Penn State looks to end bumpy start as Maryland visits

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) scrambles for yardage as Minnesota linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin attempts a tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in College Park, Md.

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Beaver Stadium.

TV: Big Ten Network (Lisa Byington play-by-play, Matt Millen color, Coley Harvey sideline).

2019 records: Penn State 11-2, 7-2 Big Ten, Maryland 3-9, 1-8 Big Ten.

Last week: Maryland beat Minnesota, 45-44 in overtime. Penn State lost to Ohio State, 38-25.

Series and last meeting: Penn State leads 40-2-1 and won the last meeting, 59-0 at College Park Sept. 27, 2019.

Coach: Mike Locksley (second year of current stint at Maryland, 4-15 at Maryland, 4-41 overall).

Maryland’s best player: QB Taulia Tagovailoa is the guy people are talking about after his performance last week, but sophomore safety Nick Cross was an elite recruit who has delivered on the field.

Injury update: Maryland has a number of players out for the year for personal reasons, including COVID-19 concerns. Otherwise, the Terps are pretty healthy. They will be without RB Tayon Fleet-Davis, the team’s leading returning rusher from a year ago, due to an off-field issue.

Penn State continues to be without RBs Journey Brown and Noah Cain, but are otherwise healthy.

Las Vegas says: Penn State is a 25-point favorite. The line opened at -21.

Outlook/notes: The Terps led 3-0 week one at Northwestern before yielding 43 unanswered points. Maryland had four turnovers, including three interceptions by Tagovailoa, who threw for just 94 yards.

He came back big the following week, but against a Minnesota defense that has really struggled so far. The Terps has an insane 675 yards of offense vs. the Gophers.

Northwestern ran it 53 times against Maryland for 325 yards, or 6.1/carry. Minnesota ran for 262 against the Terps, including 207 by RB Mohamed Ibrahim.

So this should be a game in which Penn State can execute the base stuff of its offense: win the line of scrimmage, hand the ball off and move the ball on the ground. If it can’t do that against this opponent, it’s frankly an indiction of a supposedly good offensive line, and brings the possibility of a true 2020 collapse into play.

Prediction: Penn State 38, Maryland 20.