STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A week after a 1-for-5 kicking performance, Sam Ficken struggled again Saturday.
He pushed an extra point wide right, and Bill O'Brien didn't seem to put a lot of trust into the sophomore kicker. The coach opted to throw in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play -- instead of kick -- from the 8-yard line. The pass fell incomplete.
"I just felt good about the play call," O'Brien insisted. "It had nothing to do with Ficken."
Fans continued to show support for the scholarship kicker. Two signs near the end zone were dedicated to him. One read, "Stickin' with Ficken" and was positioned behind the south field goal posts.
And, on his first two extra points, the crowd roared when the the refs raised their arms to signal they were good.
Still, Penn State is starting to feel the sting from Anthony Fera's transfer to Texas. Ficken is making just 20 percent of his field goals, and he's nailed just 77 percent of his extra points this season.
Ficken was not made available to the media for the second consecutive week. He finished 4-of-5 on extra points Saturday and did not attempt a field goal. With walk-on Matt Marcincin's surprise departure this week, Kevin DiSanto is Penn State's only other option at placekicker.