2.) Penn State
Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Why this could be a loss:
35-1-1, that’s Penn State’s record against Maryland all-time. They literally don’t lose to the Terps, and now they’ve got a guy in James Franklin, someone who has looked like the ultimate motivator at every stop of his (including Maryland), readying the troops. The Nittany Lions have a stellar quarterback and are oozing talent at every position save for wide receiver, and Franklin is not about to be the first coach to lose to Maryland since Rip Engle back in ’61.
Why this could be a win:
That same 35-1-1 record is either a catalyst for ushering in a new era or an acceptance of fate, and that’s all up to Maryland. If you’re Bill Shakespeare, what’s past is prologue, but in sports this has absolutely no bearing on the future. If Maryland is the better team this year, they’ll win. If they go into the game thinking about historical losses and becoming just another Penn State victory over Maryland, then they’ll lose. But the Terps could also slowly start to chip away at that awful record historically with a good showing. They know that, and I expect Edsall to get them to respond as a result.
Penn State’s offense just lost their best receiver, and Christian Hackenberg is getting a whole lot of hype. Plus, while Franklin can clearly recruit with the best of them, there’s no way of knowing what he’s going to do on the field with Penn State. We do know that Franklin has lost four or more games in every season he’s been a head coach, and his team is going to be coming off a game against Ohio State. If The Buckeyes can beat them up sufficiently, Maryland may get a gimped product to go against.