Game 552: Penn State flattens Maryland Terrapins into “pizza turtles”, 66-3
College Park, MD – No. 9 Penn State flattened Maryland (4-8,2-7) leaving the Terrapins looking like squashed road kill on a paved road in Collegefootballfan.com’s Game 552, 66-3. This analogy comes from a vivid, childhood memory. That’s what these Terrapins reminded me of at the end of Saturday’s game. The Nittany Lions (10-2, 7-2) dominated this game in every aspect from beginning to end never giving the Terps a chance to compete in the regular season finale for both. The Lions tied a CFF.com record for our greatest margin of victory with a total point differential of 63 points set by Virginia Tech in their 63-0 win over Western Michigan in 2004. If not for the Terp’s Henry Damstadter’s 42-yard FG late in the third to close the gap, 52-3, the Lions could have set our new record in Game 552.
Penn State QB Trace McSorely completed 22 of 37 passes for 237 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 36 yards and a touchdown. His backup QB, Tommy Stevens, saw a lot of action as RB as well as QB during the course of the game. The sophomore carried the ball 12 times for 113 yards and three TDs of 21, three, and six yards. He also threw a five-yard TD pass to TE Tom Pancoast. Saquon Barkley ran the football 16 times for 77 yards and two early TDs. TE Mike Gesicki hauled in two TDs among his five catches. WR Juwan Johnson caught six passes for 63 yards. Everybody on Penn State contributed on offense. They never turned to ball over. Game 552 was a complete butt-whipping.
Defensively, unlike a week ago where the Lions played a lot of second and third teamers in the rain during their 56-44 win over Nebraska, the first team played most of this game. Maryland rushed for 124 yards and passed for 179. They fumbled the ball away twice.
The Lions totally dominated. HC James Franklin’s team was driven to win this Game 552. It may have to do with the disrespect shown the Lions three years ago at State College where Maryland team captains refused to shake hands under former HC Randy Edsall at the coin toss. Now that the Lions have made vast improvements since, they may have decided to send a strong message. According to GGA John Massimilla (PSU alum), it’s been decided this game will become the seasonal B1G finale for both programs for years to come. However, I think James Franklin decided to stake a claim in the Delmarva peninsula to say that his program is going to continue to recruit the best players it can right from Maryland’s back yard. He wanted to impress the local recruits paying attention to this outcome.
Regretfully, my camera was left in my care dropped off at the meeting point before heading in with Brian Donnelly and his fiancé Laurie on our way to meet the rest of our fellow tailgaters on the way to College Park. No action shots or cheerleaders for Game 552. I missed out on a lot of good photo ops. We got to conduct the small portion of the Blue Band sitting right behind us wearing civvies in the upper deck of what is now referred to as Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium (formerly known as Byrd Stadium since we’ve been going here) while most members probably went home for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Today, 49,680 were in attendance. Had Penn state not had the two losses against Ohio State and Michigan State, I’m sure a lot more PSU faithful would have been here in attendance to send this team off to a CFP playoff spot, but, it’s been a great season.
Great reasons to be thankful
Brian and I are usually in sync attending Navy games together and partying before cheering on the Mids in Annapolis. However, today he wore his red Maryland apparel while yours truly along with fellow PSU fans John Massimilla and his sons-in-laws Aaron and Dex wore traditional white and blue for PSU. Fun times, good friends, great food from the grill, an assortment of enjoyable beverages, and great PSU football (for some of us) made it all a great tailgate party once again. No matter who won though, all of us tailgating together along with a few new guys for the first time and some neighboring tailgaters from U of MD have a lot to be thankful for this time of year. You just can’t beat enjoying going to college football games and tailgating with other great people we meet along the way as much as we do!
Penn State awaits a major bowl bid. Most signs point to the Cotton Bowl. Maryland HC DJ Durkins and staff hit the recruiting trail. Good luck to them. We wonder how many recruits for both teams may have been in attendance for both programs.
CFF.com heads to Conway, SC for the first time for our next to last regular season game of 2017. We got cheap flights to and from Myrtle Beach on Saturday to attend a battle at the bottom of the Sunbelt at 1 pm between Georgia Southern (2-9, 2-5) and Coastal Carolina (2-9, 1-6). The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers joined the FBS this season as the 130th team. We’re going so that we can still say that, “We’ve seen ‘em all!” GSU is on a two-game winning streak having defeated South Alabama, 52-0, and UL-Lafayette, in a mild upset, 34-24. The Eagles fell to UMass midway through the season, 55-20. CCU downed UMass to start the season, 38-28, at home. The Chanticleers didn’t win again until last week defeating Idaho, who returns to the FCS next season, 13-7.
Go ahead and laugh at us. This will be a competitive game and we are looking forward to spending another day attending a college football game. “What better way to spend an Autumn afternoon?” We’re running out of them this season. Our college football weekends all go by too fast. We’ll catch up on the conference championships at some local sports bar in Myrtle Beach before flying back home.
Come back and check out the upcoming action next week for not only this game, but for Army-Navy, division play-offs, and bowl action on our agenda. We are going as deep as we can into this season.