Penn State Nittany Lions at Maryland Terrapins odds, picks and best bets

Saturday, 28 Sep, 2019

Here are six things to know for Friday's game.

What hasn't been talked about as much is Maryland's running game. As is the case with everything, though, there are sometimes exceptions to the rule, which means that those of us who enjoy following the top teams in the sport need to adjust our weekend schedules so that we can fit in a Friday game. Obviously, we have got to be more consistent in all three phases.

All the ingredients for a rivalry are there.

Through four weeks, these two teams have been predictable in terms of betting. The public betting now has 55 percent going on Penn State as the road favorite. There's even some ugly history between the two.

Maryland first-year coach Mike Locksley has no desire to look into the past before leading the Terrapins into Friday night's matchup with No. 12 Penn State. "It's going to be a really good game". Franklin tipped his hand on Tuesday, discussing the need to get PSU playmaker KJ Hamler more involved.

Beaver Stadium was setting for the first-ever PIAA state championship game in 1988. Both faced a cupcake school in their first game which was an easy cover. Syracuse's Tommy DeVito threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in Week 2, while Temple's Anthony Russo connected on enough deep balls to record 277 yards and three scores through the air. The total has gone Over in four of the last six games involving Maryland. Josh Jackson finished 15-38 for 183 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

So was Temple a blip on the radar or were the first two games the outlier? A similarly hyped stand-alone prime time affair came in 2005, when Marcus Vick - remember him? - and No. 3 Virginia Tech led 7-3 at halftime, then put it away with 21 straight points.

This time, Locksley and the Terps will have a sold-out crowd behind them in prime time rather than a neutral site game at an National Football League stadium. They had 286 rushing yards in 2017 and a whopping 372 rushing yards in 2016.

This year, however, the Terps have the ground advantage. The Cal defense has been great so far this season, but the offense is lagging behind a bit as they are 99 in the country in points per game.

Penn State's offense seems to be heavily reliant on Clifford being able to hit big passes downfield. That same move saw Franklin stripped of his head-coach-in-waiting deal behind Friedgen, setting him on a new path to Vanderbilt and Penn State. That same day, Maryland scored 79 in a rout of Howard.

But the Lions are still assumed to have the better team at this point in the season. Zach Masoli's 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter broke a 13-all tie. Penn State has won the last three by a combined score of 142-20. But once again, Penn State shows why it's a second half team and make the necessary adjustments to take over and win this game. But the last time they met, in the championship game of the 2018 conference tournament, the Gophers and Penn State played a scoreless match for 110 minutes before Minnesota won on penalty kicks to advance to the NCAA tournament. In those seven possessions, the defense has only given up three touchdowns.