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Penn State ends regular season at Maryland Saturday; here’s what you need to know

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Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley (Getty Images)

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will wrap up the regular season Saturday by visiting Maryland for the first time since 1993 for a Big Ten clash with the Terrapins.

At 9-2 overall, the Nittany Lions are seeking to secure back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2008 and 2009.

Penn State and Maryland are playing for a fourth consecutive year since Maryland joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014. Two meetings have taken place in Happy Valley (2014 & 2016), while the 2015 contest was held in Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.

Penn State is coming off a prolific offensive performance, gaining 609 yards of total offense and scoring 56 points in a win over Nebraska. Maryland is 4-7 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play. The Terps won three of their first four games, including the season opener at then-No. 23 Texas, but have come up short in six of their last seven.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game:

Penn State (9-2) at Maryland (4-7)

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network

Betting Line: Penn State is a 22-point favorite

The Series: Penn State holds a commanding 37-2-1 lead in a series dating back to 1917. The Nittany Lions are 2-1 against Maryland since the Terps joined the Big Ten in 2014.

About Penn State: The Nittany Lions are coming off a 56-44 triumph over Nebraska in a game that was much less competitive than the final score indicated. The Nittany Lions built a 42-10 halftime lead before the Cornhuskers rallied in the second half against Penn State’s reserves. Saquon Barkley rushed for three touchdowns in the first half and racked up 224 yards from scrimmage and set the school record for career rushing touchdowns. Trace McSorley threw for 325 yards and had a hand in four touchdowns for the Nittany Lions as well.

Barkley has posted his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, and is the second player in Penn State history to reach the 3,500-rushing yard mark in his career (3,629 yards), joining Evan Royster (3,982 yards; 2007-10). Barkley is the first Penn State player and fourth Big Ten player with 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his career, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards against Michigan.

McSorley has thrown a touchdown pass in 26 consecutive games, dating to the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, extending his school record. It is the second-longest active streak in FBS behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (34).

Penn State has scored 20 or more points in 21 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in program history, breaking the record of 20-straight games from 1993-95.

Penn State is 9-2 after 11 games for a second consecutive season and is 18-3 in its last 21 games — its best span since going 20-1 from 1993-95. The Nittany Lions can earn their seventh 10-win regular season since joining the Big Ten, and is looking to post back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2008 and 2009.

Penn State’s scoring average of 39.4 points per game ranks 11th in FBS and second in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are averaging 445.9 yards of total offense per game to rank second in the Big Ten and 31st in FBS.

Penn State will learn which bowl game it will be invited to on Dec. 3.

Penn State head coach James Franklin spent eight seasons on staff at Maryland. He was the Terrapins’ asst. head coach/offensive coordinator (2008-10) and recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach (2000-04).

About Maryland: The Terps are facing their third ranked opponent in as many weeks and sixth of the season. Coached by DJ Durkin since 2015, Maryland has a pair of playmakers on offense, as running back Ty Johnson is among the conference leaders in all-purpose yards and second only to Barkley in kick returns, and DJ Moore is the conference’s leading receiver, despite having his third starting quarterback of the season, as injuries sidelined two early in the year.

Johnson averages 131 all-purpose yards per game, and 25 yards per kick return. Moore has racked up 933 receiving yards, averaging 84.8 per game.

Linebacker Jermaine Carter leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in FBS with four forced fumbles. He leads the team in tackles (79) and sacks (3.5).

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