Tagovailoa, Maryland keep Penn State winless
Taulia Tagovailoa connected with Rakim Jarrett on two first quarter touchdowns as Maryland got a measure of revenge in a rare win over regional rival Penn State, scoring a 35-19 victory in State College, Pa., on Saturday.
Penn State, now 0-3 for the first time since 2001, beat the Terrapins 59-0 last year and owned a commanding 40-2-1 all-time record against Maryland coming in, including a 201-20 scoring edge in the last four meetings.
The Terrapins (2-1) had snapped an eight-game losing streak with an overtime win over Minnesota last weekend and have now won back-to-back Big Ten games in a season for the first time since joining the storied league in 2014. That’s also the last year Maryland defeated Penn State before losing the last five games in the series.
But Tagovailoa, co-Offensive Player of the Week in the Big Ten, got the Terrapins off to a fast start, hitting Jarrett for 42 yards and a score at 12:27 on Maryland’s first possession. He found the freshman again from 62 yards just before the quarter ended.
Tagovailoa was 18-of-26 passing for 282 yards and three scores. Jake Funk, who rushed 16 times for 80 yards, scored on a 38-yard jaunt to make it 21-0 at 11:49 of the second quarter.
Penn State answered with a 20-yard Sean Clifford to Jahan Dotson touchdown pass, but Tagovailoa hit Dontay Demus Jr. for a 34-yard score just 45 seconds before halftime to make it 28-7.
Clifford had a rough day, completing 27 of a career-high 57 pass attempts, good for 340 yards, three scores and two interceptions.
He was sacked by safety Nick Cross and fumbled on the first possession of the second half. Linebacker Chance Campbell scooped up the ball and dashed 34 yards for a 35-7 lead. The Terrapins, who came in ranked 13th in the Big Ten in total defense, recorded seven sacks for 57 yards in losses and picked up their first three turnovers of the season.
Penn State’s previous two losses in the series (1961, 2014) were by a combined five points.
Jarrett finished with five catches for 144 yards and scored his first two collegiate touchdowns. Dotson had nine receptions for 123 yards to lead the Lions, who could muster just 94 total yards rushing.
Clifford engineered a 16-play, 98-yard drive to cut the margin to 35-13 with his 23-yard scoring pass to Parker Washington in the third quarter. Clifford and Washington added a 1-yard touchdown pass in the final minute.
Penn State travels to Nebraska Saturday still looking for the first win in 2020. Maryland faces its sternest test to date, hosting No. 3 Ohio State in Maryland Stadium.
–Field Level Media