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FOS Fearless Forecast: PSU vs. Maryland

Check out our predictions for the Nittany Lions' Saturday afternoon showdown with the undefeated Terrapins.

Nirav Dalal (PlaybookNirav)

COMMENT: Maryland's ability to get the ball to the perimeter will put a spotlight on the tackling issues of the Penn State defense, and I think the O-line will struggle against the speed of the Terrapin defense. 

PREDICTION: Maryland 35, Penn State 24

Scott Cole (PSU96)

COMMENT: Maryland is one of the surprise teams in the Big Ten thus far, sporting a 4-0 record and averaging 300 rushing yards per game. Looks can be deceiving, however. The only opponent Maryland has faced with a pulse is UCF. The Golden Knights forced four turnovers and took Maryland to double overtime before falling. Penn State has to defend the run at all costs and make the Terps one dimensional while figuring out some way to get Saquon Barkley and the Lion running game back on track. This will be another nail-biter in Beaver Stadium, ending in a close Penn State victory.

PREDICTION: Penn State 31, Maryland 24

fp001

COMMENT: Coming off an emotional win, Penn State squeaks out another victory in similar fashion. The Lions will get off to another slow start before finding themselves in the second half and rallying for victory.  

PREDICTION: Penn State 31, Maryland 27

Mark Harrington (PlaybookMark)

COMMENT: Maryland reminds me of Minnesota last week — undefeated after facing lackluster competition. The Gophers arguably faced tougher teams, but the Lions can't take that for granted. The defense will have to contain the run with the offense finding its groove early.

PREDICTION: Penn State 28, Maryland 23

Rob Riva (rriva)

COMMENT: This game could go either way, as Penn State hasn't shown an ability to play four quarters consistently and Maryland hasn't played anyone noteworthy. Look for a close matchup decided late.

PREDICTION: Maryland 26, Penn State 24

Keith "Goon" Conlin (KeithConlin)

COMMENT: God help me but I like this trick of being proven wrong. Maryland does scare me with its run game and our weak run defense (aka MASH unit). Let's get it done boys. We can score some points of them; let's do it

PREDICTION: Maryland 28, Penn State 24

Tom Hoffman (underscoreTom)

COMMENT: This game sets up much like last week as far as unknowns about how good the opponent is. PSU played generally mistake-free on offense vs the Gophers, but still couldn't get the run game going. Maryland brings an offense that likes to run the ball, which isn't a good sign for Penn State's banged up LB crew. I don't think the same lightning will strike twice.

PREDICTION: Maryland 30, Penn State 24

Scott Neal (PSUMtnBike)

COMMENT: How good is Maryland? It's hard to judge based off the competition, but the Terrapins are winning while putting up some big numbers. The stats along with the decimation of Penn State's defense and slow-starting offense make it hard to justify NOT picking the Terps to win this one. It's a must-win home game for the youthful Lions, who are showing glimmers of improvement and confidence sprinkled in among a lot of heart and determination.

PREDICTION: Penn State 38, Maryland 37

Tom McLaughlin (WeRPSUPlaybook)

COMMENT: Although not a textbook performance, the Lions showed a lot of heart and grit in the overtime win against Minnesota. Maryland is not a complete pushover, with a 4-0 record, and Penn State will need to play a complete game to come away with a win. That complete game has so far escaped PSU this season. The Lions' decimated linebacker corps against Maryland's solid rushing game could be the deciding factor.

PREDICTION: Maryland 31, Penn State 27

Mark Brennan (MarkBrennan)

COMMENT: The Terps are putting up some terrific numbers, especially offensively. But you have to wonder about the quality of competition there. The PSU offense and special teams are going to have to compensate for the banged-up defense until some of the regulars return. I see it happening, with the Lions pulling out a two-point win in honor of Mike Reid's three-safety game vs. Maryland back in 1966.

PREDICTION: Penn State 32, Maryland 30

Ed001

COMMENT: This game is a bit of a mystery to me. Is Purdue that bad? So I am going with the UCF vs. Maryland performance as the basis for my opinion on how good the Terps really are. They will run the ball on us, so how much can the banged-up Lion D hold up? Perry Hills ran for 124 yards against PSU last year. This year he is not running as much and has been effective when called on to pass (five TDs vs. one interception). However, he has been sacked 11 times in four games against questionable competition. I look for the Lions to get a faster start this week and ride the momentum of last week’s thrilling comeback victory to strike early in the play-action passing game and then pick their spots with Barkley.

PREDICTION: Penn State 31, Maryland 24

Recap

PENN STATE (6): 96, fp, PlaybookMark, Bike, Brennan, Ed

MARYLAND (5): Nirav, Riva, Goon, UnderscoreTom, WeR

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