Game Preview: Penn State vs. Maryland

Audio/Story posted September 26, 2019 in CommRadio, Sports by Tom Johnston

Host Matt Noah, Josh Portney, Zach Donaldson and Ben Geller preview Penn State's Friday night bout with Maryland:

Coming off a bye week, Penn State will travel to Maryland for an unusual Friday night game and play their first Big Ten game of the season. 

Maryland has shown some lethal speed this season with a couple wins. Meanwhile, Penn State has seen only a little bit of a battle test, however, it hasn’t been enough as this team is still finding their identity on both sides of the ball.

Penn State comes into this game with the nation’s 31st best offense in the country. The Nittany Lions have run a total of 190 plays on offense averaging 4.74 yards per play and garnering 1419 yards total on offense. The Nittany Lions have scored 17 offensive touchdowns and average 473 yards per game.

As for the defense, Penn State also stands in a solid position. Currently, the defense is the nation’s 38th best and opposing offenses have ran 220 plays and the Nittany Lions have only allowed those to garner 970 total yards. Additionally, Penn State has allowed on average 4.4 yardsper carry to the opposing offense. Thus far, the Nittany Lions have allowed for their opponents to score three touchdowns on offense.

As for the Maryland Terrapins, nobody thought they would be in this unique position. They are 2-1, blowing out Syracuse 63-20 and losing a tight one to Temple 20-17 in a game many say they should have won.

The Terrapins have the nation’s 10th best offense thus far through three games. Overall, on 246 plays, the Terrapins have garnered 1,613 yards and averaging 6.56 yards per play. Additionally, Maryland has thrown 21 offensive touchdowns averages 537.7 yards per game on offense.

In contrast, the Maryland defense is a little more behind. The Terrapins currently have the nation’s 27th best defense in the FBS. Opposing offenses have run 203 plays for 895 yards and the Terrapins have allowed for an average of 4.41 yards per play. Opposing teams have scored six touchdowns on the Terrapins. Maryland’s defense averages 298.3 yards per game.

There is a bit of history between both teams. When it comes down to the series overall, Penn State has a commanding lead with 39 wins compared to just two for Maryland, and one tie between the two. The Nittany Lions currently boost a four-game winning streak from 2015 to 2018.

They’re calling for a blackout at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on Friday. An interesting fact to note, the record for a Maryland football game came back in 1975 when 58,973 fans filled the stadium. On that day, Maryland’s opponent was Penn State.

Another interesting note about this game is that is on a Friday night, an unusual timeslot for the Nittany Lions. Last season, however, Penn State went to Illinois for a Friday night game and came away victorious 63-24.

Prediction: Penn State 40, Maryland 28



Tom Johnston is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email