“Let the rivalry begin,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said after his Terrapins went into Beaver Stadium and left with an ugly 20-19 win over the Nittany Lions. His team survived and secured postseason eligibility, while James Franklin’s Penn State team suffered its fourth straight loss and took a hit to its own bowl hopes.
Maryland was just the latest opponent to take advantage of a vulnerable Nittany Lions team enduring arguably its most trying season, in terms of scholarship players, since the NCAA handed down crippling sanctions in 2012. The lack of numbers has exposed deficiencies along the offensive line and on special teams, two areas that have constantly dogged Penn State.
Franklin’s Nittany Lions blew a 16-7 fourth-quarter lead against Maryland and turned the ball over twice in their final five possessions. Penn State had four turnovers in all that led to 14 Terrapins points while struggling offensively to the tune of just 42 rushing yards on 41 carries and 219 total yards of offense.
Maryland secured a win on a 43-yard field goal by Brad Craddock with 51 seconds remaining. Edsall was quick to acknowledge the rivalry narrative that fueled his “emotional” teams all week and played a part in a phantom handshake to begin the game. Maryland was anxious to prove it was more than just a “little brother” to its northern rival.
Even though these two programs had put their head-to-head series on hold in 1993, they never stopped competing. Penn State is a regular presence on the Maryland recruiting trail and wins more often than it loses when going head to head with the Terps. Does that dynamic begin to change with a Maryland win? Edsall seems to believe so.
Ross Tucker, Andrew P. Shay and Dustin Hockensmith talked about the PSU-Maryland fallout and any potential recruiting impact on the Keystone Sports Network this week. Shay and Tucker kick off the show with a brief look at the high school football playoff picture across the state.