Penn State Football: Grading the Nittany Lions Through Five Games

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Aug 30, 2014; Dublin, IRL; Penn State Nittany Lions place kicker Sam Ficken (97) kicks a 37 yard field goal to defeat the Central Florida Knights at Croke Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams

Sam Ficken, who’s had many struggles in the past, has been nearly flawless kicking the ball this year, as he is 10 of 12 on field goal attempts (the two misses were blocked field goals) and a perfect 12 of 12 on extra points.

He made clutch kicks in the Rutgers game and of course had the memorable game-winner as time expired in the win over UCF in Ireland. Chris Gulla has been average in the punting department (38.32 yards per punt).

Haley has shown some explosiveness in returning kickoffs and Jesse Della Valle has been very good returning punts (averaging 10.5 yards on six returns). The kickoff coverage could do a little better and a big play (some kind of block or a return for a touchdown) would be welcomed at some point this year.

Grade: B+