Penn State Football

Can Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa Lead Upset Over Penn State Football? | Behind Enemy Lines

No. 11 Penn State Football looks to hold serve, after shutting out Maryland in 2022, against quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and the Terrapins on Saturday afternoon in College Park, Md.

Saturday’s game has national implications, as if the Nittany Lions are going to play any factor whatsoever in the College Football Playoff race, they will first need to dispatch Maryland before a colossal clash against Michigan next weekend.

James Franklin‘s team has just one blemish on its 7-1 record, a one-score loss to No. 1 Ohio State, in Columbus .

Can the Nittany Lions take care of business in Maryland, setting the stage for the chance to play for its postseason aspirations against the Wolverines?

For this week’s version of Behind Enemy Lines, we spoke to Jeff Ermann who covers Maryland for Inside MD Sports:

Your Initial thoughts on Penn State vs Maryland?

I think Maryland needs to play a lot better to have a chance.
The Terps have dropped two games in a row as heavy favorites and neither of those teams was nearly as good as Penn State is. The Terps came out flat and struggled in a loss at Northwestern and have been blown out often against Penn State lately.
They’ll need to come out with more energy and focus, and the offense will have to put up points against one of the nation’s best defenses.


Who on Offense should Penn State be concerned about?

Taulia Tagovailoa is the guy.
Tagovailoa owns virtually every Maryland passing record, and leads the Big Ten is passing yardage this season, but he is prone to some mistakes. Maryland doesn’t have a go-to receiver, spreading the ball around with three receivers ranking inside the top 13 in the Big Ten in receptions.
Sixth-year senior Jeshaun Jones has been very good, 6-4 Kaden Prather has given them a big-bodied endzone threat and Corey Dyches is one of the most athletic tight ends in the country.
They also have a good stable of running backs led by Roman Hemby, who’s a big-play threat but hasn’t made as many this year as last season.

What did you take away from last year’s battle

Well, it wasn’t much of a battle.
Penn State hammered Maryland 30-0 and Tagovailoa had perhaps his worst game, totaling 74 passing yards.
These blowouts have happened too often for Maryland to claim Penn State as a ‘rival,’ so it’s a big game for Maryland for that reason and to turn around its season. Penn State ran all over Maryland last year.
The Terps can’t expect to win if that happens again.

For those who don’t follow Maryland what makes this matchup very interesting

It’s interesting from a Maryland angle because the Terps desperately need a win to end this second-half funk they’re in.
And, it pits the Big Ten’s leading quarterback against one of the conference’s best defenses, so that’ll be a fun matchup.

Do you see Penn State vs Maryland playing a game every other year at M&T Bank Stadium?

I haven’t checked into this but I would guess it’ll happen again at some point.
It’s great for both fanbases, and would become even better if the series becomes more competitive.

What is one reason why Maryland takes down Penn State

if Tagovailoa plays his best game of the season and the defense stops its recent leaks, Maryland should have a chance.
They’ll have to play better than they have lately, but Penn State hasn’t been playing great lately, so the Terps are hoping to catch them during a down cycle.

MORE: Penn State Must Contain These Key Players vs. Maryland

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About Author

David Malandra Jr.

I am Sports Reporter that covers Pro & College Sports in Philadelphia