Article Written by Mac Young
Originally Published on November 3, 2023
I hope James Franklin and the Penn State coaching staff can hear Admiral Ackbar because this trip to Maryland has the potential to be much different from years past.
The Nittany Lions have owned College Park throughout the series' history. The last and only time Maryland has defeated Penn State as the home team was in 1961.
In recent years, fans have referred to Maryland as “Penn State south” with fans draped in white taking over the SECU stands.
However, the Terrapins are in what my good friend likes to refer to as “wounded animal mode”. In other words, the Terps are desperate.
After an inspiring 5-0 start to the season, Maryland has dropped three in a row. They have lost the last two each by one possession and a combined nine points.
Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (yes Tua’s younger brother) is having a strong season with 2,200 yards passing and 19 passing touchdowns compared to 6 interceptions.
That is nearly 600 more yards than Penn State quarterback Drew Allar and three more touchdowns.
The Terps can throw it and would love more than anything to turn their season around with a program-defining win against Penn State. And it’s very possible.
The Nittany Lions followed their pitiful performance at Ohio State with a head-turning home game with Indiana.
Penn State was favored by 30-plus points but instead had to find a winner in the guts of the game taking it by a score of 33-24.
The Nittany Lions conceded passing touchdowns of 90 and 69 yards in the first half. Allar also threw his first collegiate interception leading to Indiana’s game-tying field goal.
Luckily for Penn State, that moment flipped the script and the Nittany Lions looked like a competitive football team in the final two minutes.
Allar finally hit a deep shot connecting with KeAndre Lambert-Smith for the game-winning 57-yard touchdown. The defense created pressure too by forcing a safety that sealed the game.
It was a nice collective two minutes of quality football for Penn State, but the other 58 quite frankly looked like a team that could lose to Maryland.
Maybe that late interception changed things for Drew Allar. Maybe he’ll start to be more loose in zipping the ball around like he did on that deep ball to beat Indiana.
We’ll see tomorrow at 3:30 if the Nittany Lions have finally awakened.
Mac Young is a senior broadcast journalism major at Penn State.
To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.