No. 14 Penn State defense shines in 30-0 rout of Maryland

Nov 12, 2022, 2:19 AM | Updated: 4:31 pm
Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton scores a touchdown against Maryland during the first hal...

Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton scores a touchdown against Maryland during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

              Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa throws a pass while being pressured by Penn State linebacker Jonathan Sutherland (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton (10) and quarterback Sean Clifford (14) celebrate a touchdown as Maryland defensive back Beau Brade (25) looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State defensive tackle Hakeem Beamon tackles Maryland running back Antwain Littleton II during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State defensive tackle Zane Durant sacks Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton (10) scores a touchdown past Maryland defenders Deonte Banks (3) and Beau Brade (25) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton (10) scores a touchdown against Maryland during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (14) throws a pass while being pressured by Maryland defensive lineman Greg China-Rose (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
            
              Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton scores a touchdown against Maryland during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Nick Singleton scored two touchdowns and ran for 113 of his 122 yards in the first half and the defense of No. 14 Penn State smothered Maryland in a 30-0 win on Saturday.

Tight end Brenton Strange caught a touchdown pass and Jake Pinegar kicked three field goals for the Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP), who beat Maryland for the seventh time in nine games since the Terps (6-4, 3-4) joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Like the overall series, this one was all Nittany Lions thanks to Penn State’s pass rush.

Soggy conditions couldn’t slow Penn State’s front seven. Neither could Maryland’s reeling offensive line.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was hit hard as he threw incomplete on the Terps’ first play from scrimmage — an omen of things to come from a Nittany Lion defense that notched seven sacks, seven QB hurries, forced nine punts and three turnovers on down.

The Nittany Lions did most of their damage early. They sacked Tagovailoa five times and held Maryland to just 27 total yards before halftime.

By that point, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had put the game out of reach when he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Strange just 6:08 in. Meanwhile, Singleton lapped Maryland’s defense on a pair of fourth-and-inches runs that went for 45- and 27-yard touchdowns. Pinegar added field goals from 50 and 46 yards to put Penn State up 27-0 at halftime.

Pinegar added a 21-yarder midway through the third.

Tagovailoa finished 11 for 22 for 74 yards. Roman Hemby led the Terps with 68 rushing yards on 13 carries.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: It looks as if it could be another long November for the Terps. They’re just 2-9 in the month all-time under coach MIke Locksley and were beaten all over the field on Saturday. Their inability to run the ball and protect Tagovailoa doomed them from the start.

Penn State: Although the Nittany Lions don’t have a shot at a Big Ten championship, the future looks bright. The team’s most impactful players down the stretch are freshmen. Linebacker Abdul Carter had a team-best seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Singleton and fellow back Kaytron Allen appear to be Penn State’s best running back tandem since Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) on Saturday.

Penn State: Visits Rutgers (4-6, 1-6 Big Ten) on Saturday.

___

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No. 14 Penn State defense shines in 30-0 rout of Maryland