Mr. Reliable: Ficken is kickin'em through for Penn State after enduring rough start to career

Sam Ficken, Mr. Reliable. Seriously.

The Penn State kicker whom some Nittany Lions fans wanted to run out of Happy Valley last year has made 13 straight field goal attempts after starting the season by going 3 for 3 in a win against Syracuse.

"I couldn't be more confident in my ability," Ficken said Saturday after the Nittany Lions won 23-17 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Ficken, you might recall, had just about the worst game a kicker could have in Week 2 of the 2012 season. He missed four field goal attempts and had an extra point blocked against Virginia in a 17-16 loss.

Many on social media were less than sympathetic, even downright nasty to Ficken, who had been pressed into action after Penn State's starting kicker transferred after the NCAA sanctioned the programs.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien stuck with Ficken — he didn't have much choice — and the kicker closed the season with 10 straight made field goals.