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[Live Blog] Penn State vs. Boston College

Good afternoon Penn State fans! Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY is fitted for football, where Penn State is set to take on Boston College in the 5th annual Pinstripe Bowl at 4:30 on ESPN. The Nittany Lions (6-6) will be playing in their first bowl game since 2011, while Boston College (7-5) will be seeking its first bowl game victory since 2007. We will have updates throughout the game on this page, including game analysis, photos, and more. Here’s the media information you’ll need, and here’s our staff’s game predictions.

1st OT – TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE!!!!!! Hackenberg finds Kyle Carter on the fade route to tie the game!


What an unbelievable game. From the game-winner in Dublin, to the game-winner in Yankee Stadium, Sam Ficken has been the heart and soul of this team. What a season. Thanks for following along here at Onward State!

1st OT – Jesse James is a beast. The 6-foot-6 barrels over a BC defender to pick up a HUGE first down on 3rd & 15.

1st OT – After not gaining much on first and second down, Murphy somehow completes it across the middle, and David Dudek does the rest, rushing into the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown. Boston College misses the extra point (!), and leads 30-24. Penn State has a chance to end it with a touchdown and extra point.

1st OT – Penn State wins the coin toss, and will elect to play defense first as we head into overtime.

End 4Q – After receiving the kickoff, Boston College decides to take a knee and send the game into overtime. Extra innings, er, I mean overtime here at Yankee Stadium!

0:25 4Q – THE KICK IS GOOD!!!!!!! Sam “Mr. Automatic” Ficken nails the 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 24-24!

0:35 4Q – Chris Godwin catches it at the BC 35! The Lions are in business now, needing at least five more yards to get into field goal range for Sam Ficken,

2:10 4Q – BC’s 20 yard field goal attempt is good. The Eagles lead 24-21.

Penn State’s defense limits the damage to only three points, but the offense will have only two minutes to work with to tie the game or score a g0-ahead touchdown. With the way Hackenberg is playing, Penn State definitely has a chance.

3:34 4Q – Not really sure what to say about that, other than it’s a terrible call. Amos is flagged for a late hit out of bounds, giving Boston College the ball and a first down at the Penn State 11.

Hilliman looked to be still in bounds as Amos drove him out of bounds. He was fighting for extra yards as he turned the corner, and Amos did his job.

4:39 4Q – Tyler Murphy finally showing his strength as a runner. After being held in check all game, the University of Florida transfer rushes for 26 yards down to the Penn State 31-yard line.

5:56 4Q – Murphy hits his man for a first down on 3rd & 7. Receiver found a hole in the zone, and sat in it for an easy completion. Ball is on the Penn State 43.

6:03 4Q – The call stands!

6:03 4Q – Murphy appears to hit his receiver for a big first down, but the ball is dropped after a big hit from Trevor Williams jarred the ball loose as the receiver went to the ground. The play is under reveiew. Impossible to understate the enormity of this call. Will be 3rd & 7 for BC if it stands.

6:41 4Q – Great shot of that touchdown from Mark Brennan at Fight On State. Shows just how close that pass came to being intercepted.

