Penn State vs. Maryland Preview
ComRadio's own Mitch Stewart, David Arroyo, Brian McLaughlin and Carly Pendergast break down this week's matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Maryland Terrapins. Coverage begins Saturday at 10 a.m. on ComRadio.
The Penn State Nittany Lions (3-2, 1-1 B1G) look to carry on the good feeling after their resilient 29-26 overtime victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1, 0-1 B1G). At Beaver Stadium this Saturday the Nittany Lions hope to continue their winning ways against the Maryland Terrapins (4-0, 1-0 B1G) for an exciting matchup during homecoming weekend.
Penn State’s momentum, Maryland’s 4-0 start and their most recent showdowns scream for an enticing matchup between the two conference teams.
With the help of Tyler Davis’ 40-yard field goal late in play and the uniting emotion after Golden Gopher linebacker Jaylen Waters laid-out the Nittany Lions sophomore kicker, Joey Julius, the Nittany Lions found the resilience to secure an overtime victory.
Maryland’s 4-0 start has come with utter domination against the Howard Bison, the FIU Golden Panthers and the Purdue Boilermakers. Their only nail-biting victory came at the hands of the UCF Knights in double-overtime. Each matchup surmounted to at least 30 points on Maryland’s side of the ball. Just like Penn State, Maryland rolls into this Saturday with momentum and good feeling after their 50-7 victory against Purdue.
Since 2014, the Terrapins and the Nittany Lions created an enticing showdown leaving their most recent records at an even draw. In 2014, the Nittany Lions lost to the Terrapins 20-19, but the following year the Blue and White managed a 31-30 redemption over the opposition. Every year comes with change, new players and tweaked play, but expect a thrillingly close scoreboard.
Under new head coach, DJ Durkin, Maryland exceeded this season’s expectations thus far, but Maryland’s first real challenge of the season will play out in Beaver Stadium. Fans should expect a battle of offenses and a high scoring game from both teams, but the real victory factor lies with which team’s defensive scheme can stop the big plays and momentum shifts.
The Terrapin’s 43-point average per game creates a daunting task for the Blue and White’s depleted Linebacker U and defense. To add insult to the Nittany Lions’ injuries, the Terrapins find a lot of their offensive success in the nation’s seventh-ranked rushing game with 300 yards a game. After two touchdowns and a career-high 204 yards, Terrapins’ stud sophomore, Ty Johnson, earned himself the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Dating back to last season, Penn State found success in the last nine of their 10 home games. James Franklin hopes to continue their winning ways with the momentum of last week and a continuously improving offense. Without any turnovers on a wet gridiron last Saturday in Happy Valley, Trace McSorley enters this week as the Big Ten’s leader in passing yards. McSorley threw for 335 yards and rushed for 73 over Minnesota’s defense.
Although McSorley’s improvements in finding his footing speak volumes for the rest of the season and the future, the Blue and White need more consistency from sophomore running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley has failed to complete more than a 100-yard game on the ground since Kent State.
The Nittany Lion’s x-factor leads the Big Ten in tackles. Safety Marcus Allen’s electric play against the Golden Gophers surmounted to 22 stops, while creating a commendable showing of teamwork and man-up mentality in the wake of the Blue and White’s defensive woes and injuries. If Allen can continue his production into Saturday, Maryland’s ranked offense will definitely struggle more than past weeks.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are scheduled to kickoff homecoming weekend against the Maryland Terrapins at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
Madeleine Balestrier is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
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