– by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Penn State Nittany Lions football team turned a highly-anticipated game under the lights into a lights-out performance that should serve notice to the rest of the contenders in the Big Ten Conference in 2019.
The team that many say is “one year away” may be ready to compete for a championship in the present.
Junior quarterback Sean Clifford, making his first-ever collegiate start away from home, was near perfect on his way to producing four total touchdowns in the Nittany Lions’ 59-0 demolition of the Maryland Terrapins in a Friday night game at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, the biggest shutout victory in a conference game since Penn State’s arrival in the Big Ten in 1993.
Penn State’s offense racked up 619 yards, compared to Maryland’s 128, while forcing three turnovers and collecting four sacks against a team that, just two weeks ago, entered the Top 25 after a win against a previously-ranked Syracuse team.
“Thought it was probably one of the more complete games that we have played in our six years [at Penn State], really kind of in all three phases,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. “We played at a high level. Really handled being on the road for the first time, and a Big Ten environment. Thought the environment there to start the game was challenging as well and I thought we handled it really well.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s game, with all photos taken by DC-Area photographers Yusuf Abdullah and Rodney Pierce. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 35 pictures in total.