For the second time in three years, the Maryland football team will play a game at M&T Bank Stadium in 2015 – this time against Penn State in what Terps fans hope will be part of a renewed rivalry between the schools.
The game — scheduled for Oct. 24, 2015 — will mark Penn State's first visit to the state for a Terps game since 1993.
The game was among the highlights of the Big Ten schedule released Monday.
For the second season in a row, the Terps will close the regular season with a game against Rutgers. The schedule for 2014 — Maryland's first season in the Big Ten — was released last month.
The season finale is often reserved for rivalry games. In this case, schedule makers may have found it easy to pair the two newest Big Ten members.
Maryland last met Rutgers in 2009 and is 5-4 against the Scarlet Knights.
Many Maryland fans and administrators hope the team can ignite a rivalry with Penn State. The schools haven't played since 1993 in a series the Nittany Lions dominated by winning 35 of 37 games with one tie.
Penn State is not only a big name, but the school recruits in Maryland and periodically holds "coaches caravan" events in Baltimore. The university has a large alumni contingent in the Baltimore-Washington region.
Maryland fans have long been thirsting for a suitable football rival.
The school Maryland has played the most — Virginia — will be off the schedule when the Terps leave the Atlantic Coast Conference after this season.
Another potential rival, West Virginia, is in a different conference (the Big 12) than Maryland, but the schools are in neighboring states and have lots of history. They renewed their series in 2010 and have played the past three seasons.
Since Penn State and Maryland will be in the same Big Ten division, they are locked into annual games.
"We played them for so many years," said Terps fan Gary Jackson, a retired Army officer who attends almost every Maryland game, home and away, with his wife, Meridel.
Jackson said Penn State is a natural adversary. "A good rival, I think, should be in a neighboring state. We have kind of a rivalry with West Virginia, but they are outside the conference."
Maryland and West Virginia meet this season on Sept. 21 at M&T Bank Stadium.
The financial arrangements for games in Baltimore are negotiated among Maryland, the Ravens and representatives of the state. The stadium is owned by the state, and the Ravens are tenants.
M&T Bank Stadium holds about 71,000. Since the capacity of Byrd Stadium is about 54,000, all parties involved stand to gain financially if the Baltimore games draw well.
The Terps drew 69,348 to M&T Bank Stadium for a season-opening win over Navy in 2010.
Maryland also had a game — against Virginia Tech — scheduled for M&T Bank Stadium in 2014. But, according to multiple sources, that game is now officially off the books since the Terps are departing the Atlantic Coast Conference after the 2013 season.
"I think there's a positive [to playing in Baltimore]," Terry Hasseltine, director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing, said in a recent interview.
"They can diversify their offering portfolio by utilizing more than one stadium. You know Coach [Randy] Edsall wants to be in the Baltimore market for recruiting purposes."
The 2015 schedule also includes home games against Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, while the Terps will go on the road to face Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers. The complete schedule and game times will be announced at a later date.
Here's Maryland 2015 Big Ten schedule:
Oct. 3 – Michigan
Oct. 10 – at Ohio State
Oct. 17 – Open Date
Oct. 24 – Penn State (M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.)
Oct. 31 – at Iowa
Nov. 7 – Wisconsin
Nov. 14 – at Michigan State
Nov. 21 – Indiana
Nov. 28 – at Rutgers
The complete schedule and game times will be announced at a later date.
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