FACTS & STATS: Site: Beaver Stadium (106,572) — University Park,
Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Maryland 2-2, PSU 2-2. Away
Record: Maryland 3-1, PSU 1-1. Neutral Record: Maryland 0-0, PSU 1-0.
Conference Record: Maryland 2-2, PSU 1-3. Series Record: Penn State leads,
GAME NOTES: The Maryland Terrapins will try to become bowl eligible on the
road this weekend when they visit Beaver Stadium to take on new Big Ten
Conference East Division rival Penn State.
Maryland has alternated wins and losses over its last four games. The
Terrapins are looking to rebound from last Saturday’s 52-7 blowout loss at
Wisconsin, in what was easily their worst showing of the season. Needing one
more victory to become eligible for the postseason, Maryland will wrap up its
schedule with home games against Michigan State and Rutgers sandwiched around
a trip to Michigan.
Penn State took 13th-ranked Ohio State to double-overtime last week, only to
come up short in a 31-24 final. After jumping out to a 4-0 start to the
season, the Nittany Lions have dropped three in a row, all in conference.
Still, they can qualify for the postseason by winning two of their final five
This marks the Terps’ first trip to Beaver Stadium in 22 years. Penn State has
dominated the all-time series, 35-1-1.
Maryland staved off the shutout against Wisconsin thanks to a last-minute
touchdown with the game long since decided. In fact, the Terrapins’ 175 yards
of total offense were 227 fewer than their season’s average. They ran for a
mere 46 yards on 28 carries as a team (1.6 ypc), while quarterback C.J. Brown
completed only 13-of-29 passes for 129 yards amidst steady pressure.
Brown has thrown for 1,316 yards and run for another 376 this season, as he
ranks seventh in the Big Ten in total offense (211.5 ypg). He has thrown for
eight TDs, run for five, and been intercepted six times. Wideout Stefon Diggs
has at least one receiving TD in four straight games, the longest streak for a
Terps receiver since Jermaine Lewis in 1994.
Defensively, Maryland has racked up a league-best 13 sacks in Big Ten play.
Sean Davis leads the team and ranks third in the conference with 9.4 tackles
per game, while fellow defensive back William Likely has 51 stops and a
league-best four interceptions, two of which he returned for scores.
However, the unit had little to celebrate last week as Wisconsin gashed them
for 311 yards (6.3 ypc) and five TDs on the ground. Badgers quarterbacks also
combined to complete 15-of-23 passes for 216 yards and two scores.
PSU’s Christian Hackenberg completed 31-of-49 passes for 224 yards and a
touchdown against Ohio State, marking the sophomore QB’s 14th 200-yard passing
game. He already ranks in the top-10 on the school’s career list for
completions (sixth) and passing yardage (eighth).
Against the Buckeyes, Hackenberg looked early and often to redshirt freshman
wideout DaeSean Hamilton, who broke the school’s single-game receptions record
with 14 catches for 126 yards. However, the Nittany Lions ran for only 16
yards in the game and now senior Zach Zwinak, who ran for a hair under 2,000
yards over the previous two seasons, is out for the rest of the year with an
PSU linebacker Mike Hull recorded a career-best 19 tackles (2.5 TFL) to go
along with an interception in that tough loss to nationally-ranked Ohio State.
It marked Hull’s fifth game this season with 10 or more tackles, as he was one
of five Nittany Lions to set a career-high in tackles in the game. Sophomore
linebacker Brandon Bell had 13 stops, including a sack, while freshman safety
Marcus Allen had 11 tackles and two pass breakups in his first career start.
Anthony Zettel had a sack and an interception, which he returned 40 yards for
On the season, Penn State ranks third nationally in run defense (83.4 ypg),
seventh in total defense (284.7 ypg), and ninth in scoring defense (17.4 ppg).
If the Nittany Lions hope to turn their season around and make some postseason
noise, they really need to win this one at home and put an end to their slide.
After hanging around with No. 13 Ohio State last week, confidence should be
high despite dropping their third straight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn State 24, Maryland 13