As a fan that tends to stay until the last second ticks off the clock, I am rather amazed at the number of times we go on the road to play teams, and by the end of the game, our fans take over the opponent’s stadium, outnumbering their fans. Perhaps this has happened in Beaver Stadium at some point in time, but no game that I can remember.
I saw where one sportswriter guesstimated the number of PSU fans in the stadium at about a third. By the fourth quarter, that percentage was probably closer to 90%. IT’s hard to be sure. A Black Out at night looks like night.
But we didn’t just dominate the stadium. We dominated the game. We were the game.
My friend who has followed Penn State football for years made the comment that the first half of the Maryland game was the best offensive half of football in the James Franklin era. And while the offense was certainly clicking on all cylinders, the defense played a huge role as well, keeping the Terrapins off the scoreboard the entire game.
The Lions first score, an 8 yard scamper into the end zone by Clifford, was set up by a Jan Johnson interception and a couple of Maryland penalties on the play. The Lions never looked back. They went on to pile up 619 yards of offense and 59 points, while the stingy Lion defense allowed Maryland only 60 rushing yards.
Clifford did throw a pick, but quite frankly it was a phenomenal defensive play that survived a review as well. Maryland couldn’t capitalize on the turn-over, looking even worse than the Steelers who managed to lose a game after recovering 5 turn-overs!
Micah Parsons was ejected for an ill-advised hit on the Maryland QB–wasn’t helmet to helmet but he launched himself like a Saturn V rocket. It happened in the first quarter, so he won’t miss time next week. The defense played as if he were still there. Hopefully he will learn from the mistake and be better for it moving forward.
I had no problem leaving Champs (in Altoona) at the end of the game, but finding a parking space at 7:30 just before kick-off was a quest worthy of Shrek and Donkey. Alas, I only had my ass with me and ended up at Cracker Barrel, where they not only wouldn’t serve me alcohol with a valid ID, but they had no television to watch the game!
But, if Penn State were in charge of the Champs parking, I’d have been diverted through Duncansville, into Hollidaysburg, down Convention Center Boulevard, and required to park at Wal-Mart, from whence I would be bused to Champs. The bus would have to get on I-99 and get off at 17th Street, and travel the entire way up Pleasant Valley Boulevard and Plank Road, stopping at every traffic light. Twice. It really was quicker to walk from Cracker Barrel. But I digress.
DISH dropped Fox-Sports, FS1/FS2 and the Big Ten, leaving many fans without coverage for the game. I’m pretty sure this is part of the new parking and traffic flow (or lack thereof) plan implemented by Penn State. Just kidding. Sort of.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Pick a number, any number. It probably favors Penn State.
619 offensive yards to 128 for the Terps. Wow. Just wow. Where did this come from?
She can’t believe it either! And that was early in the game!
30 first downs for PSU to 10 for UMD.
Maryland had ONE kick off. That’s just funny right there.
We won time of possession by 7 minutes, gave up NO sacks, and went an amazing 9 for 13 on third down conversions (up till now we were one of the worst in Division 1 football in 3rd down conversion rates!)
Okay, okay. Maryland had more penalties and more turn-overs than PSU, so they have something to hang their helmets on there.
University Park beat College Park in the Parks & Recreation League.
Trace McSorley was in the house, rooting the Nittany Lions on.
The salt and pepper crowd was 53,228, the fewest to watch PSU in person so far this year. Of course, it was our first away game and the Big Ten Opener for both teams.
Penn State DOMINATES this series 40-2-1. But even more impressive are the last four games, where PSU has won 38-14, 66-3, 38-3, and 59-0. That’s a total score of 201-20, and Maryland has not scored a touchdown in the last three games.
THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:
For as much as PSU dominated Maryland on the road, so did the Buckeyes and Justin Fields-of Dreams dominate the hapless Cornhuskers in Lincoln. The final score was 48-7. We can debate all we want about whether Maryland is better than Nebraska–probably not, but the season is still early–but it definitely looks like there could be a BIG showdown in Columbus late in the season. November 23rd to be exact. Lot of football to be played before then, but I’m just throwing this out there now. Because I can.
The-M manhandled Rutgers 52-0. That’s like defeating Our Ladies of the Blessed Sacrament, but we’ll throw the wolverines a bone on this one. Good job not Mucking that one up, Harbaugh.
The Spartans struggled against the Hoosiers, needing a FG on their last offensive play to edge ahead 34-31. But wait, wasn’t the final score 40-31? It was. Those pesky little Hoosiers tried to lateral their way down the field on the ensuing kick-off with 5 seconds remaining on the clock–but fumbled. MSU scooped and scored to make the score look deceptively less embarrassing.
Iowa defeated the middle of Tennessee 48-3. I see another BIG showdown on the horizon in Iowa City, again a road game for the Nits.
Da Badgers struggled a bit with Northwestern early on, but got their game going in the right direction (would that be Southeastern then?) to pull away in the fourth and secure a 24-15 win.
Purdue was apparently caught looking ahead to their game at Beaver Stadium next weekend. The Boilermakers scored 14 points in the fourth but their comeback was not enough, as the Gophers won 38-31 in West Lafayette.
MEANWHILE . . .
In North Carolina . . . the Tar Heels went for two in a bid to upset #1 Clemson, but came up short, losing 21-20. What was Mack Brown thinking???? Play for a tie at home, for the win on the road. Did he forget where he was? Of course, had it worked–I thought the particular play call was bad anyway, even if you argue they had momentum and might not outlast Clemson’s depth in OT–he would have been a hero. It was not to be.
In Pittsburgh . . . with a stadium that had as many Pitt fans throughout the game as Maryland had late in the third quarter . . . the mighty Panthers drove 90 yards to beat the Delaware Blue Hens 17-14. Thank you for not messing up our strength of schedule any further.
In Philadelphia . . . Temple beat Georgia Tech 24-2.
Next week is Homecoming for Penn State. They will host the Boilermakers in another noon clash. You might want to set your alarm and head out at 4 am. I hear they are having some specials at Wal-Mart so traffic on Atherton will be fierce!
Oddsshark has Penn State as an 11 point favorite early on. That line is now 28 points, with a predicted score of 45-11.
I’m sorry. But when I think of Purdue, this is what I think of . . .
Or a Boilermaker . . .
GO STATE! BEAT BOILERS!