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Staff Predictions: No. 14 Penn State vs. Maryland

For the second time this season, Penn State avoided back-to-back losses, comfortably defeating Indiana 45-14 on the road last week. As a result, the Nittany Lions moved up in the College Football Playoff rankings – albeit by just one spot to No. 14.

On the backs of strong performances from both the offense and the defense, James Franklin’s squad reasserted itself as a force to be reckoned with. As the push for a New Year’s Six bowl berth continues, the Nittany Lions will likely have to win out against their conference-exclusive remaining schedule.

All but one of our staffers expects Penn State’s quest of winning out to remain unblemished against Maryland this weekend.

Mikey DeAngelis (7-2): Maryland 24, Penn State 21

I’m conflicted on this one, but I could see this as a sneaky trap game for the Nittany Lions. Maryland is quietly a good team this year, and I think Penn State will have more of a challenge against the Terps than it thinks it will. I think a win against Maryland would be a statement win to prove that this program doesn’t drop trap games like this.

Rico Gore (3-0): Penn State 28, Maryland 10

Maryland ain’t too bad. I did think the Terps were going to be more of a competition until Wisconsin played them last weekend. Maryland will still get some points on the board, but it’s going to be a pretty clean win for Penn State. Expect Drew Allar to play most, if not all, of the second half.

Nolan Wick (8-1): Penn State 38, Maryland 10

Penn State lives rent-free at the University of Maryland. People in College Park are obsessed with hating on Penn State, so Maryland fans treat this game as their Super Bowl. I’m a proud DMV native who lives a half hour from the school, so bragging rights with my friends who go there are up for grabs. No matter what Maryland fans think, our schools simply aren’t rivals. This is the part where I remind everyone that Penn State overwhelmingly leads the all-time series 41-3-1.

All jokes and trash-talking aside, Mike Locksley deserves significant credit for what he’s been able to do for Maryland football given the resources he has. Under Locksley, Maryland’s program is certainly on the rise and an upset isn’t outside the realm of possibility. However, the Nittany Lions should beat the Terps for the 42nd time Saturday. Penn State is trending back in the right direction after Indiana, while Maryland is trending oppositely after a blowout loss at Wisconsin. This shouldn’t be too difficult of a game for Penn State. If it plays the way it did in Bloomington last week, it should be a nice win on the day Sean Clifford surpasses Trace McSorley for the most passing yards in program history.

Brendan Wagner (2-0): Penn State 45, Maryland 14

Expect Penn State to keep rolling against Maryland here. As a rivalry game that really shouldn’t be one, Penn State will avenge its home loss from the 2020 season and stomp the Terrapins with ease.

Theo Koch (1-0): Penn State 34, Maryland 17

Following a complete performance last week, I think Penn State will have no problem taking care of business at home this weekend. The offense has been in rhythm and diverse. The defense showed its capability to pressure the quarterback and force turnovers. I think we will see more of the same this weekend and win in a pretty dominant performance. I don’t think Maryland appears to be very threatening in the matchup, but if Penn State doesn’t show up, this is a game that definitely could be lost.

Matt Brown (8-1): Penn State 31, Maryland 24

With only three games remaining in the regular season, No. 14 Penn State still has many things to play for – including a chance at the Rose Bowl. To do that, it must take care of business against Maryland.

The outstanding play from Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton has been a shining light on this season, and I expect them to both play well again this Saturday. Sean Clifford will also break the school record for passing yards this weekend, and I think he is due for a big game. It will be close, but the Nittany Lions will walk away with the win.

Aidan Conrad (3-2): Penn State 34, Maryland 20

Penn State will continue its second-half climb to a New Year’s Six bowl with a win over Maryland. I expect to see action from a bunch of different guys contributing to the win.

Sam Fremin (8-1): Penn State 37, Maryland 13

I don’t think Maryland has shown anything this year that leads me to believe it stands a chance against Penn State. Especially after avoiding back-to-back losses for the second consecutive time this season, the Nittany Lions have dispelled my concerns.

Frankie Marzano (7-2): Penn State 48, Maryland 13

I’d expect the Nittany Lions to absolutely demolish the Terps on Saturday. Everybody wrote Penn State off after the loss to Ohio State, and I think the Nittany Lions will continue to prove people wrong and run up the score on a very inferior Maryland football program. Everybody in that locker room knows they still have something to play for, and they’ll surely play like it on Saturday.

Ryan Parsons (6-3): Penn State 34, Maryland 21

Maryland deserves more credit than it’s getting, but Penn State should still be able to take care of this one. It seems like the Nittany Lions have learned their lesson about losing trap games. It’s still Maryland, right? Also, I’m calling for a Chop Robinson revenge game.

Gabe Angieri (9-0): Penn State 34, Maryland 14

I think Penn State will take care of business with ease on Saturday. Expect another dominant rushing performance and a lot of Drew Allar in the fourth quarter, folks.

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Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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