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Quick Recap: Penn State Beats Maryland, 31-30

The Nittany Lions are now bowl eligible. Woooooooo.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

It was a close one, but Penn State managed to squeak out a win against Maryland in Baltimore, 31-30. The story of the game was Penn State's two units flipping their usual performances: the Nittany Lion defense allowed 470 yards, but Penn State's offense ultimately got the job done. Christian Hackenberg led the way for Penn State, going 13-for-29 with 315 yards and a trio of touchdowns – one to Chris Godwin, one to DaeSean Hamilton, and one to Geno Lewis.

On the other side, Maryland carved up the Penn State defense, as Terrapins QB Perry Hills threw for 225 yards and ran for another 128. However, Bob Shoop's unit forced five turnovers, including a game-sealing interception on Maryland's final drive by Malik Golden.

With the win, Penn State is bowl eligible. Heck yeah.

Three Thoughts:

  1. Christian Hackenberg is continuing his stretch of not throwing picks. He threw an interception against Temple and a pick against Rutgers, but other than that, he's been money. The Nittany Lions also let him throw the ball downfield, as he averaged more than 24 yards per completion. I like the "no turnovers and throw the ball" Hack, don't you?
  2. The defense is still the strength of this team, but it has struggled against mobile quarterbacks.Thankfully the Nittany Lions don't face another guy who is as good at running as Hills or Ohio State's J.T. Barrett again this season, but still, it's a cause for concern for the Shoop Dawgs.
  3. Saquon Barkley actually struggled today, as he carried the ball 20 times for 65 yards. He added a touchdown, but this wasn't the freshman sensation's best game. He'll bounce back, we're confident in this.