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Last-second FG lifts Penn State over UCF

Dublin, Ireland (SportsNetwork.com) - Sam Ficken drilled a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give Penn State a 26-24 victory over UCF in the opener for both schools on Saturday in Ireland.

Justin Holman capped a 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give UCF its first lead of the day, 24-23, with 1:13 left. Holman's 37-yard pass to Josh Reese on 4th-and-10 immediately preceded the scoring run on a quarterback draw.

Penn State (1-0) had plenty of time and all three timeouts, starting from its own 26. Christian Hackenberg converted a 4th-and-3 from the 33 with an 8-yard run and covered the next 40 yards on three completions -- the last an 18-yard strike to Geno Lewis -- to set up Ficken's fourth field goal of the day.

The kick made a winner of James Franklin in his Penn State debut. The former Vanderbilt coach replaced Bill O'Brien, who left in January to take the vacancy with the NFL's Houston Texans.

UCF (0-1) had won nine straight dating back to last season and also left Beaver Stadium in September with a 34-31 win during a 12-1 season.

The Lions took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a Zach Zwinak 1-yard run. A roughing the punter penalty allowed Penn State to keep possession and Hackenberg followed with a 44-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton to set up the score.

Hackenberg, who threw for 454 yards, was intercepted on Penn State's next series and UCF converted with a 36-yard field goal from Shawn Moffitt early in the second quarter. Ficken then capped a 15-play, 72-yard march with a 22-yard kick for a 10-3 advantage that the Lions carried into halftime.

Ficken kicked a 33-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and Holman, who took over under center for starter Pete DiNovo, scored on a 1-yard run to cap a 70-yard drive in seven plays for the Knights' first TD.

It didn't take long for the Lions to answer, as Hackenberg found Lewis behind the secondary for a 79-yard touchdown strike just three plays later to make it 20-10. Holman, though, pulled the Knights within three early in the fourth with a 10-yard TD pass to Reese.

The teams traded turnovers on the next three possessions -- a Hackenberg pick, a Holman fumble and a Hackenberg fumble. Penn State then extended the margin to six on Ficken's 24-yard kick with 3:30 to play.

08/30 12:47:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
TOR 5
TAM 6
Final
DET 6
CLE 4
Final
NYM 0
WAS 3
Final
PIT 7
CHC 3
Final
PHI 4
MIA 5
Final
KAN 4
BOS 8
Final
MIL 9
CIN 2
Final
CWS 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 4
COL 1
Final
TEX 10
ATL 3
Final
ANA 1
HOU 6
Final
SFG 2
LOS 4
Final
SEA 0
OAK 4
Final
ARI 8
SDP 6
Final
BAL 3
NYY 2
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
LOS
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
PHI
 
Final
NYG 14
ARI 25
Final
CIN 24
ATL 10
Final
TEN 10
DAL 26
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
WAS 41
JAC 10
Final
BUF 29
MIA 10
Final
MIN 7
NEP 30
Final
CLE 26
NOS 24
Final
SDC 30
SEA 21
Final
TAM 17
STL 19
Final
OAK 14
HOU 30
Final
DEN 24
KAN 17
Final
GBP 31
NYJ 24
Final
SFX 20
CHI 28
8:30pm Tonight
IND
PHI