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Top Five Maryland Terps VS Penn State Football Games

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5.) 1982 – Penn State – 39 Maryland- 31

1982 featured Bobby Ross’ (who finished with a losing record at Citadel) first year at the helm for the Maryland Terrapins after Hall of Fame coach Jerry Claiborne decided to bail (like Bear Bryant long before him) for Kentucky, his alma mater. Ross went to work with a promising sophomore quarterback by the name of Norman Julius “Boomer” Esiason at his disposal, whose 1,560 yards of total offense the year prior made him a hot commodity. But no one had much of an idea of what to expect from Ross, and Maryland had come off a rough 4-8 season.

On the other hand, Penn State entered the season ranked 8th in the AP polls, fresh off a Fiesta Bowl drubbing of Southern California the year prior. Paterno and Co. brought back three future first round NFL draft picks at quarterback (Todd Blackledge), running back (Curt Warner), and wide receiver (Kenny Jackson) for what would become one of the best offenses in college football history. Penn State wanted blood, and going into the game Maryland was expected to roll over at Beaver Stadium yet again (at the time, the All-Time series was 1-25 in favor of the Lions).

Not so, as the Terps high octane offense gave the Nittany Lions a run for their money the entire game and nearly derailed the eventual national champion 11-1 Nittany Lions. Per SI.com:

"Esiason & Co. opened 1982 with 31 points in a losing cause against the mighty Penn State defense. They averaged 31 points through the season and raised home attendance from 31,100 to 39,325 fans per game. After having gone 4-6-1 in ’81, the Terps fell only 16 points shy of 12-0: nine at Penn State, two at West Virginia, three against Clemson and two against Washington in the Aloha Bowl. Esiason wound up hitting 56.4% of his passes for 2,553 yards and 20 touchdowns."