1.) 1961 Maryland – 21 Penn State – 17
Hey, a victory! The only time the Maryland Terrapins have ever beaten Penn State in 37 attempts happened in 1961, way back during the Thomas Nugent era. Back then, playing Penn State wasn’t a guaranteed loss. A tough game, sure, but not the huge upset that it would be today. The Nittany Lions were scheduled for Homecoming weekend, and were only 4 1/2 -point favorites at 4-2 on the season.
Maryland was 4-2, but they were reeling after two straight losses to the Carolinas (first North, then South) and were slightly wary of facing the best team in the East and a top ten national team. Nugent had 19 guys on his roster who came from Pennsylvania that year, so perhaps they had some inside knowledge of the Lions. Still, back in 1961, Maryland’s guys played both offense and defense. On the other hand, Penn State was using the two-platoon system already, so they had a distinct advantage.
The game was filled with future stars. Gary Collins (All-Decade, one of the best receivers and punters ever), Joe Paterno was the Penn State backfield coach, Lee Corso was the Maryland QB coach, running back Roger Kochman (NFL Hall of Famer) to name a few. The crowd at Byrd was an amazing 39,000 for the matchup, which made for its largest gathering since Queen Elizabeth watched a Maryland – North Carolina football game back in 1957.
Long story short, Maryland QB Dick Shiner (yes, get the jokes out now) got the Terps out to a 21-6 lead, Gary Collins needed oxygen to stay in the game he was so sick, and Penn State charged back to pull within a score. Ultimately, Maryland got a crucial sack in the last minute of the game from Harry Butsko for a five-yard loss to finish off Penn State’s final chance.
Only win against Penn State, in the books.