Instant reaction: Penn State makes turtle soup of Maryland with shutout win

Behind a stellar performance from the defense and a big day on the ground from one of its young stars, Penn State smashed Maryland, 30-0, in Beaver Stadium on Saturday. the win was never in doubt for the home team as Penn State swarmed the Terrapins from start to finish on defense. Penn State is now 8-2 with two regular season games remaining.

On the day he became the school’s all-time passing leader, Sean Clifford helped get the Nittany Lions rolling with an early touchdown pass to tight end Brenton Strange, just moments after passing Trace McSorley for the top spot on Penn State’s all-time passing leaderboard.

Penn State would add on a second touchdown later in the first quarter when freshman running back Nick Singleton broke through a pileup on the line of scrimmage on 4th-and-1 and raced 45 yards for a touchdown. then, midway through the second quarter, he did the same thing again on 4th-and-1 with a 27-yard touchdown scamper to put Penn State up 21-0. A pair of long field goals from 50 and 46 yards by Jake Pinegar before halftime put Penn State up 27-0 at the break. Pinegar added another field goal in the third quarter to put Penn State up 30-0.

Singleton had his third career 100-yard rushing game with 122 yards against Maryland. Kaytron Allen added 73 yards on the ground as well on 16 carries.

Penn State out-gained Maryland in the first half by a margin of 296-26, and it wasn’t until late in the third quarter that Maryland accumulated at least 100 yards of total offense. The defense, playing without two key starters in cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Curtis Jacobs, was relentless with five sacks in the first half. Abdul Carter made a habit of breaking through the line of scrimmage to create pressure on Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who spent much of the game running for his life with nowhere to go.

Penn State was once again in a good spot to bring freshman quarterback Drew Allar into the game for a good amount of playing time with the game well in hand. Allar entered the game with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter with Penn State leading 30-0.

Clifford ended his day with just 139 passing yards and one touchdown pass and 13 rushing yards before getting an early rest.

Next up for Penn State is the final road game of the season. The Nittany Lions will travel to Rutgers next week to take on the Scarlet Knights, who are still scrambling for bowl eligibility in the final two weeks of the regular season. Things won’t be getting any easier for Maryland next week. The Terps host Ohio State in Week 12.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire