Personally, today's game against Penn State was one I circled on my calendar when Maryland's football schedule was released. To me, a yearly game against the Nittany Lions has the opportunity to develop into a true football rivalry for Maryland over time. But as head coach Randy Edsall said this week, you have to win for there to be a rivalry.
Can Maryland pick up win number two today? Will they defeat the coach who had previously been anointed the Terps' head coach in waiting? Let's take a look at some predictions for today's game in Happy Valley.
The weather will impact the game
Today's forecast in State College? Rain showers, a high of just 47 degrees, and sustained winds between 15-25 mph, with occasionally higher gusts. That's a recipe for bad football. Factor in that the offenses of both Penn State and Maryland have struggled recently and today's game will likely be a low scoring affair that could come down to the kicking game of each team.
Brad Craddock and Nathan Renfro will have a huge role in deciding this game
With winds swirling around Beaver Stadium today, the role the special teams unit plays today will be magnified. Maryland could very well have to settle for field goals more often than they'd like, especially if they have the wind at their back. And when they have their wind at their back, Brad Craddock tends to do awesome things, like make a school record 57-yard field goal. Craddock remains perfect on the season, in both field goal and extra point attempts. Penn State's kicker, Sam Ficken, has missed two field goals this year, both in the 30-39 yard range. His longest field goal of the season was just 42 yards. Craddock's strong, consistent leg could provide Maryland with a B1G advantage in today's game.
The field position game today will also be important, so Maryland really needs a strong day from punter Nathan Renfro, as well.
Maryland will pick up their second win ever against Penn State
The weather helps limit Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, Craddock will hit the winning field goal, and Maryland will leave State College with their first win against Penn State since the Kennedy Administration. More importantly, Maryland will become 1-0 all-time in Big Ten conference games against Penn State.