Penn State vs. Maryland Prediction Roundtable


After losing three straight games, the Penn State Nittany Lions look to get back into the win column this weekend. The Maryland Terrapins, the newest member of the Big Ten will come into Beaver Stadium on Saturday with the hope of sending the home crowd upset.

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This is the first game out of the last two in which the Nittany Lions are actually favored. Last week, they found themselves as double-digit underdogs to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite the big line, Ohio State needed two overtimes to defeat the Nittany Lions. Against Maryland, look for a game that’s close from the opening kickoff.

Check out our VBR staff predictions for this Big Ten matchup.

Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr.

After a valiant effort last Saturday night under the bright lights of Beaver Stadium and in front of a very loud and appreciative Whiteout crowd, the Nittany Lions return home for a conference clash with an old rival. The game against Maryland could truly go either way, as both teams have been up and down this season.

I look for the Nittany Lions to come out hot after finishing the game well against Ohio State. Though still in shambles, the offensive line preformed fairly well last week and should bring some confidence into this matchup. I’m expecting to see a lot of Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch early in an effort to establish the ground game. If that happens, it will open the field up for Christian Hackenberg to sling it around and do what he does best.

On defense, there’s not much to say other than WOW. The Nittany Lions have been fantastic on that side of the ball. The defense almost single-handedly kept the team in the game against Ohio State. I look for a lot of energy and passion from guys like Mike Hull, Anthony Zettel and Jordan Lucas, making things very difficult on the Terrapins.

I like the positive vibes the team had after last week and I think that continues this week. I expect the offense to be more polished and the defense to just do what its been doing all year. It might be close early, but I’m taking the Nittany Lions over the Terrapins by a final score of 24-10.

Staff Writer Corey Hunter

How will Penn State bounce back this week after a difficult loss to rival Ohio State last weekend?  That question should be answered early in this week’s game against the Maryland Terrapins.

Coach Franklin likes to live in the here-and-now, so I’m sure he and the rest of the coaching staff helped to put it out the players’ mind as soon as Sunday afternoon’s practice.  The rest is up to the team and the leadership of the players.  The Nittany Lions still have about half their season left, and a bowl opportunity to play for.

This week, look for the Lions to come out sluggish in the first quarter with the defense once again keeping the team in it.  By the time the second quarter roles around, the Nittany Lions offense will gain its footing and start to put drives together.  In the second half, Penn State will wear down the Terrapins offense and win on All-University Day.  Look for Akeel Lynch to be workhorse back after his strong showing Saturday night as Penn State gets a much-needed victory and puts them on the doorstep of bowl eligibility…Penn State 20 and Maryland 10.

Staff Writer Eric Sion

I think this will be a tougher game than most people expect. Even though Maryland is coming off of a 52-7 loss to Wisconsin, the Terrapins have some great players that Penn State will have to deal with. On offense, quarterback C.J. Brown, who’s also the team’s leading rusher, is tough as nails as he has overcome a variety of injuries in his collegiate career. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs is one of the most talented players in the Big Ten and he’s also a dangerous kick returner, so Charles Huff must prepare his kickoff team well for Diggs. Defensively, Andre Monroe is tied for third in the Big Ten with six sacks and defensive back William Likely leads the conference with four interceptions, two of which he’s returned for touchdowns. One thing to look out for here is Penn State’s running game. With Zach Zwinak out for the rest of the season, Akeel Lynch is going to see a lot more action. Maryland gives up 212 rushing yards per game, so if there was any opportunity to revive the running game, this game would be it.

All in all, I think it will be a close, competitive game. Penn State will carry the momentum from the Ohio State game and win its first game since September 20th by a score of 20-17.

Staff Writer Ryan Lance

Alright, well I’ll be the first one to eat crow after my prediction of last week’s game. I really didn’t think we stood a chance but to my surprise, the team played much better than it had in recent weeks and was in position to upset the Buckeyes. We all know the outcome and some of the reasons for the outcome but I’d be wasting time harping on those reasons. So let’s take a look at this weekend’s match up. Penn State will welcome the 5-3 Maryland Terrapins to Beaver Stadium this weekend for its 12pm kickoff. Maryland is coming off a 52-7 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers while Penn State is coming off a hard-fought emotional loss to Ohio State.

After an emotional loss, we have to hope that the Nittany Lions can get up for a noon kickoff in a game that they are supposed to win. The key to this game will be how fast the Nittany Lions get going as they are notorious for starting slow during early games. They should have the opportunity to work a balanced offense this weekend as they will face a Maryland defense that is ranked 108 in rushing defense. They are currently giving up over 212.4 yards per game on the ground. The last time the Nittany Lions faced a defense ranked below 100 in rushing defense was Massachusetts and Penn State posted 247 yards rushing during the Minutemen.

The Penn State defense should find success of its own again this weekend as Maryland struggled against Wisconsin last weekend whose defense is ranked (4th in the country) three spots above Penn State in total defense. The one player that the defense will have to key on stopping is Big Ten Wide Receiver or the Year candidate Stefon Diggs. Diggs is very versatile and quick and a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. He currently has 46 catches for 601 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Another player they will have to key on stopping quarterback C.J. Brown and the option game that they love to run.

It’s imperative for the Nittany Lions to get amped up for this game come out firing from the first whistle. I think the versatility of Maryland’s offense will cause some early issues for the Nittany Lions but with a few key adjustments, I think the defense will control this contest. I think this is a game where the running game will finally have some success again and it’ll open up some opportunity for the passing game as well. I like the Nittany Lions to rebound in this contest and get one game closer to bowl eligibility.

I’ll take the Nittany Lions 24-14.

Staff Writer Jeff Jezewski

Penn State will look to rebound from their heartbreaking loss, and current three-game losing streak, but Maryland won’t make that easy. While Maryland is not a great team, neither is Penn State. I think this game may end up closer than a lot of PSU fans are hoping for. The Terps are going to come into this game fired up, hoping to rekindle the “rivalry” from the past. If the Nittany Lions hope to win, Christian Hackenberg will have to be much better than he was on Saturday. This needs to be a game where Hack is consistent, accurate and able to make plays outside the pocket.

On the flip side, Maryland needs to get CJ Brown into a rhythm and let him use his legs.

Penn State’s run defense has been so good that I believe the only way Maryland has a chance is if Brown has a big day through the air. Maryland has had some struggles defending the run, but Penn State has obviously struggled in the run game and may have to continue shuffling the O-line.

In a cold one on Saturday, I have Penn State 21-13.