The Penn State Nittany Lions are in desperate need of a win. Ordinarily, a home game against the Maryland Terrapins may be just what the doctor ordered to cure the ills of the Nittany Lions, but Taulia Tagovailoa and Maryland are feeling good after a big win last weekend against Minnesota. Can the Terrapins keep it rolling this week and pull an even bigger stunner in Happy Valley? Or will Penn State manage to finally get things on track and get their first win of the season?
Penn State has held a decisive upper hand in the series with Maryland, both historically and in recent encounters. Penn State has outscored the Terrapins 232-50 in their last five meetings. That makes for a lot of ground for Maryland to make up beginning this week.
Maryland at Penn State
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: Big Ten Network
Spread: Penn State -24.5
When Maryland Has the Ball
Tagovailoa certainly made a name for himself as he attempts to break out of his brother Tua's shadow. The Maryland quarterback passed for 294 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more in a thrilling victory over Minnesota. His performance earned him co-Big Ten offensive player o the week honors and shows Penn State will have their hands full with a dangerous quarterback this week. Penn State may also have to clamp down on Jake Funk, who rushed for 216 yards and a touchdown last week against the Gophers. Penn State's defense had a tough time getting off the field last week against Ohio State. This is a trend Maryland will hope continues this week.
When Penn State Has the Ball
Penn State played a much better game against Ohio State in the second half last week, which is when Jahan Dotson dazzled with some highlight catches. Dotson's emergence as a go-to receiver is good news for Penn State, but the Nittany Lions need a better start with the football. Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca may still be getting a feel for the offense, which has been hurt with running back depth. The good news is Maryland's defense is ripe for the picking for an offense ready for a bust-out performance.
This should be the game that sees Penn State pull together and play a good game in multiple areas for four quarters. Penn State's offense will still have some early hiccups that allow Maryland to hang around, but the second half will see everything fall into place for Penn State en route to their first win of the season.
Prediction: Penn State 45, Maryland 20
Podcast: Week 10 Preview and Predictions