Penn State seems to have turned a bit of a corner as a program, and is outright dominating lesser teams. Blowout wins over Auburn, Minnesota, and Indiana prove that Penn State has taken a step forward as a program, and the team is eying a nice postseason destination.
With that in mind, I expect a fairly convincing win this weekend. Like most college football games, it may take a bit for Penn State to pull away, but I’m anticipating a reasonable lead by halftime, and the backups to get another extended run in the second half.
Bonus content, Sean Clifford is just 16 yards away from setting the Penn State career passing record. Expect him to break that this game, and he’s also just 116 yards short of having a 10,000-yard career in the blue and white. Expect the passing game to keep at it until he sets those marks.
Penn State 42, Maryland 21
The Nittany Lions enter this matchup very banged up. That said, even with a banged up offensive line they turned in a strong performance last week.
Maryland appears to be battling injuries as well. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailo missed the previous two games before last week and did not look healthy against Wisconsin. If Tagovaiola is hurt, the Terps offense is in a lot of trouble.
Maryland is bad against the run. Look for Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton to cook as be the catalysts for the Nittany Lion offense. Maryland will be juiced up for this game as it’s often times their super bowl, but in the end the talent of Penn State wins out.
Penn State 35, Maryland 21
It’s been more than three years since Penn State put together back-to-back painless, easy, dominating conference wins. You have to go back to early October 2019 when the Lions beat Maryland (59-0) and followed it up with a 35-7 win against Purdue.
My hope would be Penn State’s depth allows this to happen again as both teams are battling injuries and the weather could, once again, be spotty. It’s also my hope that Penn State can continue building momentum through the season’s final month.
Clifford and Kaytron set records, while the defense is stout.
Penn State 30, Maryland 17
This is a game that could either be way too close for comfort, especially in the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium, or a laugher courtesy of the Nittany Lion defense and running game.
I want to see a laugher, but I think Penn State won’t quite be able to duplicate their success against Indiana.
Penn State 31, Maryland 17
Maryland has a pulse offensively, unlike Indiana. However, I’m not sure Taulia Tagovailoa is 100% and that could be an issue for them come Saturday. While I think the Terps could somewhat take advantage of the middle of the field in the passing attack, the PSU pass rush (especially Chop Robinson) and secondary will give them issues. Perhaps the biggest problem for Maryland though is defensively, they are susceptible to giving up a lot in the run game. I anticipate another big day for Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton on the ground while Sean Clifford gets well over the 16 yards of passing needed to become the all-time passing yards leader in PSU history. Look for some Drew Allar action in this one, as well.
Penn State 38, Maryland 20
(Originally appearing in the Game Preview)
This game is always circled on the calendar for the Terps. We know they will show up and give their absolute best effort, but you know what? So will the Nittany Lions.
The defense will feed off the energy from the home crowd, and play tenacious ball for four quarters as we’ve come to expect. Tagovailoa will be able to get a few drives going, but the defense will buckle down in the red zone. He will also be forced into mistakes at key points. The offense will be able to get enough consistent ground game and big plays in the air to maintain a lead throughout.
Maryland comes in playing chippy and makes it challenging for Penn State, but the Nittany Lions get enough big plays on both sides of the ball to go ahead for good in the second quarter.
Penn State 35, Maryland 16