In Penn State’s first game in College Park since 1993, the Nittany Lions pounced over Maryland (4-8, 2-7 Big Ten) on both ends of the field to end the regular season with a 66-3 victory on Saturday afternoon.
“I thought we played a complete game,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said. “Offense, defense and special teams played well enough to win. I think we are trending into the right direction and getting better.”
Penn State (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) senior quarterback Trace McSorley, who is from Ashburn, Va., tallied 273 yards and three total touchdowns as he helped spoil Maryland’s Senior Day.
“10-2, we are happy,” McSorley said. “Definitely when you get 10 wins in back-to-back seasons. Not a lot of teams out there can say they done that.”
McSorley didn’t waste time in the first quarter, moving the Nittany Lions down the field to set up a 21-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Tommy Stevens. McSorley’s 22-yard on third-and-eight put Penn State in the position to score its first points of the game.
McSorley completed four passes in a row, which led to him scrambling five yards for a touchdown. It was his 11th rushing touchdown of the season, which tied Penn State’s quarterback record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season.
Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki recorded 35 yards and a pair of touchdowns on five receptions. Both of Gesicki’s touchdowns came in the second quarter. Stevens, who replaced McSorley in the third quarter, ran for 113 yards and four total touchdowns.
“That’s the type of performance we know [Stevens] can have,” McSorley said. “He is a tremendous athlete and what he can do with his legs puts pressure on defenses.”
Junior running back Saquon Barkley finished with 77 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Penn State’s defense established its presence early in the game, holding Maryland to 31 offensive yards in the first quarter. The Terps were 1-15 on third down conversions and failed to convert on fourth down.
“We wanted to make a statement win,” Penn State senior safety Marcus Allen said. “I wasn’t going to allow us to come out flat.”
The Nittany Lions sacked Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager five sacks, while causing the Terps to fumble the ball twice.
“We were relentless and imposed our will,” Allen said. “Everyone ran to the ball and played with a lot of passion.”
Maryland running backs Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison combined for 131 yards on the ground. Bortenschlager went 20-36 with 185 yards.
Wide receiver D.J. Moore had 100 receiving yards on eight receptions. Moore finished the season with 1,037 yards and broke Maryland’s single-season record for most catches with 80.
As Maryland prepares for the offseason, Penn State will be awaiting its bowl destination.