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Know Your Foe: Penn State vs. Maryland Terrapins

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Surely Penn State will find its footing against the Twerps, right?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Maryland Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

University of Maryland

Location: College Park, Maryland

Enrollment: 40,521 (2017)

Maryland Football Facts:

Home Stadium: Maryland Stadium

Head Coach: Mike Locksley, second year. (5-15 at Maryland, 7-41 (!!!!!) overall)

Conference: Big Ten

Conference Titles: 11 (Nine in ACC, two in Southern Conference)

Bowl Record: 11-14-2

Series History

Penn State holds a hilarious 40-2-1 advantage in the series here. Maryland’s last win came in the Handshakegate game. Since that dark day, the Nittany Lions are 5-0 against the Terps with an average margin of victory of 37 points per game.

Last Season (3-9, 1-8)

If you can think way, way back to September of last year, it briefly looked like Maryland might actually be pretty good last season under Locksley! The Terps hung 79 points in a shutout win over Howard before absolutely demolishing No. 20 Syracuse, 63-20. Little did we know that Syracuse was terrible and so was, as it turns out, Maryland.

The Terrapins won just one of their last 10 games of their season and that came over lowly Rutgers. It their four games against ranked Big Ten foes, Maryland lost by a jaw-dropping 161 combined points. Did injuries help? Of course not. The Terps played what seems like 72 different quarterbacks. But the reality was that Maryland lacked the quality or depth necessary on the offensive and defensive lines to be competitive in the Big Ten.

What they did last week: 45-44 (OT) win against Indiana

Talk about a barn burner. Maryland raced out to a huge lead against the banged up Gophers before giving it all away and rallying for a narrow victory when Minnesota missed an extra point in the opening overtime period.

Offense

The Terps offense looked god awful against Northwestern in week one, scoring just three points in a blowout loss. In week two, however, Maryland lit up the Golden Gophers. Which showing is more indicative of true talent? It’s hard to say at this point.

Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa followed Locksley from Alabama Maryland and had an absolutely dreadful showing in week one with three picks. He rebounded with a solid performance in week two including a pair of touchdowns. He is, however, still prone to turnovers and had just three touchdowns to four interceptions on the year to go along with 244 yards per game.

The running game is led by redshirt senior Jake Funk. Funk is 128 yards per game, but 221 of those came last week. Compared to previous starter Anthony McFarland Jr., Funk isn’t exactly terrifying. He’s a downhill runner with a little bit of burst but most of his yards are gained by getting downhill in a hurry and being tough to tackle.

Jeshaun Jones continues to be a threat at wideout, having caught eight balls for 140 yards and a score, but its Dontay Demus Jr. who leads the way with 11 catches for 142 to a score. True freshman Rakim Jarrett, a five-star who PSU had targeted, has seven grabs for 69 yards. Obligatory “nice.”

Defense

The Maryland defense is notsogreat. While it’s been put in some bad sports, the Terrapins are conceding 43.5 points per game. The perfect recipe for the Penn State offense to get going.

Opponents have rushed for 606 yards through two games. Six. Hundred. And. Six. Lawd.

Linebacker Chance Campbell has a team high 28 tackles, with 15 of those being solo efforts. But the Terps defense just doesn’t force turnovers (glares at Sean Clifford). So far, Maryland has not recorded an interception or a fumble recovery. Let’s keep it that way.

Special Teams

Kicker Joseph Petrino is 2 of 3 on the year with a long of 51 and the lone miss coming outside of 50 yards.

So far. Colton Spangler and Anthony Pecorrella have split punting duties, combing for six punts that average 38.67 yards per punt. Pecorrella’s 47-yarder is the long on the year for Maryland.

Petrino also handles kickoffs and has yet to record a touchback.