The Nittany Lions will have another golden opportunity to slay an undefeated conference opponent this Saturday when the Maryland Terrapins and their 4-0 record come to town. The atmosphere is going to be bonkers, and the team has serious momentum after a victory against a tough Minnesota squad.
State may be ranked low in overall offense in Division 1, but they had sizable amounts of it on display last Saturday. A key to this game will be stud running back Saquan Barkley getting on track much earlier than he did against the Golden Gophers.
The task of moving the ball on the ground won’t be easy for Barkley and Penn State, as Maryland comes into the game with the 31st overall ranked defense against the rush, allowing under 120 yards per game.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that Penn State can work a consistent game plan and utilize the strong-arm of quarterback Trace McSorley. The sophomore tossed an 80-yard TD last Saturday that got the Nittany Lions back into the game after they had fallen behind and were on the verge of being blown out.
McSorley has thrown for one touchdown in each of his last four games after a two touchdown performance opening weekend in a win against Kent State. PSU has been unable to win consecutive games thus far, and a win against Maryland would make them even more confident heading into a huge showdown two Saturdays from this one against Ohio State in Happy Valley.
Maryland comes in to the affair averaging a staggering 300 yards per game on the ground, but the numbers have been generated against opponents such as Howard and Florida International. If State can stymie the run, it could slow down the Terrapins quickly. Penn State is currently a two point favorite in Las Vegas casinos.