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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Maryland beat writers predict the outcome of Terps-Penn State

Each week during Big Ten play, the Washington Post’s Roman Stubbs, another Maryland football beat writer and I share our predictions for the Terps’ upcoming game.

This week’s rotating writer is Alex Kirshner from Testudo Times.

Here are our predictions for Saturday’s game between Maryland (5-3 overall, 2-2 Big Ten) and Penn State (4-3, 1-3) in State College, Pa.

 

Matt Zenitz

Penn State 24, Maryland 17

I think Maryland’s defensive front is better than Penn State’s offensive line and that the Terps will be able to limit the Nittany Lions’ offense as a result. I just think that Penn State’s defense will create problems for the Terps’ offensive line and that Maryland will have trouble putting up points against that highly ranked Penn State defense, enough so for the Nittany Lions to come away with a win.


Roman Stubbs

Maryland 20, Penn State 17

Penn State enters this game as a slight favorite, but I wonder how much of a toll last week’s emotional double overtime loss against Ohio State...

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Terps football notes on forecast, Shawne Merriman's visit, more

When it was sunny and around 60 degrees in College Park on Tuesday, Maryland coach Randy Edsall joked about that weather not being beneficial for the Terps as they prepared for Saturday’s game at Penn State.

At that time, weather.com was calling for temperatures of around 40 degrees, winds close to 20 miles per hour, and the website had the likelihood of rain at 50 percent.

The forecast is still not great, but it is at least more promising.

As of Friday morning, weather.com has the chance of rain down to 30 percent and is calling for game time temperatures to be closer to 50 degrees.

Wind looks like it will still be a factor, though, as that part of the forecast has not changed.

Practice visitor

Former Maryland and NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman stopped by the Terps’ practice Thursday and talked to the team afterward.

“We were blessed today to have Shawne Merriman here,” Edsall said. “He was in town, hit me up and wanted to come by, so he came by. He had a good message for our guys.”

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Weekly Maryland recruiting roundup

In this week's recruiting roundup, Ty Johnson does laps around most of Western Maryland high school football.

Football recruiting

-- Class of 2015 quarterback commit Gage Shaffer had five touchdown passes in a 68-20 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 athlete commit Ty Johnson ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and had a 29-yard touchdown catch in a 56-6 win Saturday. Watch him be faster and stronger than pretty much everyone on the field in the nearly 10-minute midseason highlight reel at the top of this page.

-- Class of 2015 wide receiver commit D.J. Moore had a touchdown in a 66-6 win Monday.

-- Class of 2015 wide receiver commit Jahrvis Davenport had a 60-yard touchdown catch in a 27-7 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 linebacker commit Gus Little had a catch for 11 yards in a 40-34 win last Friday.

-- Class of 2015 linebacker commit Brett Zanotto had 66 rushing yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, in a 35-10 win last Friday.

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Stopping Penn State's Christian Hackenberg a 'challenge,' but not impossible for Terps

Seventeen years ago, Maryland coach Randy Edsall was scouting and recruiting Christian Hackenberg’s father, Erick.

Edsall was an assistant coach at Syracuse. Erick Hackenberg was a standout quarterback at Marian Catholic High School in Pennsylvania who chose to attend Virginia before transferring to Susquehanna.

Now Edsall and his defensive staff at Maryland are scheming to find ways to slow down Erick’s son, Christian, arguably the most talented young quarterback in the country. The Terps play Hackenberg and Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa.

While Hackenberg has more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (six) in seven games this season, he threw for 2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman last year after signing with Penn State as a five-star recruit.

“He's big, he's strong and he can make every throw that you want a quarterback to make,” Edsall said of the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Hackenberg. “He's mobile and able to move around. So when an...

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Previewing Maryland-Penn State football with a Nittany Lions beat reporter

Back for a second season, we'll be previewing each of Maryland's football games by conducting a Q&A with a reporter who covers the Terps' next opponent.

This week, we traded emails with Mark Wogenrich, the Penn State beat reporter for The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. Be sure to check out more of their coverage here before the Terps and Badgers kick off Saturday at noon from State College, Pa.

TRACKING THE TERPS: There are two ways a team can go after the type of loss Penn State suffered Saturday. Do you think the comeback gives the Nittany Lions a confidence boost heading into this week, or might that outcome stunt their preparation for Maryland?

MARK WOGENRICH: How Penn State lost that game will fuel not just confidence but also anger. Watching the Big Ten explain two officiating errors helped restore a chip the team carried for parts of the last three years. Penn State will play angry Saturday; not sure if that translates to better, but the team won’t be subdued.

Also, one new...

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Ping-Pong diplomacy? Not a when it comes to James Franklin's recruitment of C.J. Brown

When Maryland was recruiting quarterback C.J. Brown, then-head coach Ralph Friedgen took James Franklin, his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, along for the trip to the 3-star prospect’s home.

Both Brown and Franklin recalled this week how they played ping-pong in the basement of Brown's house in Cranberry Township, Pa., but their recollection of how their competion turned out was a little different.

“Before he left, I challenged to a game of ping-pong. He was talking all that trash saying he was pretty good,” Brown said Tuesday. "I don’t know if it was his way of getting me to commit, but I ended up beating him, so I’ll always have that over his head.”

Told Wednesday of Brown’s memory of their match, Franklin laughed.        

“No, I whupped him every game," Franklin said. Every game."

Brown and Franklin get a chance to settle the score Saturday, in some respects, when the quarterback leads his Terps to Penn State to face Franklin's Nittany Lions.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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