#12 Penn St. Nittany Lions (3-0; 0-0 Big Ten East) vs Maryland Terrapins (2-1; 0-0 Big Ten East)
8 p.m. ET, September 27, 2019--FS1
Maryland Stadium (Capacity: 51,802 / College Park, MD)
All of the above rankings are taken directly from the NCAA except for strength of schedule, which is not as readily available this year and so I’ve removed it for the time being from these statistics.
The Redzone TD% and Redzone TD% Defense are calculated by me and not ranked by the NCAA. Determining who has the advantage in these categories is strictly my arbitrary judgment.
Well, this looks a little familiar, doesn’t it?
The recent history of the matchups between these two squads and the numbers headed into these matchups is seriously wonky, at least according to this here blogger. In addition to the above link from last year, which saw PSU ranked at #12 and under water in a number of statistical categories pregame against a Maryland squad it would eventually wallop 38-3, there’s this gem, from 2017, which showed in advance the beatdown that would occur that night in College Park.
And who can forget that night four years ago in Baltimore, when Mike Locksley would first roam the sidelines as the Terrapins head coach (albeit in an acting capacity then) - and head into the match with the most interesting array of statistics I remember before a nailbiting, high scoring game.
But you can shove those all aside. The one I’m most interested in is the statistics headed into the Homecoming matchup between these two squads three years ago, when PSU had a brand new sophomore quarterback and a heralded running back corps playing against an undefeated Maryland squad who came into Happy Valley expecting to win. All that red, and the ensuing confidence and chips on their shoulder that PSU played with en route to a spectacular rest of their season, cautioned me and made me think the game would be close, and Maryland might win. Oh, me of little faith.
What impact does that have on this year’s match? Probably not much, as the game will likely hinge on how new starter Sean Clifford fares in his first road game as the Nittany Lions’ starter, at night in front of one of the most vitriolic fan bases he’ll face in the blue and white, and on a weird night to top it all off. It’s just interesting, is all.
What say you all?