Between four missed Penn State field goals, four Virginia turnovers and more than a dozen combined penalties, the Nittany Lions and Cavaliers turned in some stellar and not-so-stellar plays during Virginia's 17-16 win Saturday. Here's a look at the highs and lows of the afternoon.
Linebacker Michael Mauti had a big afternoon for a fired-up Penn State defense.
GAME BALL (OFFENSE) -- Jake McGee - Virginia
The Cavaliers' big tight end made the two biggest catches of the day and finished with 99 yards on four grabs and the game-winning touchdown.
GAME BALL (DEFENSE) -- Michael Mauti - Penn State
The Nittany Lions' senior linebacker led the team with nine tackles, added a forced fumble and contributed a big special-teams play late in the game. His emotion carried throughout the defense in what was a much improved performance from Week 1.
GAME BALL (SPECIAL TEAMS) -- Glenn Carson - Penn State
The middle linebacker picked up 19 yards, following his blockers nicely, during a fake punt play in the second quarter.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- Defensive tackle Jordan Hill made a leaping interception of Mike Rocco in the second quarter and threw in a 9-yard return, a terrific individual effort and an extremely athletic play for a man his size.
BEST PASS -- Matt McGloin's throw, after evading heavy pressure, to tight end Matt Lehman for a 7-yard gain and a first-down pickup in the second quarter.
WORST PASS -- McGloin had too much smoke on a pass to running back Zach Zwinak, who dropped the ball, during Penn State's last-minute drive. It was probably better for the Nittany Lions he didn't hold on, though, because he was in the middle of the field and it might have cost them valuable seconds.
BEST RUN -- Steven Bench's fourth-down draw on the final drive of the first half. The freshman quarterback followed his blocks and gained 15 yards on a gutsy call by O'Brien.
BEST CATCH -- Virginia's Jake McGee went up over two Penn State defenders to snare a 44-yard reception on 3rd-and-16. McGee then went on to snag the go-ahead touchdown pass later in the drive.
WORST DROP -- Virginia's Dominique Terrell let a great pass from Rocco go right through his fingers early in the second quarter.
WORST FUMBLE -- Virginia's Phillip Sims did not protect the ball on a blindside hit from Deion Barnes in the fourth quarter, leading to the Cavaliers' fourth turnover of the day.
BEST KICK -- Sam Ficken's 34-yard field goal that gave Penn State a 16-10 lead with 10:55 left in the fourth quarter. It came after three field-goal misses and a blocked extra point.
WORST KICK -- Ficken pushed a 20-yarder wide right, his third straight miss, to wipe out a solid Penn State drive early in the third quarter.
BEST TACKLE -- Penn State cornerback Adrian Amos came up and got Perry Jones on 3rd down in second quarter, extending Drew Jarrett's field-goal attempt to 46 yards.
BEST HIT -- Mauti tore down the field to stop Khalek Shepherd dead in his tracks after Alex Butterworth's 52-yard punt late in the fourth quarter.
BEST SACK -- Barnes came around the corner to sack Sims and force a fumble early in the fourth quarter, which led to Ficken's field goal.
BEST CALL -- Virginia got speedy receiver Darius Jennings alone in the right flat as Gerald Hodges blitzed from the outside and he picked up 24 yards -- on another third down -- to set up Virginia's final touchdown.
WORST CALL -- Penn State burned two timeouts in the first quarter and had problems with the play clock throughout the afternoon.
MOST TELLING STATISTIC -- 7 of 8
The Cavaliers converted seven of their eight third-down chances in the second half. In two games, Penn State's defense has allowed opponents to convert 18 of 20 third-down chances after halftime.
Already have an account? Sign In