UNIVERSITY PARK (Nittany Nation) — For the first time all season, Penn State’s defense showed a chink in the armor Saturday allowing a season worst 24-points to a struggling Indiana offense.
“You know, obviously, I don’t think in general on Saturday we played our best football,” said coach James Franklin Tuesday.
Long touchdowns of 69 and 90 yards highlighted the Hoosiers success against the Nittany Lions. Penn State has allowed four plays of 30-or-more yards in their last two games. Penn State has allowed just nine such plays this year.
“I think there’s enough body of work of who we’ve been as a defense to feel very comfortable and very confident with that,” said Franklin. “You had you had one play where a guy made a phenomenal throw and receiver made a great catch and run. You know, they’re going to make plays to their own scholarship, too. Right?”
Cue Maryland and dynamic quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.
The Terrapins feature one of the conference’s top vertical passing games and have scored on plays of 20+ yards in all but one game this season. Statistically the Terps, Michigan and Ohio State are similar on long plays, but Maryland leads the Big Ten in plays of 10+ yards.
“This going to be a challenge this week for a number of reasons? No doubt about it,” added Franklin. “But it’s not like you’re watching the tape and saying, aha, ‘This happened here and we’re going to capitalize on this.’ I would not say that.”
Tagovailoa leads the Big Ten averaging 275 yards-per-game and has thrown a conference best 19 touchdowns.