(12) Penn State at Maryland
Time: 7 PM CST, Friday
Spread: MARY -6.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Maryland Terrapins were off to a hot start after defeating No. 21 Syracuse and earning itself an AP Ranking heading into week 3. It negated all that by losing to the lowly Temple Owls, but will try to get itself back on track as it hosts Penn State Friday night on FS1. The Terrapins are 6.5-point favorites in the game, which has an over/under set at 60 points and will kick off at 7 PM.
Maryland really fell back to earth when it lost to Temple in Week 3. The Owls were able to make a tough goal-line stand to defeat then-No. 21 Maryland, ousting it from AP polls back to the unranked status it is used to. The Owls amassed 277 passing yards and 150 rushing yards against Maryland, while the Terrapins managed just 179 and 161, respectively. Josh Jackson struggled badly, throwing just 15 of 38 in the game and also throwing an interception to match his one touchdown. The Terrapins did get a big rushing affair from Anthony McFarland Jr, who managed 132 yards and a TD on his 26 carries. Javon Leake was good in limited touches too with 57 yards on just eight attempts. Jackson was a disaster when he rushed himself, going for negative-20 yards on his 10 attempts. The Terrapins are 2-0 where it hosts PSU this week, though.
McFarland and Leake have been tremendous overall for the Terrapins. McFarland has 225 yards through three games, and Leake has 187 on just 18 attempts, boasting a team-best 10.4 yards-per–carry (min 10 attempts).
Jake Funk has been good on limited attempts as well, with 173 yards on his 17 tries. The top receiver has been Dontay Demus Jr, who has caught nine passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Tyler Mabry represents a great end zone target, leading the team with three receiving TDs despite only having six total catches on the season. Maryland has scored nine TDs via the pass and 12 rushing it.
The No. 12 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions are 3-0 after derailing Idaho, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh in its first three games. This week brings more of a test as an underdog to Maryland, but the Lions have defeated all but Pittsburgh by double-digits, so this should be a good test of how its offense functions against a higher-level NCAA opponent in the much-improved Terrapins.
Sean Clifford has been very good at QB for the Lions. He has 781 passing yards on 58.7 percent passing with a 10.4 yard-per-catch average. He has thrown for six TDs without a single interception and his passer rating stands at 172.5. Clifford has also been exceptional rushing the football, with 113 yards on his 25 carries, though he has yet to rush for a touchdown. His top backfield options have been Journey Brown and Devyn Ford. Both have rushed for two touchdowns, and though it is Clifford who leads the team in attempts (25) it is Brown who has amassed the most yardage at 175 total yards. Ford has been good for 113. The Lions average 5.7 yards-per-rush and all but Clifford is above that mark as a rusher.
Clifford averages just 4.5 per, but that is respectable, especially considering the number of FBS quarterbacks that have rushed for negative yardage on the season. KJ Hamler is the top receiving target, tied for the team lead in total catches with 10, and far and away is the leader in total yardage, with 245.
Both Hamler and No. 2 option Jahan Dotson both average better than 20 yards per catch, though Dotson has caught just seven passes. He still has two TDs and the second-most receiving yards on the team (143). The third-best receiver comes from the tight end position, where Pat Freiermuth ranks No. 3 in receiving yardage with 140 yards on his 10 catches. He also has caught two TD passes.
The Nittany Lions have just seven receiving TDs on the year to its 10 via the rush, and six of those seven reception TDs have come from the hands of its top-three receivers. The seventh came from backup Tight end Brenton Strange, who caught a 4-yard pass for a score.