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Penn State's Wagner earns Big Ten special teams player of the week

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Groza Award semifinalist made two field goals, ran for late first down in win over Michigan

Penn State’s Collin Wagner has been selected Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season for his efforts in the Nittany Lions’ 41-31 win over Michigan.           

In the victory over the Wolverines, Wagner connected on 32 and 42-yard field goals in the second half. With just under 4:00 to play in the game, Wagner lined-up for an apparent 39-yard field goal on 4th-and-4. But, Wagner took the direct snap, followed his blocks and gained seven yards over the left side for a first down to the delight of the Beaver Stadium throng. The carry was his first as a Nittany Lion. Penn State then gained another first down and ran out the clock.

A native of State College, Wagner is having an outstanding senior season, having made 16 of 19 (84.2) of his field goal attempts this year. He is tied for third nationally in field goals made per game (2.00) and is tied for fourth nationally in the number of field goals made (16).

Wagner has connected on 7 of 8 field attempts from 40 yards or longer this season, including a career-long 49-yarder vs. Youngstown State, which he matched at Minnesota. Among the 20 Groza Award semifinalists, Wagner is tied for the most field goals of 40 yards or longer with Oklahoma State’s Dan Bailey, who is 7 of 7.

Wagner has made at least one field goal in nine consecutive games, tied for the nation’s fourth-longest streak. Over the past eight games, Wagner is 20 of 23 (86.9).

The former State College Area High School standout is fourth in the Big Ten in kick scoring with 66 points (8.2 ppg), having made 16 field goals and all 18 of his PAT attempts.

In his second season as the Nittany Lions’ starting placekicker, Wagner tied the school record by connecting on five field goals in the 22-13 win over Temple on Sept. 25. Wagner was 4 of 4 on field goals vs. LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl, hitting the game-winner in the final minute.

Wagner has made 32 field goals in his career, good for 10th place at Penn State. He trails Chris Bahr (35) for ninth place.

Penn State (5-3, 2-2) hosts Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) Saturday in a pivotal Big Ten contest. Coach Joe Paterno will be seeking his 400th career victory against the Wildcats. The game will kick at 3:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium and air on ABC (ESPN2 outer market), the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.

A limited number of tickets for Penn State’s home games with Northwestern and Michigan State (Nov. 27) are available at www.GoPSUsports.com or by calling 814-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m. Tickets also are available at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket office.

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