Maryland-Penn State: By The Numbers
Penn State and Maryland will meet on the field for 38th time this Saturday in Beaver Stadium, renewing a series that dates back to 1917. For the first time in the history of both programs, the teams will meet as members of the Big Ten conference after the Terrapins made the switch from the ACC this season.
Maryland enters Saturday’s contest 2-2 in the Big Ten and third in the East division, with an overall record of 5-3. The Terrapins will look to rebound after an ugly 52-7 loss to Wisconsin in Camp Randall Stadium that saw the Badgers amass 527 total yards, with 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Heisman hopeful Melvin Gordon.
Penn State hosts another conference matchup after dropping a heartbreaking 31-24 affair to No. 13 Ohio State in double-overtime, the team’s third straight loss after starting the season 4-0. The Nittany Lions are 1-3 in the Big Ten and fourth in the East, one spot behind Maryland.
The Nittany Lions are slight favorites (ranging from 2.5 to 4 points, depending on your sports book of choice) in this matchup, a welcome sign after the record-setting line last weekend that saw Penn State enter the game against Ohio State as a double-digit home underdog.
Before tuning into Saturday’s kickoff at noon, here’s a breakdown of the game by the numbers:
35-1-1: Penn State’s record against Maryland in 37 meetings. Penn State’s only loss against the Terrapins came in 1961, in a close 21-17 battle in College Park, Md. The two teams tied, 13-13, in 1989 in a neutral site matchup in Baltimore, the last tie in the history of the Nittany Lion football program.
1993: The year of the last meeting between both programs. Penn State won, 70-7, on Maryland’s home turf, with the Nittany Lions gaining 691 total yards. The 63-point loss is the second-largest defeat in Maryland history, and prompted both teams to reconsider their annual meetings before eventually deciding to put it on hold for the next 21 years.
8: The number of seasons James Franklin spent on the Maryland coaching staff. Franklin was a wide receivers coach from 2000 to 2004 under Ralph Friedgen, retained as one of two coaches on staff after head coach and former Penn State linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden was dismissed in 2000. After a brief coaching stint in the NFL with Green Bay, followed by one year at Kansas State, Franklin returned to Maryland in 2008 as an offensive coordinator and assistant head coach before accepting the head coaching position at Vanderbilt in 2011.
601: The number of yards receiving this year for Maryland’s outstanding wideout Stefon Diggs. Diggs, a five-star recruit that was considered the second-best wide receiver in the country coming out of high school in 2012, is unquestionably Maryland’s biggest star. As a freshman, Diggs played in 11 games and caught 54 passes for 848 yards and six touchdowns en route to finishing second in ACC Freshman of the Year voting. He suffered a season-ending injury midway through his sophomore season, but still had 26 catches for 520 yards and three scores.
Finally healthy this season, Diggs ranks third in the Big Ten with 5.8 receptions per game, and fifth in receiving yards per game with 75.1. An electric runner and kickoff returner, Diggs ranks fifth in the conference with 129 all-purpose yards per game. His five touchdown receptions are tied for third-best in the Big Ten.
8.1: The average number of receptions per game Penn State’s DaeSean Hamilton has this season, tops in the Big Ten. Hamilton’s 98 yards per game and 686 total yards also outpace Diggs’ season totals.
T-7th: Christian Hackenberg’s rank among active quarterbacks in career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter and overtime with four.
17.4: The average number of points Penn State has surrendered to opponents this season. The Lions’ scoring defense ranks ninth in the country, while Maryland’s 29.3 average points against ranks 84th nationally.
376: The number of rushing yards through seven games by Maryland’s starting quarterback C.J. Brown, who has also scrambled for five touchdowns. Penn State’s leading rusher, Bill Belton, has 266 yards rushing and four touchdowns this season.
3: The difference in ranking between Penn State and Maryland in terms of net punting average this season. Maryland’s 34.04 yards per punt ranks 112th in the country, just three positions higher than Penn State’s 115th-ranked 33.54 yards per punt. #B1G
35.6: The percent of the time Maryland converts its third downs, a solid indicator of team success. The Terrapins are 42-for-118, the 24th-worst mark in the country. Penn State’s defense stops opponents 35.5 percent of the time on third down, good enough for 37th in the country.
9: The number of Penn State players on the roster from the state of Maryland. (Starting safeties Marcus Allen and Adrian Amos, running backs Zach Zwinak and Mark Allen, cornerbacks Trevor Williams and Da’Quan Davis, guard Brian Gaia, tackle Donovan Smith, and tight end Brent Wilkerson.)
1-0: Penn State’s record this season against teams playing in their first year in the Big Ten. Thanks, Rutgers!