59-0? Are you kidding me?! I totally did not expect that. Everybody was saying it’s a trap kinda game, what with the weirdness of a Friday night kickoff and Maryland preparing for a Super Bowl. I just kept thinking I’m never gonna get to sleep because I’ll be up biting my nails till midnight and then calming down for hours.

Then, there went our Nittany Lions delivering a route. How delightfully unexpected! Possibly a game like that could seem boring. The commentators sure seemed to think so, as we had to endure the opining of Maryland’s finest, Coach “Fridge,” even before the half. I, however, loved it from exciting start to predictable, anxiety-free end, with plenty of surprises in between.

I never expected to come out and score 38 points in the first half. Take that “second-half team” reputation. With the defense interception setting us up for the first TD and the offense putting a second on the board shortly thereafter, it was about as good of a start as we could want.

I have to mention the dynamite offensive display: Sean Clifford had nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns. They scored on six of seven possessions. We threw the ball. We ran the ball.  We made the huge plays and the smaller ones. We converted third downs for goodness sakes.

Though I expected our defense to be rock solid, what was unexpected was the shut out. It appeared we were going deep into our reserves at the end there and even those guys were able to keep Maryland from scoring.

Sideline surprises awaited us as well. I bet you didn’t expect to see our running backs passing around their own personal turnover chain—cough, ahem, I mean Lawnboyz necklace. It’s been around for a few weeks but only just made its TV debut. I don’t know if it violates our black shoes, basic blues, no name tradition, but I do know it’s got the old school fans riled up.

We got a fun unexpected visit from our beloved Trace McSorely. Maybe not entirely unexpected since Baltimore is not that far, but I love to see him still supporting our Penn State family.

And can you believe a third of the season is behind us already? Can’t get any better than a perfect September. I’m watching this team out of the corner of my eyes now. Don’t anybody make direct eye contact with this season or we might scare it away.

I’m always hoping for but never expecting a national championship. If I’m honest, I don’t expect our team to perform quite as well in the coming weeks. After a game like the one we played against the Terrapins though, I just might start expecting the unexpected.

Dawn graduated from Penn State in 2002. As a student, she never missed a football game. She camped out for front row seats before it was cool and danced in Thon. She currently lives outside of Philadelphia. She enjoys teaching, yoga, and being a new mom.

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