Every team in the Big Ten East has a difficult schedule. That is what happens in a division with Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State.
Obviously, those opponents aren’t sneaking up on anybody. We’ve seen plenty of teams down the ranks of college football sneak up on top programs though.
Penn State’s schedule also features tough games against Purdue and at Iowa from the Big Ten West. In the non-conference, the Nittany Lions get a pesky Buffalo team in prime time, and rival Pitt.
Those aren’t the games that ESPN thinks could be the one that sneaks up on the 2019 Penn State football team, though.
In a new article, the Worldwide Leader identifies the game on the schedule for each Top 25 team that they should “beware.”
For James Franklin’s team, Adam Rittenberg actually went with Big Ten East upstart Maryland, in the conference opener for the Nittany Lions.
New Terrapins coach Mike Locksley wants to challenge Penn State right away in recruiting and on the field. There’s no better opening statement than to shock the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten opener. Friday night road games are tricky, and last year Penn State trailed Illinois in the third quarter before scoring 42 unanswered points. Maryland has Anthony McFarland and other talented pieces and could make things tricky for new PSU quarterback Sean Clifford.
Maryland is also the opponent listed for Syracuse in the same article, so clearly some in the college football media think the Terrapins could be dangerous in year one under Locksley.
The Terps won this match-up in their first year as members of the Big Ten, but Penn State is 4-0 since. That was Maryland’s first win in the series since 1961.
Overall, Penn State is 39-2-1 against Maryland.