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Nov. 25, 2017
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Quarterbacks Trace McSorley and Tommy Stevens were responsible for seven of Penn State's (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) nine touchdowns, as the Nittany Lions earned their largest Big Ten win ever with a 66-3 rout of Maryland (4-8, 2-7 Big Ten) in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon on Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
The 66 points scored and 63-point margin of victory were both Big Ten records for the Nittany Lions, as they earned their 10th win of the season to mark the first time since the 2008 and 2009 seasons that they posted back-to-back 10-win seasons.
Penn State led the game from its first possession, building a 31-0 lead by halftime.
Strong play by the Penn State signal callers led the offensive attack, as McSorley threw for two touchdowns and 237 yards on 22-of-33 passing in nearly three quarters of work, while Stevens rushed for a career-high 113 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and also threw one touchdown pass. Tight end Mike Gesicki caught both of McSorley's touchdowns, finishing with five catches for 35 yards, while running back Saquon Barkley rushed for two touchdowns and totaled 77 yards on 16 carries.
The Penn State defense limited Maryland to 303 yards of offense and forced three fumbles, recovering one, while the McPhearson brothers teamed up to force (Josh) and recover (Zech) a fumble on a kickoff. The Terrapins were just 1-for-15 on third down conversion attempts and 0-for-3 on fourth down.
- QB Trace McSorley - In less than three full quarters of work, McSorley was responsible for three touchdowns, passing for two and running for one, as he completed 22-of-33 pass attempts for 237 yards and rushed seven times for 36 yards. It was his 27th consecutive game with a touchdown pass and his 16th career game and ninth this season with a both a rushing and passing touchdown. He became just the second player in Big Ten history (JT Barrett, Ohio State; 2014) to have 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in the same season, and the first in Penn State history with two 3,000 passing-yard seasons
- QB Tommy Stevens - Stevens scored on a 21-yard touchdown run on Penn State's opening drive and rushed for two more scores in the fourth quarter to highlight a career day, as he set career highs with 12 rushes for 113 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one touchdown pass to tight end Tom Pancoast in the third quarter, and became the first Penn State quarterback to rush for 100 yards since Michael Robinson had 125 rushing yards against Wisconsin in 2005. Stevens is also the second Penn State quarterback in program history with 100+ rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in the same game, joining Eugene "Shorty" Miller, who had 250 rushing yards and five rushing TDs in a 1913 game against Carnegie Tech (per ESPN Stats & Info).
- RB Saquon Barkley - Barkley rushed for two scores on 16 carries, and totaled 77 yards on the ground. He extended his Penn State record for total touchdowns to 51 with the scores.
- TE Mike Gesicki - Gesicki posted his fourth multiple touchdown game of the season, as he caught two amongst his five catches for 35 yards. His eight receiving touchdowns this season and 15 for his career both rank ninth all-time at Penn State.
- WR Juwan Johnson - Johnson caught a team-high six catches for 63 yards.
- Running Backs - T.J. Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison combined to rush for 130 yards on 15 carries. Johnson totaled 70 yards on eight carries with a long rush of 45 yards, while Harrison totaled 60 yards on seven carries with a long of 54 yards. Harrison's rush setup the Maryland field goal.
- WR DJ Moore - Moore caught a game-high eight passes for 100 yards.
First Half (Penn State 31, Maryland 0)
Penn State built a commanding lead, led by quarterback Trace McSorley with three touchdowns responsible for, as he threw for two on 19-of-29 yards passing for 205 yards and ran for one gaining 33 yards on six attempts. The defense also came up with timely stops, forcing a pair of sack-fumbles on third down, forcing and recovering a fumble on third down and making two fourth-down stops.
Penn State received the opening kickoff and methodically worked its way 91 yards down the field for a touchdown on its opening drive. McSorley went 5-of-7 passing for 38 yards, but made the biggest play with his feet, running for 22 yards on third-and-8 from the Penn State 45 to the Maryland 33. After an incompletion in the end zone, McSorley completed a 5-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton, and then converted third down again with a 7-yard pass to Juwan Johnson to the Maryland 21. The Nittany Lions then sent backup quarterback Tommy Stevens into the backfield, and McSorley handed off to him as he rushed around the right side. Stevens faked a reverse-pitch to Saquon Barkley, who had lined up out wide, and then sprinted down the sideline almost untouched for the touchdown.
