11. Penn State (7-1) at Indiana (5-3)
When: Saturday, November 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: SECU Stadium, College Park
Radio: See Penn State Radio Network
Follow Along: Nittany Nation Twitter Feed
Betting Line: Penn State -8
Three Things To Watch…
To say things haven’t gone well for Maryland, is an understatement. Since the Terrapins’ 5-0 start, it’s been all downhill for Maryland who’s struggles on the field barley mask the ones off it. The Terps have lost 3-straight to Ohio State, Illinois and Northwestern. Off the field, offensive coordinator Kevin Sumlin is away from the team after his October DUI arrest. Co-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis (former James Franklin assistant) has been implicated in the Conor Stalions, Michigan sign-stealing scandal. And if it could get any worse, this week senior wide receiver Tyrese Chambers left the team.
Maryland’s quarterback protection has been a liability of late and the Terps have surrender 11 of their season total 14 sacks in the last three game. While quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has taken some ownership in the struggles, Maryland’s offensive line will have to protect better. Penn State remains the Big Ten leaders in quarterback sacks. Defensive end Adisa Isaac leads the team with 5.5 sacks, but 10 different players have recorded more than 1 sack.
“We have a bunch of one on one battles that we’re going to have to compete, but we also can help. If you look the last few weeks, we’ve run a lot of screens, which are kind of the antivirus for for pressure and we’ve hit a couple and we’ve kind of become a little efficient there,” said head coach Mike Locksley. But we’ve got to do a lot of different things on offense to slow down their rush.”
Pressure is mounting for Penn State to fix its offensive woes. Don’t take my word for it. Just listen to James Franklin respond to criticism of the team’s poor performance against Indiana.
“I think three programs this week ranked in the top 17 in the country that lost to unranked opponents. And then when we when we don’t play as well as people think we should, but still win. I’m not I’m not going to get in there. I’m not going to apologize for winning,” he said.
Franklin mentioned multiple times this week that he wouldn’t “apologize for winning.” The problem Penn State’s critics will point out is the struggles come in more than one game. The Nittany Lions’ offense looks like a shell of its 2022 self and a lack explosive plays, and struggles running the ball have been a concern.