Looking ahead to Maryland’s matchup with Penn State on Saturday may not be pretty, but it must be done.
Senior day has arrived, and all chances of Maryland clinching a bowl bid are gone. This simply means that 19 players know this will be the last game of their college career.
Hopefully, DJ Durkin and his staff have what it takes to keep this team invested, as Penn State is a yearly matchup that is so much more than a football game.
Beating Penn State wouldn’t only give Maryland a win over a top-10 team, but it would help put on the recruiting trail. James Franklin and his staff continue to pull talent from the DMV, but beating them would go a long way towards reversing that.
Here are the keys that will help Maryland stop the tenth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions:
Keep Penn State’s offense off the field.
Penn State comes in sporting one of the best offensive attacks in the entire nation. Led by Quarterback Trace McSorley and Running Back Saquon Barkley, this potent attack has the ability to score at will.
If Maryland can make some stops early, and force turnovers, this attack won’t be able to make plays. Not allowing Penn State to control the tempo of the game and slowing down their stars will bode well for the Terrapins
Run, Maryland, Run!
Another way to keep Penn State off the field is running the ball. Maryland’s best games of the season are those that feature Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison getting good touches. As the Terrapins suffered against Michigan State, Walt Bell kept airing the ball out with Bortenschlager, which simply is not Maryland’s strength.
Giving the ball to Harrison and Johnson early and often will open up the secondary for Maryland to pass. Abandoning the best part of your offense just to try and play catch-up is not a way to play the game.
Play for pride
Obviously you don’t want a game built on emotion, but Maryland needs to make this game for themselves. With no postseason coming, the only thing that could help Maryland fans proud of the season would be an upset of Penn State at home.
Many players know each other and have played against each other in high school competitions in the Maryland area, so personal rivalries will be tested.
The chances of Maryland pulling out this victory are slim, but if they can put everything they have into finishing the season strong, there will be no shame felt this offseason.