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Terps turn the tables, embarrass Penn State in stunning fashion

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jahan Dotson makes a TD grab.

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State came into its game against Maryland on Saturday having outscored the Terps 163-6 over the past three meetings, including last year’s 59-0 beatdown in College Park.

Oh, the Nittany Lions also were favored by 27.5 points Saturday.

None of that mattered.

This was a different game altogether, and a game Penn State would like to forget.

Maryland rolled up 28 points in the first half, while PSU’s offense struggled, and wound up beating the Lions, 35-19, at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State is 0-3 for the first time since 2001, when it started 0-4. The Lions began the season ranked No. 7 in the country, so this has been a dramatic collapse.

Taulia Tagovailoa dissected Penn State’s defense for 246 yards passing and three TDs in the first half. Meanwhile, Sean Clifford had issues, completing only 6-of-20, and PSU’s defense could not keep the game close.

Maryland went up 21-0 before the Lions finally scored, then the Terps scored late in the half for a 28-7 margin.

On Penn State’s first possession of the second half, Clifford fumbled, with linebacker Chance Campbell scooping it up and scoring a 35-7 lead.

The Lions scored a couple of touchdowns in the first quarter after things were already decided.

Clifford set a school record with 57 pass attempts, completing only 27, and threw for 340 yards and three TDs. He also had two interceptions and one fumble.

Tagovailoa was 18-of-26 for 282 yards and three TDs for Maryland.

Penn State had been 40-2-1 all time against the Terps before suffering this loss.

Update: 5:30 p.m.

Maryland 35, Penn State 7: Chance Campbell scooped up a Sean Clifford fumble and returned it for a TD on PSU’s first possession of the second half.

Update: 5:05 p.m.

Maryland 28, Penn State 7: The Terps got a gorgeous 34-yard TD pass from Taulia Tagovailoa to Dontay Demus Jr. for a 28-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the half. Demus beat Joey Porter Jr. on third-and-6, getting behind the defensive back, and he was wide open for Tagovailoa to hit on a nice throw while rolling to his right.

At the half, Maryland has 335 yards of offense, while PSU has 144.

Tagovailoa had a tremendous first half, completing 14-of-19 for 246 yards and three TDs.

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Sean Clifford is 6-of-20 for 78 yards and one score. He missed several open targets on some costly overthrows.

Update: 5 p.m.

Maryland 21, Penn State 7: The Lions finally got on the board with a 20-yard TD pass from Clifford to Jahan Dotson. It was a pretty throw and pretty grab in coverage with 6:32 left in the half.

Maryland 21, Penn State 0: The Terps continued to stun PSU with a 34-yard TD run by Jake Funk with 11:49 left in the half.

Maryland 14, Penn State 0: On the same kind of crossing route, Maryland got a 62-yard TD pass from Tagovailoa to Jarrett, who outran the PSU secondary.

Update: 3:47p.m.

Maryland 7, Penn State 0: The Terps got this easy 42-yard TD toss and run from Taulia Tagovailoa to Rakim Jarrett on their first series, the first time they found the end zone against Penn State since 2016.


Update: 2:35 p.m.

**Absolutely gorgeous day at Beaver Stadium.

Update: 12:30 p.m.

**The point spread has moved all the way up to PSU +27. That’s a big number against a Maryland team that might be able to move the ball pretty well. The Terps do have a lousy defense, though.

Update: Noon

**Penn State has outscored Maryland 163-6 over the past three meetings, including 59-0 last year.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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