Penn State Football: Handing Out The Grades Following A 66-3 Win Over Maryland
Well, that was a football game that had a beginning a middle and end over the span of about 20 minutes. Penn State was only ever going to struggle if the Nittany Lions didn't show, and little Maryland had shown all season or offered up on Saturday suggested that would change as Penn State cruised to a 66-3 win.
But they had fun, right? Probably not.
Nevertheless Penn State ends its 2017 regular season at 10-2 having won with relative ease more often than not. Saturday night was the third straight week of a fairly routine victory. Although those wins undoubtedly felt a bit hollow following losses to Ohio State and Michigan State that all but ended the Nittany Lions' playoff hopes.
Even so, 10-2 is 10-2 and nothing about that should be taken lightly or assumed to be an easy result. So here are the grades following Penn State's final win of the regular season.
66 points kind of speaks for itself. But more in-depth, Trace McSorley was an effective 22-of-33 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. McSorley's passing attack was largely the product of Juwan Johnson, Mike Gesicki and DaeSean Hamilton each having over five catches and over 50 yards each.
Saquon Barkley had a fairly quiet 77 yards on 16 carries, punching in two for a score to add to his program record total.
It was Tommy Stevens that stole the show. Three rushing touchdowns and one passing put on a clinic after Penn State took its first unit off the field. Stevens finished the night 3-of-7 but led Penn State with 113 yards on 12 carries including a 21-yard score to open the game.
11-of-17 on third down, over 500 yards of offense and a whopping 66 points tell the tale. The only negative, a few drops by Irv Charles that he would like to have back. Other than that you can't ask for much more from a team than what Penn State's offense did on Saturday.
After 60 minutes of football it's hard to say what exactly Maryland was good at. The occasional long run, a few completions. End of the day the Terps scored three points and that more or less is the long and short of it. 36 passes equated to just 185 yards for Maryland on a lot of dink-and-dunk passes. Maryland had rushes of 54 and 45 yards but not much else to offer. Brandon Smith led the way with five tackles.
Special Teams: B+
Tyler Davis was perfect on the night from 30-yards out and Maryland didn't have any long returns. A forced turnover early in the game helped finish the blowout before it started. This grade is only low because Penn State's return game continues to be uneventful. That's not a knock, it's just a comparison to its usual abilities. Gillikin was his usual self and a 45 yard average to show for it.
Penn State scored 66 points and gave up 3. If this isn't an A then nothing is.