It wasn’t the Penn State team we’ve seen most of this season, but the adjective James Franklin described them with was the same, resilient.
Penn State defeated Maryland 31-30 Saturday to improve to 6-2 making them bowl eligible for a second straight season under Franklin.
Maryland entered the game 2-4 with an interim head coach and nothing to lose and their play reflected it. The Terps defense stacked the box and challenged Christian Hackenberg to beat them deep with his receiving corps that has struggled to get separation and make plays all season. Saturday was a different story.
Hackenberg connected with Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton and Geno Lewis for touchdowns for a total of 315 yards making him Penn State’s all-time leader in yards and completions.
Despite the breakout passing game, Penn State’s defense allowed a season high 466 yards as they struggled to stop Maryland duel threat Quarterback Perry Hills. But the defense had the offense’s back when they needed to forcing three turnovers including a late interception by Malik Golden allowing Penn State to end the game in the victory formation.
Penn State returns home next Saturday for a matchup with Illinois.