Penn State vs. Maryland Game Grades

Story posted November 7, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

Penn State was finally able to get back into the win column on Saturday as the Nittany Lions used a strong second half to beat Maryland 31-14. The win got the Nittany Lions up to 6-3 on the season and bowl eligible come the end of the season.

Here’s a look at how each position group played during the win.

Offense: A-

Shockingly, this is the most amount of points the Nittany Lions have put up in a single game this season.

Following a seven-point first half, the blue and white went off for 24 second-half points led as, per usual, by the stellar play of Jahan Dotson.

The senior receiver had the best game of his career on Saturday as he racked up 242 receiving yards — a program record — and three touchdowns on 11 receptions.

Dotson was the primary target for quarterback Sean Clifford as no other receiver on the team had over 40 yards on the day.

Like most of the season, the ground game couldn’t get much going with Kevyone Lee being the main back with 50 rushing yards on eight carries.

While it was still relatively one dimensional, the Penn State offense had arguably its best game of the season and will look to bring that momentum back home for its upcoming contest against Michigan.

Defense: A

The Penn State defense looked to be back in its early-season form on Saturday as it only allowed the Terrapins to score 14 points in the win.

That point total is the least for the Maryland offense all season, with its previous low coming on Oct. 23 during a loss to Minnesota.

Standing strong in the red zone was the big key in this one, as in the third quarter Ji’Ayir Brown recovered a fumble which kept it a one-possession Penn State lead and later in the game he intercepted a pass and ran it back 87 yards for the game-sealing score.

While Taulia Tagovailoa did throw for 371 yards, the Maryland offense was largely ineffective for most of the game as the Nittany Lion defense cruised to an easy victory.

Coaching: A-

There’s not much to complain about during a big win like Penn State fans saw in College Park.

James Franklin was able to make necessary adjustments after a rough first half to the point where the Nittany Lions walked away with the win.

Franklin did have one questionable decision late in the first half when the Penn State offense was driving.

Penn State failed to properly manage the clock, and the drive was forced to stop as Clifford kneeled with three seconds left and the ball at midfield with it only being a 7-6 Nittany Lions lead.

Aside from that one decision, Franklin coached a quality game and was able to get the Nittany Lions back on track.

 

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.