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(Saturday, September 8th)
Final Score: Virginia 17, Penn State 16
Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - Michael Rocco threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, as the Virginia Cavaliers rallied for a 17-16 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions at Scott Stadium.
Jake McGee finished with 99 yards and a touchdown on four catches for the Cavaliers (2-0), including a clutch grab that kept the game-winning drive alive.
Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions (0-2) coughed up another second-half lead to remain winless under first-year head coach Bill O'Brien. Matt McGloin threw for 197 yards and two scores. Ten of his completions went to Allen Robinson, who finished with 89 yards and a TD.
Penn State marched 75 yards in 17 plays on its opening drive, chewing up nearly six and a half minutes off the game clock. The drive resulted in an eight-yard touchdown pass from McGloin to Kyle Carter.
Neither team would score again until the 3:56 mark of the second quarter, when Drew Jarrett got UVA on the board with a 46-yard field goal.
The Cavaliers took a 10-7 lead with 9:22 remaining in the third quarter, as Rocco capped an 11-play, 77-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Mathis.
The Nittany Lions reclaimed the lead with 13:10 to play in the final frame on McGloin's 30-yard scoring strike to Robinson. However, the extra point was blocked.
PSU's defense came up with a big takeaway on the ensuing possession, as Deion Barnes notched a sack and jarred the football loose. Teammate Michael Mauti recovered it at the Virginia 17, setting up an eventual 32-yard field goal by Sam Ficken to make it a 16-10 game with 10:55 remaining.
However, Virginia would later regain control with a 12-play, 86-yard drive that took more than six and a half minutes off the clock. Rocco punctuated the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to McGee on 3rd-and-goal, giving the Cavs a 17-16 lead with 1:28 to play. Those two kept the drive alive with a 44-yard completion on 3rd-and-16 from the Cavs' own 22-yard line.
PSU had one final possession beginning at its own 27-yard line. McGloin drove the offense down to the UVA 25, setting up Ficken with a 42-yard game-winning field goal attempt. However, Ficken's kick sailed wide left as time expired, his fourth missed field goal of the day.
Missed opportunities played a major role in the Nittany Lions' loss. PSU's defense forced four turnovers in Virginia territory but came away with only three points off those takeaways.
09/08 16:40:37 ET