The Nittany Lions were 10.5-point favorites coming into this game. On paper, the Maryland Terrapins should have given Penn State a lot of trouble with their dynamic passing game and a resurgent running attack that is averaging 4.4 yards per carry this season, including the game against the Nittany Lions.
Reality, of course, was vastly different than expectation. Penn State made Taulia Tagovailoa uncomfortable early, and took advantage of short fields to methodically open up a 21-0 lead on the Terps that would hold for the remainder of the game. Weather of course was a factor, but so was Penn State’s patchwork offensive line, which helped Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen shorten the game. The pair combined for nearly 200 yards of offense and two three touchdowns, with Singleton eclipsing the 100-yard mark yet again.
Drew Allar saw time once again, but unlike other outings, this one didn’t fare too favorably for the freshman, as he only went 3 of 6 for 18 yards, as weather affected both teams’ quarterbacks.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Sean Clifford notches yet another Penn State record, as he eclipsed 10,000 yards in this game to go ahead of Trace McSorely for the passing record. Hopefully the record is short lived, and Allar ends up breaking it in his time with the Lions, but for now, Clifford is the touchdowns and passing yards leader at Penn State.
The Nittany Lions now move to 8-2 on the year, and are two games away from putting themselves in great position to get a New Year’s Six bid for the fourth time in James Franklin’s career at Penn State. After winning 11 games in the past two seasons, potentially winning 11 in one feels great.
Stats and Storylines
7 - Number of sacks by the Penn State defense. When Manny Diaz was hired as defensive coordinator, this is the kind of output we expected from the defense. Slowly but surely, the Nittany Lions have started to get proficient at the kind of defense Diaz wants to run.
31 - How many Penn State players had at least one tackle in the game. Some of those came on special teams, of course, but that’s a pretty good number!
27 - The number of points the Nittany Lions had at halftime. It’s also the number of yards the Lions held the Terps to through two quarters.