EditorsNote: fixed hyphens in season-low in 5th graf and first-half in 6th. Fixed 11-play drive in 6th graf
Sean Clifford threw three touchdowns and rushed for a fourth as No. 12 Penn State easily defeated Maryland 59-0 on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Clifford finished 26-of-31 for 398 yards, hitting his first nine passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns as the Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0) built a 28-0 lead on their way to a 38-0 halftime advantage.
Clifford ran for an 8-yard score on Penn State’s first possession after linebacker Jan Johnson intercepted Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson. Clifford then found KJ Hamler for a 58-yard touchdown on Penn State’s next possession. He also had a 15-yard touchdown to Nick Bowers and a 37-yarder to Journey Brown, both in the second quarter.
Maryland (2-2, 0-1) never got much going offensively, and the Terrapins lost their second straight game, this one before the first sellout crowd (53,228) at Maryland Stadium in four years.
The Terps scored 142 points in the first two games of 2019, but then fell 20-17 at Temple and was shut out Friday night, amassing a season-low 128 total yards. Maryland entered the game eighth in the nation in rushing offense at 277.3 yards per game, but had just 60 against the tough Nittany Lion defense.
Cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields also had a first-half interception, stopping a Maryland threat at the goal line. Penn State followed up with an 11-play, 95-yard scoring drive to make it 21-0 on Ricky Slade’s 3-yard run.
The Terrapins have lost their last three games against their nearest Big Ten rivals now by a combined 163-6 score. Penn State leads the all-time series with Maryland, which joined the Big Ten in 2014, 40-2-1. Maryland’s last win in the series was in 2014, the first time the two teams had played in 21 years.
The Nittany Lions host Purdue Oct. 5, while Maryland travels to Rutgers.
—Field Level Media