Three storylines to follow for Maryland Terrapins at Penn State Nittany Lions
The Penn State Nittany Lions survived a major scare against the Indiana Hoosiers with a 33-24 win. The win moves the Nittany Lions to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Big 10. Next is a road trip to College Park, Maryland, to take on the Maryland Terrapins (5-3, 2-3). Maryland has lost three straight games, all coming in conference play. What must the Nittany Lions do to ensure Maryland loses their fourth straight?
Is Penn State going to get more from Drew Allar?
Saturday was a day of firsts for Drew Allar, both good and bad. The bad was his first career interception. It also came at a bad time, leading to the Hoosiers tying the game in the fourth quarter. The good was his first game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter of a game. Allar responded to the interception by completing two straight passes. First, he hit Kaytron Allen for 11 yards, then he found KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a 57-yard touchdown that would eventually win the game.
The pass was phenomenal and showed what we expected to see from Allar all season. This is his first year starting, and perhaps now he is comfortable with the speed of the game and the offense he is running. Getting that first interception out of the way may be good because it will allow him to play less tense and more willing to try things without fearing a mistake will come. He overcame that obstacle and will need more downfield passing stats to beat Maryland. In recent weeks, the Terrapins defense struggled with Illinois and Northwestern, so Penn State should move the ball as well.
Is the Penn State defense prone to giving up explosive plays?
The Penn State defense was still solid against Indiana on a play-by-play basis. However, they allowed touchdowns of 90, 69, and 26 yards. Some of this was expected as the unit had an all-in effort to beat Ohio State and would have a hard time getting back up for Indiana. However, this cannot become a trend because while Allar showed something late, the defense is still the defining unit for this season. They take on Taulia Tagovailoa, who is known to push the ball down the field and make game changing passing plays for the Terps. Will the Nittany Lions' defense rebound and keep a lid on things?
What is the injury status for Penn State players against Maryland?
Penn State got their starting guard JB Nelson back from his injury, although he only played half of the game. Beyond that, they were without Chop Robinson and Amin Vanover, two notable edge rushers. It limited their deep rotation of edge rushers to just Adisa Isaac, Dani Dennis-Sutton, and Zuriah Fisher. Penn State also lost wide receiver Harrison Wallace III in the game, and right tackle Caedan Wallace missed the end of the game as well. Fans will be watching to see how many of these Nittany Lions can get back on the field by Saturday.