VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Special teams, not just kicking, hurt PSU

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - The special teams problems that cost Penn State in its loss to Nebraska went beyond a couple of missed kicks.

Advertisement
Sam Ficken missed an extra point in the first quarter and a 37-yard field goal attempt in overtime as the Nittany Lions lost 23-20 on Saturday.

Ficken's overtime miss wasn't a game-winning attempt, but it allowed Nebraska to keep the ball in the middle of the field during its ensuing possession and give kicker Pat Smith a chance to win it with a 42-yard boot - which he did.

''You feel for a guy like that,'' Smith said about his kicking counterpart. ''You're not wishing for the worst for that guy.

Penn State also allowed Kenny Bell to return a kickoff 99 yards for a score in the third quarter and had a punt blocked. In the last five games, Penn State's kickoff return team has allowed 511 return yards and two touchdowns on 17 kickoffs.

''Offensively, we did well in some spots but in some spots we didn't do as well,'' coach Bill O'Brien said. ''We didn't hold up our end of the bargain. The defense played a good game but it's a team game and we lost as a team.''

The Lions (6-6, 3-4) outgained Nebraska (8-3, 5-2) from the line of scrimmage 387-360 and had one less turnover.

Ficken has had an up-and-down career at Penn State. He was 14 for 21 in field goal attempts last year, but kicked well down the stretch after a horrendous start to the season. This season, he is 14 for 20.

''It's never one person's fault,'' Penn State fullback Pat Zerbe said. ''Sam is a great kicker and I know he played as hard as he could. We all played as hard as we could, so it is not his fault at all.''

Penn State tight end Jesse James, who had a 46-yard touchdown reception, is one of Ficken's roommates.

''Sam's a tough kid,'' James said. ''He already knows how it works. He's had tough games before and he's had great games. He's been through a lot. He'll bounce back.''

Penn State will have to win at No. 14 Wisconsin (9-2) on Saturday son to avoid a .500 season. The Lions beat the Badgers in overtime on a Ficken kick in last year's season finale and improve to 8-4 in O'Brien's rookie year.

''Our team realizes that we still have one more game,'' offensive tackle Garry Gilliam said. ''You could still see (in the locker room) in everyone's eyes that we've got to fight and get our seventh win here.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: 2018 College Playoff Props
News: 2018 Heisman Trophy Odds
'Bama tabs Kuligowski as DL coach
Mayfield rejects Manziel comparisons
Florida will open spring practices to public
Edmonds anxious to seize moment
Iowa State OL Foster arrested
McElwain joines Michigan's staff
Arkansas St. sues Miami over game
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 3165
Scott Pritchard + 2769
Mark Franco + 2093
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 517
Gary Bart + 290
Jim Feist + 185
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 68 %
Vince Akins 64 %
Dave Cokin 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1510
Scott Pritchard + 1184
Marc Lawrence + 975
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1365
Scott Pritchard + 1074
Antony Dinero + 551
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1060
Marc Lawrence + 959
Joe Williams + 805
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership