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Gameday Observations: Maryland

Well, that certainly didn’t go as planned.

A team in desperate need of its first win, unranked Penn State football got smacked around by Maryland in an utterly embarrassing 35-19 loss at Beaver Stadium.

Entering the matchup, the Terrapins hadn’t scored a touchdown against the Nittany Lions in nearly 1,500 days. But by the time the fourth quarter expired, Maryland had hung five scores on Penn State’s unusually amateur defense.

Regardless of the heartbreak, it wasn’t all that bad. Here are a few amusing things we noticed from the couch, computer, and (virtual) tailgate lots.

Confusing Crowd Noise

I’m all for Penn State Athletics recreating the “Beaver Stadium atmosphere” for the thousands of fans watching from home. But there’s a time and place for Nittany Lions crowd noise, and down four scores certainly isn’t it.

In fact, Beaver Stadium seemed to be artificially rocking at nearly every inappropriate instance. Off the top of my head, I recall applause after a Maryland scoop-and-score, a few costly Penn State penalties, and even a random timeout.

“There’s no way the crowd would be full-volume cheering at a simple pass interference call when Penn State is down 35-7,” recalled Onward State visual editor Michael Tauriello, who spent the afternoon in Beaver Stadium’s north end zone.

Artificial crowd noise is probably better than nothing, but you need to wonder if smashing that “applause” button whenever anything happens is always the right call.

Military Appreciation Game Returns

Although fans weren’t there to see it, Penn State honored current servicemembers, veterans, and their families with its annual Military Appreciation Game celebration.

Wide receiver Daniel George led the team out of the locker room with an American flag. In a touching tribute, he quickly ran to the sidelines and brought it over to his mother, who is an Army veteran.

Throughout the week, Penn State had celebrated those who’d served through a number of events, including a downtown scavenger hunt, official ceremony, and “Ask A Vet” panel.

Penn State Fans Go Through The Motions

As the Nittany Lions descended into what became a soul-crushing loss, Penn State fans quite literally went through the Küvker-Ross model’s five stages of grief and loss.

Here, just a little while before the game began, fans expressed their lack of faith in quarterback Sean Clifford. Quite literally, they denied having confidence in QB1.

Later, fans became angry after Maryland scored its first touchdown to go up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Once fans got that out of their system, they quickly moved to bargaining. Some even offered to head to the sidelines and relieve James Franklin of his coaching duties.

Of course, they moved on to depression very fast once Penn State found itself in a four-touchdown hole.

Finally, once the dust settled, some fans accepted Penn State had hit its relative rock bottom after years of generally consistent success.

For what it’s worth, Penn State did something no Nittany Lions team had done since 2001…start the season 0-3.

Maryland’s Social Team Goes Hard

Following the Terrapins’ shellacking of Penn State, Maryland’s social team took to Twitter to really rub it in. And man, those folks did an incredible job.

Right off the bat, this quick photoshop was both topical and diabolical. Featuring legendary CNN anchor and big board enthusiast John King, this graphic forecast Pennsylvania to be taken by…Maryland. How many electoral votes does a grade-A ass-whooping grant?

Maryland also took the opportunity to rename State College “Sad Valley” — a perfectly apt title. “You Were, We Are” also hit a little too close to home.

James Franklin would probably approve of this burn, too.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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