6:48 4Q – TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE!!!!! The six-play, 55-yard drive is capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass on a laser across the middle from Hackenberg to DaeSean Hamilton. In the words of NBA-great Rasheed Wallace, ball don’t lie. Penn State and Boston College are tied, 21-21. 7:11 4Q – Hard to explain that one, folks. Looks like No. 9 took a dive, albeit he received a bit of a shove. Penn State is moved back to the 16-yard line. 7:33 4Q – WHAT AN INCREDIBLE RUN BY AKEEL LYNCH! OH ME, OH MY! That was a 36-yard scamper that saw the former New York High School Player of the Year shed tacklers on his way to the 1-yard line. First and goal, Penn State. 8:32 4Q – Jordan Lucas drops Murphy in the backfield for a six-yard loss on 2nd down, and Zettel makes a huge stop on 3rd & 19 to keep the Eagles from reaching the sticks. Zettel ran across the field from his defensive tackle position to make the play, preventing what could have been a back-breaking conversion for Boston College. Penn State will take over from their own 45 yard-line after a short punt from Alex Howell. Lions have half a quarter to make a comeback. 10:38 4Q – An eight yard scramble by Hackenberg and a six-yard pass to Godwin give Penn State a fresh set of downs at the Boston College 40-yard line. But after a short completion to Hamilton, Hackenberg throws back-t0-back incompletions to stall the drive at the 37. Pasquaerillo boots it to the Boston College 15-yard line, where the Eagles will take over. BC leads 21-14. 14:10 4Q – Backed up by a holding penalty, the Eagles are swarmed on back-t0-back runs. On 3rd & 19 deep in its own territory, BC’s Marcus Outlaw is stuffed, and the Eagles are forced to punt it away. Credit the Penn State fans on that one. They were loud behind the first-base dugout. After the 40-yard punt, Penn State will have it on their own 45-yard line. Great starting field position as the Lions look to even up the score. 14:55 4Q – Penn State contains Willis on the return this time, as he is dropped at the Boston College 19-yard line. Penn State’s defense takes the field under thunderous cheers from the crowd, now re-vitalized after the Lions touchdown. End 3Q – TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE!!!!! A little luck is always appreciated. Lewis nabs the tipped pass in the back of the end zone, and Penn State is back in this one, just like that. Boston College leads, 21-14. 1:27 3Q – Just when the offense was beginning to look completely helpless, Hackenberg finds Lewis deep for 32 yards, and a 15-yard facemask penalty gives Penn State the ball at the BC 15-yard line. The Lions need an answer here to to remain in this game. 3:02 3Q – It’s a strange sight, but the BC offense is gashing Penn State on the ground. Hilliman carries for 8 and 12 yards, and Tyler Murphy rushes for 40 yards to pay dirt to give Boston College a two-touchdown lead. Boston College on top 21-7. That’s now 239 yards rushing for the Eagles, the most Penn State has surrendered against any opponent this season. The nation’s best run defense only allows 84 yards rushing per game this season. 4:15 3Q – When there’s good Hackenberg, there’s also bad Hackenberg. The sophomore throws two straight incompletions, and fumbles the snap on third down. Boston College recovers, and the defense is forced back into action after giving up a long touchdown drive on the Eagles last possession. 5:37 3Q – Hackenberg shows off his arm strngth with a great throw to Geno Lewis on an out route for a gain of 12 yards. Hackenberg finds Lewis for another six yards, and the Lions are on the move. Ball is on the BC 40 yard-line. 7:06 3Q – Penn State picks up a first down thanks to a 12-men on the field penalty against Boston College. The Lions have it at their own 30-yard line looking for a touchdown to even up this game. Quick note: Derek Dowrey is in at left guard for the injured Miles Dieffenbach. There’s no question Penn State will have trouble moving the ball in the second half without their fifth-year senior on the line. 8:21 3Q – Touchdown, Boston College. On 3rd & 9 from the Penn State 19-yard line, Murphy finds Shakim Phillps on a deep corner pattern to give Boston College a 14-7 lead. That was an 11-play, 60 yard drive for the Eagles, nearly half of their first half total. 10:45 3Q – Tyler Murphy, Jon Hilliman, and Marcus Outlaw combine for 32 yards rushing to take the ball down to the Penn State 25-yard line. On 4th and 3, Murphy completes a pass for a gain of eight to give the Eagles a fresh set of downs inside the red zone at the Penn State 18-yard line. 13:33 3Q – Miles Dieffenbach won’t return to the second half. That’s a big blow to the offensive line, and an unfortunate end to the fifth-year senior’s Penn State career. 14:52 3Q – Well, that was scary. Myles Willis nearly takes the opening kick of the second half to the house, as he returns it to the BC 40 yard-line for a gain of 34 yards. Quarterback Tyler Murphy will look to get something going after being bottled up by the Lions in the first half. Halftime: The Penn State Blue Band put on quite a show at halftime during Dr. Richard Bundy’s last performance as director. Bundy will retire after this game after leading the band for 18 years.

Penn State’s defense is living up to the hype it so rightly deserved, holding Boston College to only five first downs and 164 total yards in the first half. Eagles quarterback Tyler Murphy is 4-of-11 for 19 yards and has only picked up 22 yards rushing on 4 carries with a long run of 14 yards. Jon Hilliman is pacing the Boston College offense with 109 yards on 11 carries, including a 44-yard run and a 49-yard touchdown run. IMG_3306 A questionable call on what looked like a block in the back nearly cost Penn State at the end of the half. But the defense held firm, keeping the Eagles to only 9-yards rushing in the final minute to keep the score tied 7-7 heading into the break.

