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Staff Predictions: No. 12 Penn State vs. Maryland

No. 12 Penn State football will wrap up the regular season with a contest against Maryland at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions have rattled off two straight victories after a tough loss to Michigan at the Big House. Our staff is confident that James Franklin’s program can keep the good times rolling for Senior Day.

Brian Bachman (6-3): Penn State 33, Maryland 17

All of this hypothetical New Year’s Six talk is meaningless if Penn State can’t take care of business against a pesky Maryland team. The Terps gave Ohio State a real scare last week and beat Texas earlier in the year, making them a group very capable of shocking the Nittany Lions — especially if they show up as flat as they did last weekend. I think we’ll see an improved Trace McSorley on his Senior Day — he should wrap up his Beaver Stadium career with his 31st win as starting quarterback.

Andy Mollenauer (2-2): Penn State 27, Maryland 17

Maryland will come into Beaver Stadium facing a ranked Penn State team that won by 63 in College Park last year. A surprisingly close game against Rutgers should be cause for concern for Penn State, but the Nittany Lions still have an undisputed edge in their regular season finale.

Anthony Fiset (6-3): Penn State 28, Maryland 24

Saturday is going to be a cold, rainy mess — perfect conditions for Big Ten football. Maryland’s offense was red hot last week against Ohio State, and the Terrapins proved they were hungry for an upset. They came just a two-point conversion away from upsetting the Buckeyes in overtime; regardless, the Terps scored at will in a 52-51 loss more befitting of the Big 12. They will certainly be a worthy opponent for Trace McSorley’s grand finale at Beaver Stadium, but I think the senior will carry the team on his back to get the win on senior day no matter how ugly this game gets. McSorley and Miles Sanders will ground and pound their way through Maryland to a third straight New Year’s Six Bowl.

Mikey Mandarino (8-3): Penn State 10, Maryland 7

The terrible forecast in Happy Valley makes me believe there won’t be much offense in Saturday’s game. The Nittany Lions’ offense looked like a shell of itself at Rutgers, at least compared to the high-flying units fans were captivated by the last two seasons. Maryland scored ad nauseam against Ohio State last weekend, but in much more favorable weather conditions. Part of me thinks the Terps can knock Penn State out of New Year’s Six contention with an upset, but I think the Nittany Lion defense will do enough to send the seniors off with a victory.

Derek Bannister (8-3): Penn State 30, Maryland 20

I have completely lost faith in Penn State to score anything over 35 points, which is weird considering the Nittany Lions throttled the Terps 66-3 just last season. The defense has shown an ability to keep opponents from scoring very much, and Maryland’s offense — despite the showing against Ohio State — really hasn’t been very good. I think that Trace McSorley will have a great game in his final Beaver Stadium appearance, leading the Nittany Lions to yet another New Year’s Six bowl with a comfortable-enough win over Matt Canada’s team.

Elissa Hill (9-2): Penn State 24, Maryland 21

Last week notwithstanding, Maryland has had a tough season. Even so, the Terrapins will come into town with bowl eligibility on the line and a reputation to avenge after last season’s blow out. Let’s go with the same line I always use: This one is going to be too close for comfort. Luckily for Penn State fans, Trace McSorley’s got too much moxie to leave Happy Valley on a low note. Let’s give him the farewell he deserves.

Ethan Kasales (8-3): Penn State 27, Maryland 20

Penn State’s defense has been playing exceptionally well of late, and I expect Brent Pry’s bunch to continue its strong play against the Terrapins. Limiting Maryland running back Anthony McFarland will be priority No. 1, but I think the improvement of Penn State’s defensive tackles should be enough to earn a close win.

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