A skydiver set to land on the Croke Park field with the game ball for the Penn State/UCF game missed the stadium completely and landed on a railway line instead.

The Penn State skydiver landed precisely on the 45 yard line but when it was time for the University of Central Florida flier he drifted way off course and landed outside the stadium to the gasps of the crowd.

Fortunately he landed safely on a railroad line.

The first Saturday of the 2014 college football season had an early start as Penn State and Central Florida were due to kick off at 8:30 a.m. ET at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, with 55,000 present.

The skydiver representing UCF had a missed approach missing Croke Park completely.


Penn State beat the UCF Knights with the last kick of the game to win the Croke Park classic but apart from the parachutist it was the US Air Force who made the biggest impression on locals on college football’s latest visit to Ireland.

A fly-by by two F-16 jets over the north Dublin stadium sparked a massive response on Twitter with the Irish Times claiming that some Dubliners thought the ‘end had come’.

The paper reported that not all the locals were enamoured with the Air Force adding to the noise and spectacle of the latest colleges match in Ireland.

One woman tweeted: “Next time you wanna fly two F-16s from the US Air Force over the house, give us a f****** warning. Everyone here thought, this is it now.”

Another tweeter claimed the noise had set off every car alarm in the city while Alan Costelloe tweeted: “I think most of central Dublin just had a heart attack at a low fly-by of a jet.”

Some 20,000 fans from both colleges brought their colours and their dollars to the Irish capital for the game at Croke Park.

They thronged the many pubs in Temple Bar before and after the game which is believed to have contributed almost $40 million to the Irish economy.

That pales however next to the $130million spent by fans of Notre Dame and Navy when they played at the Aviva Stadium two years ago.

Lisa Corradle swapped the traditional tailgate party for Temple Bar and was enthusiastic about her visit when she spoke to the Irish Times.

She told the paper: “We just travel really well, we’ll go anywhere there’s a ball game. This is exciting because it’s the first time we’ve been outside the United States to play a game, so we all make a vacation out of it.”

On the field Penn State snatched victory right at the death. Having led 10-3 at one stage, they found themselves behind with two minutes to go before a last gasp field goal from  Sam Ficken sealed the dramatic 26-24 win.