a come from behind victory for the visitors.

It was a particularly tough loss given that Penn State’s defense played a much tighter game than a week ago when Ohio seemed to find some cracks to wiggle through in a second half rally in the season opener. The Penn State defense forced four turnovers and held Virginia to under 300 yards of total offense (297 yards) and allowed just 1.3 yards per rush but the pass defense allowed 257 yards through the air from Rocco.

Penn State’s running game was no assurance either, with Derek Day leading the team with 46 rushing yards on 18 attempts and Curtis Dukes adding 30 yards on 10 carries. Bill Belton did not play after being banged up last week against Ohio, and freshman Akeel Lynch is not quite ready to see the field just yet. Penn State rushed for 120 yards, with starting middle linebacker Glenn Carson having a 19-yard run and freshman quarterback adding 18 yards on three rushing attempts while relieving an injured McGloin.

Despite dropping another tough game, head coach Bill O'Brien was proud of his team's effort.

"I'm really proud of these kids," O'Brien said. "Left it all out there today."

Story originally posted on Examiner.com by the author.

Subscribe to the Nittany Lions Den Footbal Podcast on iTunes.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.


Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL


Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.