Continued from page 1

O'Brien does like the way Penn State showed flashes of improvement in the new offense, including the 17-play, 75-yard drive that ate up 6:27 of the clock in the first quarter, culminating in Matt McGloin’s 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Carter.

The big-play defense stuffed Virginia for 32 rushing yards on 25 carries and had three sacks including two by freshman end Deion Barnes.

It’s just that more success in the red zone would have negated the need to rely so heavily on Ficken in the first place.

“We’ve just got to focus a little bit more in the game,” receiver Allen Robinson said. “Sometimes, you have to catch a few more balls, make a few better blocks. It’s something that will come along.”