0:41 2Q – Both the Penn State players and fans are clearly motivated after that questionable non-call, and the defense is putting that anger to good use. Boston College picks up a first down on three-straight runs, but the Lions hold strong, stopping the Eagles on three-straight plays following the fresh set of downs, capped by Anthony Zettel’s tackle in the backfield on 3rd and long. 1:14 2Q – Belton is dropped for a loss of one on a first down pass play, but Lynch picks up six yards on the ground the next play. On 3rd & 5, Hackenberg throws it into the dirt in front of Hamilton, who was all alone streaking across the middle of the field. A false start on Penn State moves the Lions back five yards, and Pasquaerillo boots it to 20-yard line, where BC returns it to midfield. A big block on Brad Bars opened up the hole, but it was a clear block in the back from where we’re sitting. Penn State crowd continues to boo as  Boston College calls their first timeout of the half, with the ball on the PSU 49. 5:05 2Q – Freshman safety Marcus Allen fills the hole nicely to drop Hilliman for no gain on first down. An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Eagles for a late hit will move Boston College back to the 23-yard line, bringing up 2nd & 24. Myles Willis gains 11 yards on 2nd down, but Murphy’s pass on third down is stopped well short of the sticks to bring up 4th & 10. Penn State takes over on their own 33 after the punt. 6:15 2Q – Hackenberg targets his new favorite receiver Chris Godwin on a long pass across the middle, but it falls incomplete after another dropped pass. Hackenberg is sacked on 2nd down for an eight-yard loss, and is forced to scramble for a five-yard gain on 3rd & 18. A holding penalty on Penn State is declined, and Pasquaerillo boots it to the BC 37 yard line on 4th and long. 6:57 2Q – After two-straight BC runs go nowhere, Murphy looks to be brought down for a big sack on third down, but the 1,00 yard rusher fights out of it and heaves one deep where it is caught for a huge gain. However, the play is negated by an ineligible receiver penalty. Murphy throws incomplete on 3rd & 9, and Penn State will take over on their own 28 after a 43-yard punt by Alex Howell is fair caught by DellaValle. 10:21 2Q – On first down, Hackenberg finds Hamilton for a gain of 11 to the Penn State 25 for a first down! Three straight rushes by Akeel Lynch gain nine yards, but the Lions come up just short of the sticks, and are forced to punt. Pasquareillo boots it 38 yards where it is fair caught. First down Eagles at the their own 28. 10:55 2Q – Murphy throws incomplete to a wide open man on first down, followed by a short gain by Myles Willis. On 3rd & 7, the Lions come up with a big stop after another Murphy incompletion and force Boston College to punt it away. DellaValle calls fair catch on the Penn State 15-yard line, where the Lions will have it looking to re-gain the lead. 13:23 2Q – On 3rd & 1, BC’s Hilliman picks up just enough for the first down. The Eagles are moving the ball, slowly but surely, against Penn State’s top-ranked rush defense. 14:56 2 Q – On the first play of the second quarter, Hackenberg fumbles the exchange with center Angelo Mangiro and Boston College recovers. The Eagles will take over on their own 22-yard line. End 1Q – Hackenberg has put together one of his strongest first quarters of the season, completing 11-of-16 for 158 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown strike to Chris Godwin. (Photo: Zach Berger) IMG_3070 0:38 1Q – A defensive holding call gives Penn State 10 yards and a free first down. After a seven yard pass to Belton and a rush for no gain by Lynch, Hackenberg finds Godwin for a seven-yard gain and a first down to the BC 21. That’s the end of the first quarter, with the score tied 7-7. 3:06 1Q – Lynch runs 2 yards for the first down, but Hackenberg is dropped for a sack on the next play for a loss of six yards. Godwin picks up 13 yards on 2nd and long, and Hackenberg finds Jesse James for three yards on 3rd & 3 to give Penn State a first down! Ball on the PSU 44-yard line. 4:07 1Q – After BC kicks the ball out of bounds, Hackenberg completes to Hamilton on first down, and the freshman dances his way to the PSU 44-yard line for a gain of 9 yards. The play is under review after he appeared to fumble at the end of the run, but the call stands. 2nd and 1 for Penn State. 4:39  1Q – Touchdown, Boston College. On 2nd down, Jon Hilliman takes the handoff 51-yards to the house to tie the game at 7. All of the sudden, a plethora of scoring here in the Big Apple! As a reminder, the over/under in this game was between 38 and 41 points. 5:21 1Q – Ficken and the coaching staff try a sneaky onside kick after the touchdown, but the ball is caught out of bounds by the Nittany Lions. Boston College will take over on its own 48-yard line. Needless to say, the crowd did not like the call as boos rained down from the stands. 5:22 1Q – TOCUCHDOWN PENN STATE!!!!!! On 3rd and 12, Hackenberg completes an absolutely magnificent throw down the sideline that hits freshman wideout Chris Godwin in stride for a 72-yard touchdown pass. In this writer’s humble opinion, it was Hack’s best throw of the season. Penn State leads 7-0, and the crowd is going wild here in Yankee Stadium. 5:35 1Q – A false start by the offensive line turns a manageable 3rd and 2 into a long 3rd and 12. 7:13 1Q – On 3rd and 10, Penn State’s defense comes up with a big stop after Mike Hull takes down the receiver short of the sticks. The Eagles elect to go for it, and on 4th & 4 the pass falls INCOMPLETE! Murphy had a man wide open on the opposite side of the field, but overthrew him. Penn State takes over on its own 30. 7:49 1Q – Boston College breaks off a HUGE run all the way to the Penn State 36 yard-line. Call it a 44-yard gain by Jon Hilliman, and the Eagles are in business looking for the game’s first score. 8:22 1Q – An illegal formation penalty knocks Penn State back five yards on 2nd down. On 3rd and 11, Hackenberg leads Geno Lewis too far, as the pass sails out of bounds near the Eagles bench. Pasquaerillo punts inside the 5, but the ball bounces into the endzone for a touchback. First down BC from their own 20-yard line. 9:21 1Q – On 2nd down, Hackenberg hits Saeed Blacknall for a 15-yard pass to the Penn State 49 for a first down! The Lions are continuing to pick up big chunks of yards against the Eagles defense. 10:50 1Q – After Penn State holds Boston College to no gain on back-to-back runs, quarterback Tyler Murphy is flushed out of the pocket on 3rd down and heaves an incomplete pass deep down the sideline. DellaValle fields the punt at the Penn State 32-yard line, and the Lions will look to build off their solid start. 11:48 1Q – Hackenberg hits Geno Lewis in stride down the right sideline, but the ball is knocked away as Lewis is pushed out of bounds. That would have been a huge play, giving Penn State the ball inside the BC 5-yard line. Alas, Penn State is forced to punt. The Eagles will take over at their own 16-yard line. 11:55 1Q – Timeout, Penn State. Hackenberg pointed to his helmet as he trotted toward the sideline, signaling a possible problem with radio communications. Will be 3rd and 11 from the BC 40 when play resumes. 12:26 1Q – Tight end Kyle Carter makes a nice shoestring catch on a low pass to pick up another first down! Already 30 yards of offense for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions cross midfield looking for the game’s first touchdown. 14:18 1Q – A Bill Belton run, followed by a five-yard pass to Hamilton gives Penn State a first down! 15:00 1Q – Grant Haley fields the opening kick, and will take a knee in the endzone for a touchback. The fans are fired up for Penn State’s first bowl game in three years as the offense takes the field. 1Q – Penn State has won the toss, and will receive the opening kickoff. We’re almost underway at Yankee Stadium! Pregame: Boston College’s marching band took the field for the pregame festivities and The Screamin’ Eagles made a touching tribute to Penn State Blue Band director Dr. Richard Bundy, who will retire at the end of the season.

