Penn State And UCF Live Blog: UCF Wins 34-31
Penn State will have a first-and-goal to start the fourth quarter from 15 yards out. Penn State needs a touchdown on this drive. A field goal still makes it a two possession game. A pass interference call in the endzone on UCF gives Penn State the ball at the two and two plays later Zwinak punches it in for the score, his third on the night which is a new career high.
UCF looks to have gone three and out but a late flag gives the Knights a first down. UCF continues to pound away and settles for a 37-yard field goal to make the score 34-24 with 8:10 to play in the game. A quick score and stop is about all that can save the Nittany Lions at this point if things continue to play out like they have so far.
Penn State drives the ball but a Zwinak fumble gives UCF the ball on the Knight's 27 with 5:43 to go.
A botched punt by UCF gives Penn State the ball deep in the Kight's end and Penn State scores on a leaping catch by Allen Robinson. Penn State can't get the ball back or stop the Knights on third down and the game ends.
Penn State moves the ball and converts a third down but the drive stalls after a one-yard run on second down sets up a longer third down. The Nittany Lions were moving well but couldn't string together enough big plays with UCF happy to blitz Hackenberg.
UCF comes out and is able to move the ball. Penn State has struggled to tackle well all season and almost gives up a big run after three separate defenders can't quite gang tackle a Knight player. A 40+ yard pass moves the ball deep into Penn State's side of the field.
A nice screen pass by UCF leads to a 25-yard score and Beaver Stadium isn't quite sure what to make of it. Penn State's defensive line ran right past the UCF defense as it set up the screen.
Hackenberg connects with Robinson on a 46-yard strike and Zwinak rumbles his way in to the endzone. Penn State finally gets the big play it has been missing all day.
UCF drives the ball on several big plays and seems to have scored. Bortles is ruled short on the play and it turns into a third down and goal. The Nittany Lions get a stop on third down and force a fourth down. UCF scores on fourth down but is called for illegal formation. As a result UCF settles for a field goal and extends the score to 31-17.
Penn State drives the ball thanks to a penalty and a 38-yard run by Zwinak to get the ball inside the UCF 20.
Halftime: 21-10. Penn State will get the ball to start the second half.
Penn State is able to drive the ball and will start the second quarter just inside UCF's side of the field. Freshman Richy Anderson has two catches already and Hackenberg is 5-for-6 for 75 yards. Penn State can't convert a fourth down for the first time all season.
Storm Johnson scores on a 58-yard run on the very next play. 14-7 UCF. Penn State had no push on the defensive line and UCF was able to seal the edge and give Johnson a huge lane down the sideline.
The Nittany Lions go three-and-out after a 40+ yard kickoff return. Penn State failed to gain yards on first down and couldn't make up for it on second and third.
UCF drives down the field with retaliative ease on a few big runs including a 49 yard direct snap run to Jeff Godfrey. Penn State gets hung up on third and goal resulting in a wide open touchdown pass.
Penn State looks to have gone three and out but a pass interference calls gets them a new set of downs. Hackenberg completes a few nice passes but after a few penalties and a sack Penn State goes from an odd first-and-one to a third and 20. Ficken converts a 47 yard field goal to make it 21-10 in favor of UCF.
Malcolm Willis comes up with an interception but Penn State has to settle for a 57-yard field goal attempt. Sam Ficken comes up only a few feet short. Penn State has in many ways been its own worst enemy in the first half. The Nittany Lions will get the ball to start off the second half. A score would be huge for the narrative of the game so far.
Penn State takes the field to a loud and energetic crowd. Former Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney takes part in the coin toss which UCF wins. The Knights will receive the ball to start the game.
Bad news for UCF as starting left tackle Torian Wilson has been ruled out for the game.
UCF faces a short third down and converts. The Knights have run short passes effectively so far, Bortles is 4-for-4 as a result. UCF has mixed the run and pass well so far on a 9 play, 54 yard drive. The Knights convert on third down and Bortles finds an open Storm Johnson a few plays later to make it 7-0. The UCF drive lasts six minutes and travels 89 yards. Bortles goes 6-for-7 for 65 yards on the drive.
Penn State starts out at the 24 and mixes pass and runs but the drive stalls inside the 50. O'Brien takes a timeout and goes for it on 4th and two. Adam Breneman makes his first catch as a Nittany Lion for the first down. Breneman has what O'Brien calls "big hands" and is one of the better pass catchers on the team.
Hackenberg connects with Robinson on a 44-yard reception and Zach Zwinak punches the ball in a few plays later. 10 plays for 77 yards in 3:41.
UCF gets the ball back but can't convert a short third down. Linebacker Mike Hull makes his first appearance of the day and his first tackle.
Penn State and UCF take the field in just over an hour and we're settled in live from Beaver Stadium for everything taking place on and off the field. Stayed tuned here for observations, stats, and analysis before during and after Penn State's big night meeting with Central Florida.
For the Nittany Lions it will be all about slowing down UCF quarterback Blake Bortles who is likely the best signal caller Penn State will all season. A big game from defensive end Deion Barnes could make a big difference in the outcome of the game. Bortles will also test Penn State's young cornerbacks in Jordan Lucas and Trevor Williams who have played well so far this season.
Linebacker Glenn Carson was one of the first players out on the field only a few minutes before 4:00. Both teams have made their way on to the field for drills and the crowd continues to file in. A picture perfect day for football.
In terms of injury news Mike Hull is out on the field and looks healthy. He sat out last week's game in large part as a precaution. The drum major lands both of his flips and we're only minutes from kick.