Online Now 934

Highs and Lows - Wisconsin

Check out all the highs and lows from the Nittany Lions' emotional overtime win over Wisconsin on Senior Day on Saturday.

Jordan Hill ended his brilliant career in a big way.

GAME BALL (OFFENSE) - Zach Zwinak - Penn State

The Nittany Lions' gameplan was clear - get the ball to Zwinak and let him pound away on the Badgers' front seven. The redshirt sophomore averaged five yards per carry en route to a career high 179 yards on 36 carries and a touchdown. His last run saw him crack the 1,000-yard barrier for the season. Zwinak also out-dueled talented Wisconsin back Montee Ball, who finished with 111 yards on 27 carries and a score.

GAME BALL (DEFENSE) - Jordan Hill - Penn State

What a way to go out for the senior defensive tackle from down the road in Steelton. The veteran Hill fought off bumps and bruises to finish second on the team in tackles with 12, which included two sacks and three tackles for loss. Hill was absolutely dominant in the second half, recording eight of those tackles and a sack in the fourth quarter and overtime.


What a story Sam Ficken has been in 2012. He was the goat early in the season, missing four field goals in a one-point loss to Virginia, but he's been rock-solid as of late, hitting all three of his attempts on Saturday as part of run in which he has hit 10 straight. His 37-yarder in overtime was the different in the overtime game.

PLAY OF THE GAME - This one was literally not over until the final whistle, as Wisconsin kicker Kyle French pulled his 44-yard field goal attempt in overtime wide left to give the Nittany Lions the win.

BEST PASS - On a huge fourth down early in the fourth quarter Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin found freshman tight end Jesse James running free in the Badgers' secondary. The senior connected on what would be his last touchdown pass as a Nittany Lion, as James raced in from 41 yards out to make the score 21-14.

WORST PASS - Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin had a chance to hit a streaking Allen Robinson, who was running free after a double move, but McGloin rushed it off of his back foot and was nearly picked off.

BEST RUN - As the Nittany Lions got going on the ground, running back Zach Zwinak starting picking up chunks at a time, none bigger than a 24-yard carry in the third quarter.

WORST RUN While Penn State fans will miss Matt McGloin's productivity next season, they likely won't miss his knack for taking a big sack at a bad time. In the third quarter McGloin tried to scramble to get away from Wisconsin's Mike Thomas, but was pulled down for a loss of 12 yards on third down.

BEST CATCH - Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin found tight end Jesse James down the middle of the field on a ball that looked like it was going to be picked, but the freshman standout plucked it out of the air and turned it into a 37-yard gain in the third quarter.

WORST DROP - Wisconsin receiver Kenzel Doe had a chance to pick up a vital first down on a fourth down drive, but he couldn't hold on to a Curt Phillips offering and the Badgers were forced to punt.

BEST KICK - Penn State kicker Sam Ficken was able to come full circle, calming hitting a 37-yard field goal that would end up the difference in the overtime win.

WORST KICK - Wisconsin's Kyle French had a chance to tie the game in overtime with a 44-yarder, but the game ended when French went wide left for the miss.

BEST TACKLE - Following a big gain on first down in the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions were able to string out a toss play to Montee Ball, and senior defensive end Sean Stanley dropped him for a 5-yard loss.

WORST TACKLE - Penn State had all the momentum at the time, but the Lions could not wrap up Wisconsin returnman Kenzel Doe, who slipped away from traffic and gave the Badgers great field position with a 44-yard kick return in the fourth quarter.

BEST HIT - Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips will think twice about not sliding while scrambling next time, as he was absolutely leveled by Penn State's Jordan Hill on a third quarter run.

BEST SACK - Penn State senior defensive end Sean Stanley made a lasting impression with his final career sack in overtime, pulling down quarterback Curt Phillips and stripping the ball in the process. The Badgers recovered, but did not convert on the ensuing third down.

BEST PICK - Much-maligned safety Jacob Fagnano got his senior moment late in the fourth quarter, as he stepped in front of a Curt Phillips pass and returned it 13 yards to halt a Badgers' drive deep in Penn State territory.

BEST CALL - Penn State went with its bread and butter two-point conversion play leading 19-14 after a score in the fourth quarter. Zach Zwinak took a handoff from Matt McGloin out of the shotgun and plunged into the end zone to make the difference a touchdown.

WORST CALL - Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema was playing it safe taking an offensive pass interference penalty on a third down play in the fourth quarter that would put the Nittany Lions back 15 yards and repeat the down instead of declining it and bringing up fourth, but the Nittany Lions struck right back and found the end zone two plays later to take the lead.

HEADS UP AWARD - Penn State covermen Ben Kline an Jesse Della Valle converged on Wisconsin punt returner Jared Abbrederis on a fourth quarter punt and dropped the Badgers' standout for a 3-yard loss on the play. It was one of the better plays for a special teams unit that has had its share of troubles this season.


Penn State came out of the locker room ready to go in the second half and it showed as the Nittany Lions dominated the line of scrimmage, gaining 146 yards to the Badgers' 17. The Nittany Lions only managed six points in the quarter, but set the tone for a come from behind win over one of the Big Ten's best defenses.

Already have an account? Sign In