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Counting Down the Top 10 Plays from 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the spirit of spreading some holiday cheer, 'tis the season for reliving some of the best plays from the 2013 Penn State Football season.  Let's count down's Top 10 plays from 2013.  We will reveal one play each day, with No. 1 falling on Dec. 31.

No. 10 - Christian Hackenberg Finds Jesse James at Wisconsin
With the score tied at 14-14 mid-way through the third quarter at Wisconsin on Nov. 30, Christian Hackenberg capped off a 67-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James.  While the throw was placed in a perfect spot, James' catch with a defender all over him earned the play a spot on the Top 10 list.

No. 9 - Trevor Williams Seals the Opener with an Interception
Leading 23-17 with 2:08 to play inside MetLife Stadium against Syracuse, the Penn State defense knew it could seal a victory with one more stop.  Sophomore cornerback clinched win No. 1 in 2013 with a toe-dragging, sideline interception on a Drew Allen pass with 1:53 to play.

No. 8 - Sam Ficken Kicks into the Beaver Stadium Record Book
Junior placekicker Sam Ficken added his name to the Beaver Stadium record book with the longest Penn State field goal in stadium history against Kent State.  Ficken drilled a 54-yard kick on a soggy afternoon to help Penn State notch a 34-0 shutout against the Golden Flashes.

No. 7 - C.J. Olaniyan Snags and Interception at Wisconsin
With a 21-14 lead in the third quarter at Wisconsin, the Nittany Lion defense teamed up for a big turnover in Wisconsin territory.  Linebacker Brandon Bell provided the pressure on a blitz, and C.J. Olaniyan snagged an interception on a tipped pass from Joel Stave before a 33-yard return.

No. 6 - Christian Hackenberg Connects with Eugene Lewis at Wisconsin
With a defender bearing down on him in the pocket, Christian Hackenberg delivered a perfect strike to a streaking Eugene Lewis for a 59-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter at Wisconsin.  Just like the two did in the season-opener, Hackenberg and Lewis connected on a big play to help seal a victory away from Beaver Stadium.

No. 5 - Mike Hull Breaks Up a Pass at the Goal Line
After a scoreless first overtime period, the Nittany Lion defense trotted out onto the field looking to keep Michigan out of the end zone.  Linebacker Mike Hull did his part in making sure the Wolverines would not score with an acrobatic pass breakup at the 1-yard line.

No. 4 - Allen Robinson Reverses Field for Long Touchdown
Two-time Big Ten Receiver of the Year and All-American wide receiver Allen Robinson could have his own Top 10 list in 2013.  In the fourth quarter at Ohio State, the Michigan native added a highlight reel catch and run to his list of big career plays.

No. 3 - Adrian Amos and Ryan Keiser Combine on a Turnover in Overtime
Christian Hackenberg found Kyle Carter for a 15-yard touchdown on the first drive in overtime against Illinois.  With a 24-17 lead, the Nittany Lions needed one stand to clinch a victory.  Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase looked to the end zone on the Illini's first play in overtime, but Adrian Amos and Ryan Keiser were there waiting.

No. 2 - Bill Belton Scores to Beat Michigan in 4OT
Following the dramatic final drive in regulation and three nail-biting overtimes, Bill Belton sealed a Penn State victory over Michigan with a 2-yard touchdown score into the north end zone at Beaver Stadium.

No. 1 - The Final Drive Against Michigan
Down 34-27 with 50 seconds to play and zero timeouts, Christian Hackenberg and the Nittany Lion offense knew there was one final chance to send the game into overtime.  A completion to Allen Robinson kick-started the drive, and the rest will live in Penn State lore for years to come.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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