Penn State will be using the home team dugout on the first-base line for today’s game. The players will emerge from the same tunnel as the 27-time champion New York Yankees. Miles Dieffenbach is one of 27 seniors making their final appearance in a Penn State uniform. Since being inserted into the lineup midseason, the Pittsburgh, Pa., graduate student has been instrumental in helping improve an offensive line that has struggled mightily this season. IMG_2921 Linebackers Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda, out since November with injuries, are participating in pregame warmups. Bell, a starting outside linebacker since the start of the season, missed the last game against Michigan State with an injury. Two familiar faces were on the field during warmups, soaking in their last college gameday experience as members of Penn State football.

Christian Hackenberg is looking to end his sophomore season on a high note in his first career bowl game. The 19-year-old quarterback struggled this season, throwing 15 interceptions against only 8 touchdown passes. As a freshman, Hackenberg threw for 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.


James Franklin and Christian Hackenberg both had their game faces on as the team arrived at Yankee Stadium earlier this afternoon.

IMG_2936 IMG_2949

ICYMI: The Empire State Building was lit up with Penn State blue and white and Boston College maroon and gold last night in anticipation of today’s game.

Sam Ficken has the chance to end his career with a walk-off game winner at Yankee Stadium, just like a famous captain who wore No. 2 and played shortstop for the New York Yankees.

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.


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