Penn State Preview: Maryland

Penn State has completely dominated the series against Maryland (41-3-1) and won 31-14 last season at College Park (pictured). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium, and alumni and fans not attending can catch the game on FOX. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: 3:30 p.m. kickoff, vs. Maryland, broadcast on FOX.

Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State boasts an all-time record of 308-80.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 49; breezy and cooler with intervals of clouds and sunshine.

The line: Penn State -12.

All-time series: Penn State leads 41-3-1.

Last week: Penn State rolled Indiana 45-14, while Maryland stumbled at Wisconsin, 23-10.

Last meeting (2021): The Nittany Lions brushed aside the Terps 31-14 at College Park, with Sean Clifford throwing three touchdowns — all to Jahan Dotson, who scored four times early this season for the NFL’s Washington Commanders before an injury sidelined him. Current safety and team captain, safety Ji’Ayir Brown, iced the win with an 87-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

The lead: Saturday’s game features the third- and fourth-ranked scoring offenses in the Big Ten, with Penn State (34.4) and Maryland (31.4) both averaging 30-plus per game. The two squads are also ranked together for scoring defense: Penn State (21.1), Maryland (24).

So, what will give?

At 6-3, Maryland is having a successful season by its standards, though the Terps lost to Michigan and have yet to face Ohio State, so Maryland has largely feasted on mid- and lower-tiered teams. Penn State defensive tackle Chop Robinson faces his former team, transferring to University Park from College Park, home to Maryland. The Terps beat Indiana and Northwestern by a combined 12 points. That’s respectable, I guess, though that type of effort won’t get them a win Saturday.

Penn State’s the better team, so from any angle, with much more to play for this season. If the Nittany Lions stay focused and don’t play down to their competition — and play up to their standards — they should continue their march to a 10-win season.

Big Ten schedule:

Indiana at Ohio State, noon (FOX)

Rutgers at Michigan State, noon (BTN)

Purdue at Illinois, noon (ESPN2)

Wisconsin at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

Nebraska at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Maryland at Penn State, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

Northwestern at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (BTN)

Academic excellence: Per Penn State football’s game notes: A total of 552 Penn State student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since the team began competing in the conference in 1993. Each honoree totaled at grade point average of at least 3.0 while being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit: Penn State tied a program record last week with 16 tackles for loss.

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