PSU wins thriller in Dublin as Hackenberg throws for 454
DUBLIN — Christian Hackenberg set a school record with 454 passing yards, and he led Penn State’s offense down the field in the final minute to set up Sam Ficken for a game-winning field goal.
Ficken drilled a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Nittany Lions a 26-24 win over Central Florida in the Croke Park Classic before 53,304 fans, including 15,000 PSU faithful who made the trip overseas.
Central Florida had rallied for a 24-23 lead with 1:13 to go after the Lions had led by as much as 20-10 in the fourth quarter.
Redshirt freshman DaeSean Hamilton had a huge day for PSU, setting school records for receptions (11) and yards (165) by a freshman. Geno Lewis also had a big day with 173 yards on eight catches, including a TD.
Hackenberg became the first PSU quarterback to top 400 yards passing. The previous record was held by Zack Mills at 399 against Iowa in 2002. Hackenberg completed 32-of-47 passes with one TD and two interceptions.
Neither team could run the ball as PSU finished with just 57 yards rushing, while UCF had only 24.