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Maryland football clobbered by Penn State, 66-3, in season finale

The Terps go out with a whimper.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland football’s offseason couldn’t come soon enough.

The Terps dropped their final game of 2017 on Saturday, falling 66-3 at home to Penn State. It’s Maryland’s fourth straight loss to close the year, and the team finishes with a 4-8 record.

This game was never in doubt, as Penn State was up 28 points by the early second quarter. The shutout reached 52-0 before Maryland recorded a third-quarter field goal, but the clobbering resumed shortly after that.

Max Bortenschlager’s eighth start at quarterback was largely unspectacular, as the sophomore completed 20 of 36 passes for 185 yards. Maryland ran for 124 yards in the game, with Ty Johnson tallying 70 and Lorenzo Harrison adding 60. It was a strong day for D.J. Moore, who caught eight passes for 100 yards in what could have been his final game at Maryland.

Total yardage stats would indicate that this game was only somewhat lopsided. Penn State outgained Maryland 534-303, and wasn’t far ahead in yards per play. But combine the 2-0 turnover margin and third-down differential—Penn State went 11-of-17 and Maryland went 1-of-15, plus 0-for-3 on fourth down—and a clear Nittany Lions victory turned into a beatdown.

The Nittany Lions were stuffed on the opening kickoff, then reeled off an 11-play, 91-yard touchdown drive and never looked back. Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens started the scoring with a 21-yard touchdown run on that drive, and Trace McSorley followed with a five-yard run later in the opening quarter to make it 14-0. McSorley would throw a pair of touchdowns in the second period, and a late field goal made it 31-0 at halftime.

The onslaught continued. Barkley, who was quiet in the first half, recorded a pair of one-yard rushing touchdowns in the third quarter. Penn State brought in the backups, and Stevens added a touchdown pass later in the frame to make it 52-0.

Henry Darmstadter knocked in a 42-yard field goal to put the Terps on the board before the third quarter ended, but the Nittany Lions added two more scores in the final frame.

Three things to know

1. This wasn’t too good. Maryland’s hopes of an upset seemed to crumble with 55 minutes remaining in the football game. The Terps played another three-and-a-half hours after that, and never seemed like a threat. Fortunately for Maryland fans, the basketball won a game during this drubbing, so there was at least one victory somewhere on the day.

2. At least there’s D.J. Moore. He’s the new Maryland single-season leader in receptions, and finished his junior season with 80 catches and over 1,000 yards, becoming the third Terrapin receiver to ever reach that milestone. He should have some all-conference honors coming his way before long.

3. And there’s always next season. Most of Maryland’s production this season is eligible to return in 2018, and while Moore and some others might leave for the NFL, the Terps will start next season with four somewhat experienced quarterbacks and a boatload of talented true and redshirt freshmen. The rematch against Texas is on the clock.