Craddock Hits Game Winning Field Goal, Terps Beat Penn State


Terps become bowl eligible with win over border-rival Penn State.

With the Maryland Terrapins (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) now in the Big Ten, it makes sense that new rivalries will eventually be formed.

But some might not have thought it would happen so quickly.

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On Saturday, Maryland headed north across the Mason-Dixon line to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) in a game that gave us an interesting beginning and a fantastic finish.

With the Terps trailing Penn State 19-17 with 51 seconds remaining in the game, Randy Edsall brought in his closer (I mean kicker), Brad Craddock who after an earlier field goal in the game was a perfect 13-13 on the season.

The 43-yard field goal attempt went right through the uprights and gave the Terrapins a 20-19 lead with less than a minute remaining. Craddock is now 14-14 on the year and leads the Big Ten and the NCAA in both field goals made (14) and field goal percentage (100%).

Maryland secured the win after Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg fumbled a snap on the ensuing drive which was recovered by the Terps.

“Let the rivalry begin.” – Randy Edsall

This was only Maryland’s second win over Penn State in 38 meetings and its first ever in Beaver Stadium.

Both teams came in to this game looking to bounce back from losses. Penn State lost in double-overtime to Ohio State while the Terps got trounced by Wisconsin last weekend.

Maryland’s defense held the Nittany Lions to 219 total yards on offense and forced four turnovers (3 fumbles and 1 interception).

Defensive back William Likely came up big again with his fifth interception of the season. He currently leads the Big Ten in interceptions.

On offense, Maryland looked horrible except for four out of their 17 drives. On those four drives, the Terrapins scored, they extended drives with first downs and made some plays. The rest of their drives were stalled due to the fact they only converted one out of 13 third downs attempts.

They also fumbled the ball four times with Penn State recovering twice and were penalized 6 times for 89 yards which brings us to the interesting start to the game.

Maryland found a way to get penalized before the game even started.

During pre-game, there was a scuffle between a few players from both sides which was bound to happen given the nature of the game. Think about it. It was a border rivalry. Maryland was looking for their first ever win at Beaver Stadium. Penn State’s head coach James Franklin was once the head coach in waiting at Maryland and both teams were looking to bounce back from losses.

Whether it was the scuffle or just the emotion of the game, when the captains met a mid-field for the coin-toss, Maryland players denied handshakes from Penn State. Maryland was flagged for the unsportsmanlike conduct and penalized 15-yards on the kickoff which gave Penn State good field position to start the game.

A few thoughts on the hand shake incident:

  1. It was unsportsmanlike and Maryland deserved the penalty.
  2. Even though it was unsportsmanlike, it was good to see some emotion from the Terps. These players play with pride for themselves, their coaches, their school and for the great state of Maryland. Unfortunately, their emotions got the best of them this time.
  3. Since the incident, both head coach Randy Edsall and director of athletics, Kevin Anderson have apologized to Penn State.
  4. It happened. They played the game. Maryland won. They apologized. Let’s move on.

Maryland earned a big win today and now find themselves bowl-eligible for the second season in a row. The Terps have more work to do and will have two weeks to prepare for #8 Michigan State. The Spartans visit College Park on November 15th for Maryland’s annual “Blackout Byrd” game. Kickoff is set for 8pm and the game will be broadcast on BTN.