Penn State Runs Over Maryland to Improve to 4-2
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The homecoming game for Penn State was filled with excitement as the Nittany Lions dominated Maryland in a 38-14 victory. The win over the Terrapins improves the team’s conference record to 2-1 entering a much needed bye week.
The run game was a crucial part of the Penn State offense as the Nittany Lions recorded a season high 372 yards on the ground. Star sophomore running back Saquon Barkley had the most impactful game, rushing for a career high 202 yards and a touchdown.
The 202-yard performance was the highest by a Penn State running back since Larry Johnson back in 2002. Barkley said the team felt confident that they would be able to run the ball on the Terrapins throughout the game.
“We really felt confident coming into the game that we could run the ball,” said Barkley. “Our O-line was really picking these guys up.”
Barkley was not the only Nittany Lion running back that enjoyed success in the game as freshman Miles Sanders scored his first collegiate touchdown today. Quarterback Trace McSorley produced some incredible runs throughout the game, seeming to weave his way out of numerous potential sacks.
McSorley finished the game with 81 yards rushing and the run option caused fits for the Terrapins. While his 10-19, 152-yard performance might not pop off the box score, McSorley’s day passing the ball was a success.
McSorley threw the ball well throughout the day, throwing for two touchdowns and showing touch on balls thrown down the field. The game’s opening drive concluded with a five-yard touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki.
The wide receiver that had the best game was DeAndre Thompkins, who finished with a game-high 91 receiving yards and a touchdown on four receptions. The 70-yard touchdown by Thompkins illustrated the speed he possesses with the double move that burned the Maryland defensive back.
Thompkins said it was a good feeling to beat his one-on-one matchup on the outside.
“It’s always confident when you can beat your one-on-one matchups and expose a guy,” Thompkins said.
While the offense was extremely productive throughout the day, the defense was stingy allowing no points in the second half and only 14 total to a Maryland offense that was averaging over 40 a game. Dual-threat quarterback Perry Hills struggled during the game, but he had to leave the game late in the first half after a quarterback draw.
Koa Farmer made his presence felt in the game with a blindside hit that forced a fumble on Hills, which was recovered by Torrence Brown. The Terrapins were only able to muster 270 yards of offense and backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome was ineffective through the air, making Maryland one-dimensional.
The loss drops Maryland to 4-1, making it the second week in a row that Penn State has taken away an undefeated season for a team. The Nittany Lions will try to improve that streak to three in two weeks when the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes come to Happy Valley for a primetime showdown.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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