Maryland was forced to punt on the ensuing possession after Kevin Givens forced a sack-fumble on third-and-long, and then both teams traded punts, with Jason Cabinda forcing a sack-fumble on third-and-long.
The Maryland punt only went 27 yards though, giving the Penn State offense the ball at the Maryland 41, and it took McSorley just five plays to lead the Lions into the end zone. He went 4-for-4 passing to lead the Nittany Lions to the 5, and then called his own number and punched his way into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 3:10 remaining in the quarter.
The Penn State defense then gave its offense another short field with a stop on fourth-and-1 at the Maryland 44. McSorley ran for 9 yards on the first play and then completed a 19-yard pass to Saeed Blacknall at the Maryland 16. Barkley rushed for 9 and 5 yards to the 2 to end the quarter, and then McSorley found Gesicki in the end zone on the first play of the fresh quarter for a 21-0 lead.
Maryland fumbled on its next possession, and Penn State's Robert Windsor recovered it at the Maryland 48. A 32-yard completion to Hamilton on the second play of the drive moved Penn State into the red zone at the 19. Then on first-and-goal from the 5, McSorley found Gesicki running across the back of the end zone, and Gesicki hauled it in with one hand for his second touchdown of the quarter with 11:33 on the clock.
The Terps attempted a 47-yard field goal on their next drive, but it rang off the right upright. They then forced a punt on their next possession and a Ty Johnson 45-yard run moved them into Penn State territory, but a Grant Haley sack on fourth-and-4 from the Penn State 31 ended the drive.
Penn State followed with a 10-play, 55-yard field goal drive highlighted by a 28-yard reception by De'Andre Thompkins. Tyler Davis, attempting his first field goal in three weeks, converted from 30 yards, sending Penn State to the locker room with a 31-0 lead.
Third Quarter (Penn State 52, Maryland 3)
Troy Apke and Kevin Givens teamed up to make a fourth-and-1 stop for the Lions at the Penn State 27 to open the quarter, and Penn State marched 73 yards on 10 plays, with Barkley reaching across the goal line on fourth-and-less-than-1 for a 38-0 lead with 9:18 on the clock.
The McPhearson brothers then teamed up on the kickoff to give Penn State the ball back, as Josh forced a fumble at the Maryland 16 and Zech recovered it at the 13. Four plays later, Barkley punched it into the end zone from 1-yard out for a 45-0 lead with 7:12 remaining in the quarter.
After a Maryland three-and-out, McSorley gave way to Stevens at quarterback, and Stevens led a seven-play, 68-yard touchdown drive that he capped with a 4-yard touchdown toss to Tom Pancoast with 2:37 on the clock.
Maryland scored its lone points with 1:01 remaining in the quarter on a 42-yard field goal.
Fourth Quarter (Penn State 66, Maryland 3)
Stevens added two more rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the final margin, scoring from 3 yards out with 7:44 remaining and 6 yards out with 2:24 remaining.
PSU - 14:52 - TD - Mike Gesicki 2 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 6 plays, 44 yards, 1:53, 0-21
PSU - 11:33 - TD - Mike Gesicki 9 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 4 plays, 52 yards, 1:35, 0-28
PSU - 2:24 - FG - Tyler Davis 30 yd Field Goal, 10 plays, 55 yards, 4:31, 0-31
PSU - 9:18 - TD - Saquon Barkley 1 yd Rush, 10 plays, 73 yards, 3:53, 0-38
PSU - 7:12 - TD - Saquon Barkley 1 yd Rush, 4 plays, 13 yards, 1:59, 0-45
PSU - 2:37 - TD - Tom Pancoast 4 yd Pass from Tommy Stevens, 7 plays, 68 yards, 3:09, 0-52
UMD - 1:01 - FG - Henry Darmstadter 42 yd Field Goal, 6 plays, 55 yards, 1:28, 3-52
Penn State will turn its focus to final exams and bowl preparation. The Nittany Lions' bowl destination will be announced Sunday, Dec. 3.