It's time for the final category of the inaugural Black Shoe Diaries Reader Awards -- Game of the Year. For this, we picked three wins by the Nittany Lions from the 2014 campaign. All three games were packed with drama, all three were probably closer than they needed to be and all three ended with me jumping up and down and screaming and hugging people.
Here are your nominees for the 2014 Game of the Year:
- Penn State 26, UCF 24
- Penn State 13, Rutgers 10
- Penn State 31, Boston College 30
Penn State kicked off the 2014 campaign with a bang when it took on UCF in Ireland in the Croke Park Classic. Christian Hackenberg torched the Knights' defense for 454 yards, Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton combined for 19 receptions and more than 300 receiving yards and Sam Ficken drilled four field goals to give the Nittany Lions a dramatic win to start the year.
The game against Rutgers was a horrible affront to the Lord above and we probably shouldn't talk about it much outside of "Penn State won to move 1-0 in Big Ten play and Champagne Gary Nova threw five interceptions." It also gave us NOVAGIF, which I will now post, right here:
That will never not be amazing. But yeah, I really don't want to talk about this much. Just know that few things were more fun this year than watching New Jersey native Bill Belton -- who was a bit of a target for Rutgers fans/players coming into this game because he pointed out that PSU is better historically than Rutgers. No, seriously, that happened. It also gave us the hottest take of the 2014 season. It was hotter than anything you've read on this site, which is saying something, considering we employ Devon.
Finally, there was the Pinstripe Bowl win over Boston College. This was a game Penn State technically wasn't supposed to play in until the dark overlords at the NCAA decided to throw us a bone to make up for their idiocy in 2012. Thanks again, jackasses!
This game was so, so fun. Hackenberg looked like the star from 2013 again. The team's bevy of options at receiver were awesome. Akeel Lynch briefly let the spirit of Marshawn Lynch consume him. Ficken won the game. I hugged Polak a lot and felt no shame. It was awesome.
Define "Best Game" however you want, just make sure you vote in the poll. As always, feel free to explain your choice in the comments, and if you want to argue that another game was more worthy of inclusion than one of the choices, we're all ears.