Taulia Tagovailoa was held to his lowest output of the season in Maryland’s loss to Wisconsin last week, but can they rebound against their Big Ten Rivals from Happy Valley?
Maryland Terrapins vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 03:30 PM EST at Beaver Stadium
Seventy-seven yards. That’s all Taulia Tagovailoa could muster last week against Wisconsin in the wind and rain while the Terps’ rushing attack did marginally better, gaining 112 yards with Roman Hemby leading the way with 66 yards.
It was a tough game on both sides of the ball for Maryland as the defense was steamrolled by Wisconsin’s relentless ground-and-pound attack, chewing up 278 yards of real estate. However, like Tagovailoa, Wisconsin’s quarterback, Graham Mertz, was vexed by the elements as well, tossing an identical 77 yards on 5-of-18 passing.
But Mertz was sacked three times versus five times for Tagovailoa and, like his Maryland counterpart, acted more as a game manager than a game-changer primarily due to the inclement weather.
"It didn't seem as though they were as affected by the elements as we were," Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. "That starts with me as the head coach."
Lions Maul Hoosiers
Penn State has had its fair share of powerhouse opponents this season, first with a trip to the Big House where they fell, 41-17, to Michigan followed by a house party against Ohio State where they withered down the stretch in a 44-31 loss in front of the fan friendlies.
A disappointing loss to arguably the best team in the nation can have debilitating effects on a group of kids, especially one that held a five-point lead with roughly nine minutes remaining before they were worn down and unable to fully answer the Buckeyes' four touchdowns after that. However, Penn State was able to dust themselves off and keep their eye on the prize, a date with the Hoosiers in Indiana.
There was no letdown or lack of effort as the Nittany Lions exchanged touchdowns with the Hoosiers in the opening quarter before scoring six consecutive times until Indiana finally answered with a meaningless touchdown with six minutes left. Penn State would go on to notch an impressive 45-14 road victory and easily covered the number as 14-point road chalk.
The dynamic duo of freshmen tailbacks, Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, combined for 159 rushing yards with the former breaking the plane of the end zone three times while the latter scored once.
"We take pride when we see our running backs making big plays and we feel in our unit that we kind of drive this offense," tight end Theo Johnson said after catching a touchdown pass. "So, when we see our running backs doing good things, we feel really good."
Senior quarterback, Sean Clifford, was 15-of-23 for 229 yards and a pick while highly-touted freshman quarterback, Drew Allar, got his turn to take the offense for a spin in garbage time and made the most of it in connecting on 9-of-12 passing while throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the process.
- Over is 6-1 in the Terrapins’ last 7 games following an ATS loss.
- Over is 5-1 in the Terrapins’ last 6 games following a straight-up loss.
- Over is 5-0 in the Nittany Lions' last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 5-1 in the Nittany Lions’ last 6 games following an ATS win.
- Over is 4-0 in the Nittany Lions’ last 4 conference games.
Pick and Prediction
Statistically, these teams are fairly close with Maryland’s offense averaging 31.4 points per game (47th) while Penn State is scoring 34.4 PPG (32nd). On the flip side of the ball, the Lions own a slight edge there as well, surrendering 21.1 PPG (26th) while the Terps allow an average of 24 PPG (48th).
Penn State is also coming off an impressive win, while Maryland mustered only a touchdown and a field goal in their 21-10 loss to Wisconsin. And if we get right down to it, Penn State is a storied name in college football while Maryland is not. And these are the reasons why the top-rated sportsbooks are dealing such an inflated line in this one.
Consider that last week the weather wreaked havoc with the Terps’ passing game, but that won’t be the case this week as it is expected to be rain-free with a light breeze in Happy Valley.
This will be a game of quarterbacks trading touchdowns and, as a result, there should be plenty of scoring in this one. But if the oddsmakers want to give 10 ½ points to the visitors, I say that sounds about four points too high. Grab the road hound here.
Score Prediction: Penn State 34 - Maryland 30
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.