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Penn State’s freshman kicker Jake Pinegar, an Iowa native, contributes to defeat of Hawkeyes

Jake Pinegar, who hadn't made a kick of 40 yards or more before Saturday, kicked field goals of 45, 49 and 44 yards in the Nittany Lions' 30-24 win.

Penn State place kicker Jake Pinegar last week against Indiana.
Penn State place kicker Jake Pinegar last week against Indiana.Read moreDOUG MSCHOOLER / AP

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.- True freshman and Iowa native Jake Pinegar came up big in Penn State's 30-24 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, kicking the three longest field goals of his brief career.

Pinegar made all six of his kicks – three extra points and field goals of 44, 45, and 49 yards. He is the first Nittany Lion to kick three field goals of 40 yards or more in one game since Sam Ficken in 2013 against Maryland.

Pinegar kicked his first field-goal attempt through the uprights a split second after head coach James Franklin called a timeout. Franklin explained that he called the timeout with one second left on the play clock, fearing a delay-of-game penalty would knock his team out of field-goal range.

Undaunted, Pinegar's second attempt was just as good. Franklin joked that the first one was a warmup kick.

"It was muscle memory," he said.

Pinegar, who is from Ankney, Iowa, has kicked six field goals in his last seven attempts. He had missed all three of his attempts from 40 yards or longer before Saturday.

Offensive lineman Ryan Bates said he has seen Pinegar become more confident in practice and games.

"I think he's been great so far this season, and he had a very good game today," Bates said. "He makes every field goal in practice, so, when he goes out there and the field goal team goes out there, I expect three points."

Senior Nick Scott said he likes the way Pinegar handles big moments and that he needs to know the team is 100 percent behind him.

"We have his back no matter what," Scott said. "Make, miss, whatever, he is a part of this family and we have the upmost confidence in him. We're just super proud that he was able to perform like he did today."