Virginia Trumps Penn State in 17-16 Thriller

It wasn't easy and at time it was ugly for the Cavaliers. But as the saying goes, a win is a win and Virginia will take it.

Michael Rocco hit Jake McGee on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 1:28 to play Saturday, and Sam Ficken's fourth missed field goal of the game - from 42 yards at the gun - preserved the Cavaliers' 17-16 victory over Penn State.

Penn State forced four turnovers in Virginia territory, continually taking it away to give its offense another opportunity, but then couldn't close the deal.

Virginia's winning drive covered 86 yards in 12 plays, the biggest blow a 44-yard pass from Rocco to Jake McGee on third-and-16 from the Cavaliers' 22 yard-line. Seven plays later, on third-and-goal from the 6, Rocco found McGee open again in the end zone, and Drew Jarrett's extra point was the difference.

Penn State struck first when Matt McGloin threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Carter, capping a 17-play, 75-yard opening drive.

The rest of the first half saw each defense keep the other offense off the scoreboard. A Drew Jarrett field goal got the Cavs on the board to make it 7-3 at the half.

Michael Rocco then led the Hoos out of the locker room and had completions of 26 yards to McGee and 20 yards to Dominique Terrell on an 11-play, 77-yard march, and used a nifty play fake to free Jeremiah Mathis for a 1-yard touchdown reception to give Virginia a 10-7 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, McGloin gave Penn State a 13-10 lead, hitting a diving Allen Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown. When Ficken tried the extra point, Virginia linebacker Henry Coley slapped it away.

After Virginia scored the go-ahead touchdown, McGloin drove Penn State from its 27 to the Cavaliers 22, and took a knee to center the ball with one second left, but with rain falling, Ficken's kick sailed wide left and the Scott Stadium crowd erupted.


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