Hackenberg and Ficken Earn B1G Player of the Week Accolades
Christian Hackenberg and Sam Ficken earned Big Ten Conference Player of the Week honors for their performances in the season opener Saturday against Syracuse. Ficken was named the conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his three field goal game while Hackenberg is the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after a very strong first career game.
Ficken has now hit 13 straight field goals, a stark contrast to his struggles in the first half of last season. He earned the same conference weekly honor for his play against Wisconsin in the last game of the 2012 season after hitting an overtime game-winning field goal.
Ficken set a career high this Saturday when he hit from 46 yards out against Syracuse. His other two makes were from 35 and 36 yards. He becomes the fifth Penn State kicker to earn multiple Big Ten weekly honors, joining names such as Robbie Gould and Travis Forney.
Hackenberg got off to a quick start in his first career game, showing the world why he was the top quarterback recruit in his class. He was 22-for-31 passing on Saturday for an impressively accurate 71 completion percentage. He added 278 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He hooked up with Allen Robinson for a 51-yard touchdown early in the second half, his first career score. He hit Eugene Lewis on a 54-yard strike later for his second. Expect Hack to win a few of these awards this season.
The football team continues its season this Saturday in the Nittany Lions’ home opener against Eastern Michigan (1-0) at 12 p.m.