No. 10 Penn State made easy work of Maryland in a 66-3 drubbing Saturday evening at Capital One Field in College Park.
Another big performance from Trace McSorley helped the Nittany Lions improve to 38-2-1 in the all-time series against the Terrapins.
How It Happened
Penn State won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff, but Saquon Barkley was bottled up at the 9-yard line. Calm as can be, the Nittany Lions marched down the field into Maryland territory before backup quarterback Tommy Stevens took a handoff, faked a reverse to Barkley, and scored from 21 yards out.
McSorley soon joined the fun with a 5-yard touchdown run of his own to make it 14-0 with 3:10 left in the first quarter. His 11th rushing score of the year tied him with Michael Robinson (2005) for the most by a Penn State quarterback in a single season.
Mike Gesicki hauled in back-to-back touchdowns of 2 and 9 yards to extend Penn State’s lead to 28-0 with 11:33 to go before the half. Tariq Castro-Fields’ forced fumble and Robert Windsor’s recovery set up Gesicki’s second score — a one-handed grab in the left corner of the end zone. Tyler Davis hit a 30-yard field goal to give Penn State a 31-0 lead heading into the locker room.
Barkley got on the board with 9:18 left in the third quarter, diving up and over the line of scrimmage to make it 38-0. Sophomore center Connor McGovern returned to the lineup on the drive after missing a few series due to a left knee injury.
The Nittany Lions recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, as Josh McPhearson jarred the ball loose and his younger brother, Zech, fell on it to set up another 1-yard Barkley touchdown. Stevens checked in for McSorley at quarterback and led a quick scoring drive, capped off by a 4-yard strike to tight end Tom Pancoast.
Maryland finally scored its first points of the ballgame with 1:01 left in the third, as Henry Darmstadter hit a 42-yard field goal to make it 52-3. He missed a 47-yard try early in the second quarter. Ryan Bates also made his return after missing the last three games due to injury, filling in for Chasz Wright at right tackle.
Penn State surpassed the 50-point threshold for the fourth time this season, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since 1994. Stevens scored consecutive rushing touchdowns from 3 and 6 yards, respectively, to put a bow on it. Reserve defensive end Daniel Joseph tallied 1.5 sacks for the Nittany Lions, while linebacker Brandon Smith recorded a team-leading five tackles in the victory.
Player Of The Game
Tommy Stevens | Redshirt sophomore | Quarterback
The Indianapolis native finished with 124 total yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
The Nittany Lions (10-2) await their postseason fate, with the bowl selection show scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 3 at noon on ESPN.