Despite the rainy and humid conditions, students, alums, and fans came out in droves to cheer the Nittany Lions on to a win. The official attendance count was just under 101,000 attendees.
Penn State established a lead early on with a touchdown thanks to an offensive drive down the field led by Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.). It was ultimately a pass by Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) to tight end Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.) that locked in the first score of the game.
Maryland responded a few minutes later, but that touchdown was the result of a broken play and a muddled defense.
With two minutes left in the first quarter, Penn State kicked a field goal to bring the score 10-7 heading into the second.
McSorley once again showed his abilities as a dynamic quarterback by running nine yards for a touchdown to get the second quarter rolling.
Maryland then secured their last touchdown of the game. After that, it was all about Barkley.
Barkley notched over 200 yards in one game for the first time in his career on Saturday, scoring a touchdown on a 45 yard run.
“Two hundred yards today, if that is my season high, that’s all credit to the O-line,” said Barkley. “The 200 yards is really all the O-line today. I didn’t do anything spectacular, I didn’t make any crazy plays. I was just patient and I let the O-line go to work.”
During the second half kickoff, kicker Joey Julius (Hummelstown, Pa.) was once again targeted by the other team and was decked in the middle of the field. That Maryland player was immediately ejected and Julius got up, unharmed. The student section could be heard rallying around Julius, chanting, “Joey, Joey, Joey!” Maryland should never mess with Penn State Football, but especially it should never mess with the Penn State Football student section.
One of the best plays of the day was a pass from McSorley to DeAndre Thompkins (Hubert, N.C.) for 70 yards which resulted in a touchdown. Thompkins patiently waited for the pass to come to him, then took off running with no defense in sight.
“Our offensive line is maturing and growing up,” said Head Coach James Franklin.
The final touchdown of the day belongs to Miles Sanders (Pittsburgh, Pa.), a true freshman who has been working tirelessly to make a name for himself since the start of the season. Sanders ran for 25 yards after finding a hole in the Terps’ defense to the roars of the stadium cheering him on.
Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens (Indianapolis, Ind.) threw some of his first passes this season in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. He looked strong as both a passer and runner, nearly scoring a touchdown that was retracted due to a Nittany Lion penalty. The Lions then took a knee on the next play, signaling the end of an epic game for the Penn State Football program.
In other amazing news, Penn State has recently been ranked No. 18 by the S&P Rankings. AP Rankings are slated to come out Monday – they were delayed due to Hurricane Matthew’s impact on college football.