COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland's Red Storm offense was never even cloudy last night.
The run-and-shoot was the crawl-and-whimper.
Before this lopsided series was finally put in cold storage, the only torrential rain that fell at Byrd Stadium came in the form of a Penn State defense that hounded, sacked and intercepted an overmatched Scott Milanovich.
When Penn State's 70-7 demolition was complete, even the ninth-ranked Nittany Lions were surprised at how quickly Maryland's offense came undone.
"By the second quarter, they started doing stupid things," Penn State strong safety Derek Bochna said. "They lost their concentration.
"Their quarterback would audible two and three times [on the same play]. I don't know if he does that normally in that offense. From the beginning, though, they never seemed to click."
The issue was settled quickly -- before the sellout crowd of 42,008 had settled in. Penn State scored on its third offensive play, a 63-yard sweep by tailback Ki-Jana Carter, who saw "nothing but green" when he turned the corner.
The Lions scored on their first three possessions and their last three of the first half. They overwhelmed the Terps with brutal efficiency.
In seven first-half scoring drives, they needed an average of 46.7 seconds. No drive required more than five plays. By the end of the game, Penn State had amassed a staggering 526 rushing yards, and Carter (159 yards) and Mike Archie (120) had career highs.
But the real story of Penn State's onslaught was its defensive domination. In the first half, the Lions sacked Milanovich five times for 47 yards in losses and intercepted him three times.
At halftime, it was 46-7, and Maryland's only touchdown was a gift, courtesy of a fumble by Carter at the Penn State 20.
"We disguised a lot of things," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "We played a lot of zones, and we changed up the zones a great deal.
"He [Milanovich] didn't have time to read what was going on down field. With our pressure up front, he didn't have a chance to go to his second or third receiver."
Milanovich never got on track, completing 19 of 32 passes for 158 yards. Penn State's coverage in the secondary aided its pass rush.
"It was a team effort," defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson said. "Our DBs [defensive backs] played well, and we played well up front."
Said Bochna: "We did have pretty good coverage. They were never sure what we were in."
The Lions were able to get pressure on Milanovich with three- and four-man rushes after building their early lead. They did not go on defensive overload, either.
"We used fewer [defenses] than normal," Bochna said. "I had to wear the card this week in practice to call defenses, and there weren't too many on there."
It was, perhaps, the difference familiarity makes. The Terps passed for 336 yards in a 49-13 loss at Penn State a year ago. This time they totaled a modest 170 yards.
"We knew they ran the no-huddle," Bochna said, "but we didn't panic. When we practiced against the no-huddle this year, we weren't worried about it. We knew we'd get the defense in. Last year when we practiced, we worried about it."
There was an ugly side to the game. When Brian O'Neal scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, he was hit on the face mask by a beer bottle thrown from the stands. It shattered, and particles went into his eye and mouth, but after the game he appeared to be OK.
The incident happened one play after officials let Penn State repeat a first-and-goal play after Carter, hearing whistles in the stands, stopped running.
"Their football team isn't about cheap stuff," O'Neal said. "It's sad to see fans make the school look bad."