Penn State Football 2012: Ficken's Performance Makes Fans Miss Fera the Most

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIISeptember 8, 2012

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 26:  Anthony Fera #30 of the Penn State Nittany Lions punts the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Penn State 45-7.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It wasn't Silas Redd, who transferred to USC or Justin Brown, who transferred to Oklahoma, that Nittany Lions fans were missing in Week 2 at Virginia. Instead, Penn State fans were left wishing that kicker Anthony Fera had not transferred to Texas over the offseason.

Fera's replacement, Sam Ficken, left fans heartbroken and in disbelief after the Penn State 17-16 loss in Charlottesville.

Ficken really struggled against the Cavaliers. He ended the game with four missed field goals, including an attempt from 42 yards that sailed left as time expired. Earlier in the game, Ficken missed from distances of 40, 38  and 20.

The potential game-winner was placed directly in the center of the field to make it easier on the kicker. Instead of trying to gain yards on third down, quarterback Matt McGloin took the snap from center and quickly kneeled between the hash marks. Ficken was unable to convert the kick.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Ficken missed what turned out to be an important extra point. Penn State seemed to grab the momentum in the fourth quarter when McGloin hit wide receiver Allen Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The Lions assumed they would be up 14-10 after that play, only to see Ficken's extra point get blocked. That put Penn State up 13-10.

It wasn't all bad for Sam Ficken, he did hit a 32-yard field goal to put the Lions up 16-10 in the fourth quarter.

Anthony Fera, who hit on 14 of 17 field goals in 2011, transferred to Texas in wake of the NCAA sanctions that were placed on the program in July. He also handled the punting duties for the Nittany Lions because of his strong leg.

Fera was clearly missed at Virginia.

As Ficken's final kicked hooked left, Nittany Lions fans could only shake their heads and hope that things will start to look up soon.