What many thought would be a tight contest ended up being an affair that shell-shocked a previously undefeated Maryland squad. It was the second time in as many weeks where Penn State handed an unbeaten team its first loss of the season. Here's a look at the highs and lows as the Nittany Lions moved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.
THE HIGH FIVE
Fast Start: With an up-tempo opening drive that marched down the field for an initial score, Penn State seemingly picked up where it left off from its overtime win over Minnesota. The Lions came out quick and put together a balanced win that highlighted strong play and consistent play-calling.
Weapons' Grade: The Penn State coaches deserve credit in using an array of weapons in this game. TE Mike Gesicki and WR DeAndre Thompkins both had TD catches. RB Saquon Barkley eclipsed the 200-yard and 30-carry marks, and was also used effectively as a decoy at time. Barkley's abilities are in a word … incredible.
Department of Defense: The Nittany Lion defense — and particularly the perimeter defense led by guys like John Reid and Marcus Allen in the secondary — was instrumental in this win. It played fast and hard all-around, giving up 270 yards and grabbing three sacks with consistent pocket pressure.
McLovin' It: QB Trace McSorley was instrumental in opening things up for the run game. On the day he carried the ball 18 times for 81 net yards and a score, and went 10 for 19 for 152 yards and two more scores. It was great to see him used in a balanced approach with no interceptions in this one.
Trench Warfare: Both the offensive and defensive lines were key in the success of this squad today. The defensive line got a strong push up front, which disrupted the pocket and forced Maryland to make fast decisions. The offensive line blocked for 524 total yards and opened up lanes for Barkley's career day.
THE LOW FOUR
Sidelined: Tough news out of the blowout victory came when junior OL Andrew Nelson left the game with a leg injury only to learn he is now sidelined for the remainder of the season. A difficult loss for a unit already challenged in terms of depth.
Cheap Shot: For the second week, kickoff man Joey Julius was taken out after a return was blown dead. This time by Terrapin Isaiah Davis, who was ejected from the game thanks to his cheap antics. Pretty odd to see it in back-to-back weeks.
Turn, Turn, Turn: The bad news is the Lions had another turnover, with Barkley giving it back to UMD after some masterful running. The good news is that they won the overall turnover battle, grabbing a fumble and interception from the Terps. We'll call that progress.
Tick Tack: Although the defense was largely a high in this game, tackling still is a potential liability for the unit. We'll admit some defenders looked better with their open-field take downs. Again, some progress.