Perhaps one day the Nittany Lions may very well ‘Fear the Turtle’ but don’t bank on it anytime soon. Maryland has been outscored by Penn State a gazillion to six over the past three years, and have slowly drifted miles away from their northern counterpart ever since that infamous ‘no-handshake’ game that ushered in the Big Ten era for a Terrapin squad so desperately trying to be a rival, way back in 2014. The 20-19 Maryland victory on our own home turf may have very well signified rock bottom for Penn State in the FrankLion era, but ever since they truly haven’t stood a chance.

This year, they pulled out all the stops by canceling class; I repeat, they canceled classes for the entire day, brought home their old coach from their hey-day in the ACC, Ralph Friedgen, and called for a ‘Blackout,’ eager to prove their arrival on the national stage, only to be devoured by another shellacking 59-0 score. In the process, all their hopes and dreams of turning the corner against us fizzled out just as quickly as that black faded into a sea of white long before the second half got underway. It did little to move us up in the polls as no one in front of us suffered defeat, but what it did do is close the book once and for all on any notion, there is a rivalry in the works. It’s just not going to happen, Maryland, as our sights are set on that team out West, not the one we look down on from atop Mount Nittany.

As for this week’s Game Ball, when your squad comes out on top by such a lop-sided margin it stands to reason there might be a few worthy of the recognition. Sean Clifford threw for 398, accounted for four touchdowns, including his first on the ground, set a PSU record for most passing yards in a half and garnered Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. Mr. Electric, KJ Hamler, made the smack-talking Terps look silly on his way to another 100+ yard receiving day, and a 59-yard scoring romp that broke a few ankles along the way. For his effort, you can find The Human Joystick as a feature story in this week’s Sports Illustrated. How about that defense of ours across the board? Need I say more about that D? The stone wall speaks for itself. In case you lost track, it’s a defense that’s given up a grand total of 30 points through the first four games and only three touchdowns. They stopped a high-octane Maryland attack dead in their tracks and did it without their best player, Micah Parsons, who was ejected midway through the first quarter for targeting.

All those mentioned and then some are more than worthy of this week’s Game Ball and quite frankly Helmet Stickers go all around on a beat down like this, but on Tuesday afternoon, The Takeover garnered accolades of their own. For the first time ever, the Live Mas Student Section of the Week award went to an away team and you guessed it, the sea of white that took over the University of Maryland won the honors. When FrankLion asks us to wear white, we oblige and we showed up in force on Friday night under the lights. For that, the Game Ball goes to you Nittany Nation, along with another heaping bowl full of turtle soup which has become commonplace in this want-to-be rivalry!

 

Eric Herrold was born in State College and has bled Penn State Blue and White ever since. He is currently the proud owner/coordinator of the rapidly growing Facebook fanpage Nittany Nation, as well as a member of Success With Honor, the non-profit charitable organization. Eric currently resides in Richmond, Virginia spreading Penn State cheer and goodwill to all that will listen!

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