College Football Picks: Penn St. & Maryland to Clash in Neutral-Site

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 7:33 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 7:33 PM GMT

The Maryland football team plays its first game without Coach Randy Edsall against Penn State at the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Check our college football pick inside.

Locksley Takes Over Terps For Now
Maryland (2-4, 0-2) has been a big disappointment and enters on a three-game losing streak, all blowouts: 45-6 at West Virginia, 28-0 against Michigan and 49-28 at Ohio State. There were reports that the school was closing to firing Edsall entering that Oct. 10 Buckeyes game -- Terps were off last week -- and indeed he was let go after. Edsall had a 22-34 record in less than five seasons and never beat a team ranked in the Top 25.

"We want somebody who's going to come in here and excite the fan base. If you look at football today, fans want an exciting, wide-open offense, and  I think that's part of why weren't successful these last six games," athletic director Kevin Anderson said.

Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, the former New Mexico head coach (he was a ghastly 2-26 there), will finish out the season as the head coach while still calling the offensive plays. He has no shot at the full-time job. It could be a pretty good gig because it's obviously in a great conference -- although Maryland is 4-6 in conference games since joining the Big Ten, with five of the losses coming by 21 points or more -- and there are good high school players in the Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia area. Plus Maryland has a deep-pocketed booster in Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, a former football walk-on at the school. Anderson at least got a head start on other possible openings with the early firing, although since then there have been openings at Southern Cal and South Carolina and those are both better jobs.

The Terps are 27-21-5 all-time in Baltimore, playing 44 of their 53 games at the late Memorial Stadium. Maryland is 3-1 all-time in the current home of the Ravens and has won three straight games at M&T Bank Stadium (2005, 2010, 2013).

Maryland will wear alternate uniforms in this one, inspired by the ones worn by the 1961 team, which is the only other Maryland squad to beat Penn State. The helmets will have a black and yellow stripe down the middle, and each player's helmet will sport his number for the game. The all -red tops have white stripes on the shoulders and white numbers. They are pretty sharp.

The Terrapins are 3-3 against the spread on college football odds this season and 3-2-1 'over/under.'

 

Penn State Has Some Stars
The Nittany Lions (5-2, 2-1) also come off a blowout loss to Ohio State, 38-10 on Saturday. PSU led 3-0 entering the second quarter but the Buckeyes broke it open by outscoring Penn State 21-0 in that frame. Freshman running back Saquon Barkley did most of the damage for the Penn State offense, rushing 26 times for 194  yards after missing the previous two games due to injury. Barkley had a 44-yard touchdown run in the first quarter nullified by a penalty, and Penn State would eventually be forced to punt. Barkley's three 100-yard rushing games are tied for second on the all-time true freshman season list at the school. D.J. Dozier holds the record with five in 1983.

Lions QB Christian Hackenberg continued his inconsistent season by completing 7-for-13 for 120 yards with a touchdown vs. OSU. He could become the school's career leader in passing yardage, completions and attempts in this game. Hackenberg needs to surpass 74 yards passing, 11 completions and 29 attempts to top all three lists.

Penn State has arguably the nation's top defensive player this year in senior end Carl Nassib. He is a lock to be a first-team All-American as Nassib leads the FBS in sacks (11.5), tackles for loss (15.5) and forced fumbles (five). He has recorded a sack in each game this season and four multi-sack games. Nassib's 11.5 sacks are the most by a Nittany Lion since Aaron Maybin had 12 in the 2008 season.

PSU is 3-4 against the spread on college football picks and 1-6 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
The schools met at co-Big Ten members for the first time last year in State College and Maryland won 20-19 as Brad Craddock kicked a 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds left. The Terps got their first-ever victory at Penn State and their second win of the 38-game series, which they trail 35-2-1. The teams hadn't played since 1993. Maryland punted 11 times and was only 1-for-14 on third-down conversions. Penn State managed just 42 yards rushing and Hackenberg was 18-for-42 for 177  yards with a touchdown and interception. There could be some hard feelings here because the Maryland team captains refused to shake the hands of their Penn State counterparts before the coin toss. And then after the game, Edsall said: "We're gonna enjoy this one. We're gonna enjoy it quite a bit. Let the rivalry begin."

 

Final Analysis
Love the 'under.' Take Penn State. The Lions are 12-5-1 ATS in their past 18 following an ATS loss. Maryland is 1-11 ATS in its past 12 following an ATS win. The 'under' is 6-1 in Penn State's  past seven Big Ten games. 

College Football Picks: Penn State -6.5 & Under 48 at Heritage

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