Oct 30, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Carlos Carriere (83) runs after the catch for a touchdown as Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Donaven McCulley (0) defends during the second half at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Maryland aims to keep No. 22 Penn State reeling

Maryland snapped a three-game losing streak in its last game, and Penn State will attempt to do the same Saturday when the 22nd-ranked Nittany Lions visit College Park, Md.

The Terrapins (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) opened October with lopsided defeats against top-10 foes Iowa and Ohio State before falling at Minnesota. The combined score of the three losses was 151-47. However, the team rebounded with a 38-35 home triumph against Indiana last weekend.

“I’m proud of how our guys fought and stuck together,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said after defeating the Hoosiers. “We continue to challenge them each and every day as coaches, and I feel like they deserved the win.”

Penn State (5-3, 2-3) probably feels like it deserves a win as well, as James Franklin’s squad has endured a difficult month of its own.

Quarterback Sean Clifford was injured during a top-five showdown against Iowa on Oct. 9, and the team collapsed without him in an eventual 23-20 defeat.

In its next contest, Penn State became the first team in FBS history to lose a nine-overtime game, falling to Illinois 20-18 in the marathon affair. And then came a challenging road date at Ohio State, which handed the Nittany Lions a 33-24 setback.

“Looking at the team, we gotta find a way to win some of these tough games and that’s through a lot of different things,” Franklin said. “There was enough things last week in that game (against Ohio State) to build on.”

Clifford was sharp against the Buckeyes, throwing for 361 yards and a touchdown on 35-of-52 passing. Jahan Dotson, one of the most electric receivers in the nation, contributed 11 receptions for 127 yards in the hard-fought defeat.

“I thought we were more physical, broke some tackles, made some people miss — things like that,” Franklin said. “We’ve got to continue to build on it.”

Maryland, meanwhile, is coming off the win against Indiana in which Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns. Carlos Carriere grabbed eight passes for 134 yards and two scores, and Challen Faamatau rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

“It just feels good to win,” Tagovailoa said. “The stats, and all that stuff, obviously it comes with it.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Terps rank 19th nationally in sacks with 23 – their highest figure through eight games since 2015. The Nittany Lions boast one of the nation’s top pass defenses, as they are eighth in the country in pass efficiency rating (103.56).

Penn State had won nine of the previous 10 meetings in the series before falling to visiting Maryland last year, 35-19. Clifford (340 passing yards, three TDs) and Dotson (nine catches, 123 yards, TD) enjoyed big performances in that one, while Tagovailoa led the Terps with 282 passing yards and three TDs, including two to Rakim Jarrett (five catches, 144 yards).

Both teams will need to stay focused despite looming showdowns with top-10 opponents next week. Penn State hosts No. 9 Michigan, while Maryland visits No. 5 Michigan State.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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