But that’s what made Saturday’s 31-30 win over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl so memorable. In September, the NCAA decided to drop Penn State’s postseason ban. Suddenly the program had a purpose again. And on Saturday, when Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg found Kyle Carter for a touchdown in overtime, and kicker Sam Ficken knocked in the game-winning PAT afterward, that journey was complete.
But as coaches often say, the team that wants it more usually wins. During the preseason, Penn State was like a stubborn teenager -- when you tell them they can’t have something, they usually want it more. The Nittany Lions weren’t allowed to have a bowl game, but on Saturday they showed how much they wanted it when they finally got the chance. After Boston College took its double-digit lead, Hackenberg (371 passing yards, four touchdowns) threw two straight touchdown passes to tie the contest, 21-21. Both teams hit field goals late in the fourth quarter, including Sam Ficken’s 44-yarder with 20 seconds left to knot the game at 24.