Pinstripe Bowl highlights, lowlights
NEW YORK – Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 31-30 overtime victory in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday at Yankee Stadium:
Play of the game: On third-and-7 from the Boston College 10 in overtime, Christian Hackenberg hit Kyle Carter for a touchdown and, after Sam Ficken’s extra point, the win was secured.
Offensive player of the game: Hackenberg completed 34-of-50 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He was not intercepted.
Defensive player of the game: PSU linebacker Nyeem Wartman recorded a game-high 11 tackles.
Most telling statistic: Penn State converted nine of 17 third downs.
Most deceiving statistic: Boston College rushed for 289 yards.
Hidden statistic: The Lions won despite punting 10 times.
Best run: Akeel Lynch broke several tackles en route to a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter in which he appeared to score. Instead, the ball was placed at the 1.
Best pass: Hackenberg fired a perfectly-threaded 16-yard touchdown pass to DaeSean Hamilton that tied the game at 21-21 with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Best return: BC’s Myles Willis followed blockers and gained 32 yards to give the Eagles good field position (BC 42) to start the second half.
Worst pass: Eagle QB Tyler Murphy had Josh Bordner with nobody in the same zip code on an early throwback attempt but overshot him.
Best catch: Carter went up to snag the game-winning reception.
Catch it, will ya: Geno Lewis dropped an early 50-yarder from Hackenberg, Hamilton dropped a slant, and Chris Godwin missed an over-the-middle 25-yarder in the second quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya: With Penn State down 14-7 and driving midway through the third quarter, Hackenberg fumbled what appeared to be an early snap. And for the daily-double: On the first play of the second quarter, tied 7-7, Hackenberg fumbled a snap on first down at the BC 21.
Best block: BC right tackle Ian Silberman sealed Adrian Amos to spring Jon Hilliman’s 49-yard TD that tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.
Best tackle: Jordan Lucas sacked Murphy for a 6-yard loss to the BC 9 midway through the fourth quarter.
Best hit: Lion corner Trevor Williams jolted Shakim Phillips into an incompletion at the PSU bench with 6:03 left in the game, turning what would have been a first down into a third-and-7 from the BC 31.
Best kick: Ficken, Mr. Clutch, buried a 44-yard field goal that tied the game at 24 with 25 seconds left in regulation.
Worst kick: BC’s Mike Knoll shanked an extra point in overtime that cost the Eagles a 31-24 lead and ultimately provided their margin of defeat.
Worst penalty: Lion guard Brian Gaia was caught shoving a BC lineman after the whistle, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike that moved the Lions to second-and-goal from their 16. Fortunately for PSU, Hackenberg’s laser to Hamilton bailed out Gaia and the Nits.
Best call: Penn State did an excellent job to use two of its timeouts after BC advanced inside the Lions’ 10 with three minutes left. PSU got the ball back with 2:10 remaining.
Worst call: Not sure what the officials saw in denying Lynch’s touchdown.
Best effort: Anthony Zettel dove to stop Marcus Outlaw at the PSU sideline just short of a first down deep in BC territory, forcing a punt and allowing the Lions more time to mount a game-tying drive. Zettel had six tackles, including two TFLs.
Unsung hero: Lewis did a nice job to break up a near interception on the Lions’ first play of overtime as Hackenberg’s throw toward the end zone was short and BC’s Ty-Meer Brown nearly picked it off.