No. 10 Penn State cruises by Maryland in final regular season game

USA Today Images

No. 10 Penn State cruises by Maryland in final regular season game


COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Trace McSorley threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as No. 10 Penn State closed out its regular season Saturday afternoon with a 66-3 rout of Maryland.

McSorley threw touchdown passes of two and nine yards to tight end Mike Gesicki, and ran five yards for a score, all in the first half.

In all, McSorley clicked on 22 of 33 passes for 237 yards, while running seven times for 36, as PSU improved to 10-2.

Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens also rushed 12 times for 113 yards and three scores and threw a TD pass to reserve tight end Tom Pancoast.

In addition, Saquon Barkley ran 16 times for 77 yards and two TDs.

Henry Darmstadter kicked a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter for Maryland, which finished 4-8.

• McSorley, identified at one point as “McFlurry” by the press box announcer, put it up 29 times in the first half alone, completing 19 for 205 yards and both his touchdowns. The first was a two-yard shovel pass to Gesicki, the second a nine-yard toss to the tight end, who made a one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone. McSorley also ran for a first-half TD.

• McSorley has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 27 straight games. His 11 rushing scores this season equal a school record for QBs set by Michael Robinson in 2005. He also joined Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett as the only players in Big Ten history with at least 25 touchdown passes and 10 rushing TDs in the same season. Barrett did so in 2014.

• The Lions scored on five of their eight first-half possessions, all but the last of them resulting in touchdowns, and outgained the Terps, 299-179, in the half. PSU, up 31-0 after the first two quarters, had one negative-yardage play in the half, a 10-yard loss on a sack 34 snaps into the game. At that point the Lions led 28-0.

• One of the mysteries of Penn State’s season has been the way in which Stevens, a multi-purpose threat, has been used. Besides serving as McSorley’s backup, he has appeared at running back and receiver, and has been productive in every role. He did not play, however, in the losses to Ohio State and Michigan, when the offense was in need of a jolt, and while there was speculation about an injury, reporters also spotted him dunking a football over the crossbar at the end of one practice.

Stevens — who also did not play against Iowa, Indiana and Rutgers — reappeared last week against Nebraska. And on Saturday, he capped the Lions’ first possession with a 21-yard touchdown run, lining up at running back, taking a handoff, starting right, faking a pitch to Barkley as he headed in the opposite direction and then continuing to the end zone.

• Stevens replaced McSorley at QB with 5:46 left in the third quarter. He finished the day 3 of 7 for 11 yards through the air, with his TD a four-yarder to Pancoast. Stevens also caught one pass for four yards.

• Maryland attempted a trick play on its third offensive snap, on which wide receiver D.J. Moore took a lateral and looked to throw. The Lions diagnosed the play, but as he was being hauled down Moore completed a backwards over-the-head flip to Jahrvis Davenport, albeit for a loss of six.

• Safety Troy Apke did not play the first half while serving a suspension for a targeting penalty incurred last week against Nebraska. Nick Scott started in his place, and Ayron Monroe also saw time. Apke returned in the second half.

• Defensive end Ryan Buchholz (Great Valley) and offensive tackle Ryan Bates (Archbishop Wood) returned, each after missing the previous three games with undisclosed leg injuries suffered in the Oct. 28 loss to Ohio State. Buchholz was part of the defensive line rotation, while Bates, who normally plays left tackle, manned the right side in garbage time.

• Wide receiver/special teams star Irv Charles was also back, after being held out of the Nebraska game for undisclosed reasons. Linebacker Manny Bowen sat out his third straight game after violating a team rule, according to coach James Franklin.

• Lions center Connor McGovern suffered a leg injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Zach Simpson. McGovern returned, however, in the second half.

Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple

AP Images

Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Josh Reaves had his second career double-double, Shep Garner hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes and Penn State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat Temple 63-57 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Reaves shot 7 of 10 from the field, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tony Carr missed 10 consecutive field-goal attempts before scoring his first points of the game on a jumper that pulled Penn State within four with 6:20 to play. That sparked a 16-2 run to give the Nittany Lions a 62-54 lead with 16 seconds left.

Reaves and Garner hit back-to-back 3s to make it 54-all before John Harrar's layup with 1:52 remaining gave Penn State its first lead since 4-3. The Owls made just 1 of 9 from the field and committed three turnovers during the span.

Shizz Alston Jr. led Temple (17-16), which led for more than 35 minutes, with 15 points and Josh Brown added 14.

Carr and Garner -- who came in averaging 19.9 and 11.1 points per game, respectively -- combined to score 10 on 3-of-19 shooting for the Nittany Lions (22-13).

The Owls made just 5 of 14 free throws while Penn State hit 20 of 30.

It was the 93rd meeting between the schools, which are located less than 200 miles apart, but the first since 2011. The Nittany Lions snapped a seven-game skid in the series, dating to Dec. 9, 2000.

Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented

USA Today Images

Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented


NEW YORK — Purdue threw a little of everything at Penn State star Tony Carr, the Big Ten's leading scorer. Bigger guys. Smaller ones. Switches and some double teams.

Carr managed only 12 points in a woeful shooting game, and No. 8 Purdue separated from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory Saturday that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.

Third-seeded Purdue (28-5) faces No. 5 Michigan, which will try to repeat as tournament champs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Purdue frustrated Carr and held him to 4-of-18 shooting. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Nojel Eastern, 5-10 P.J. Thompson, 6-4 Dakota Mathias, 6-8 Vincent Edwards and 6-1 Carsen Edwards.

"When you have a good player like that it takes more than one guy because he's able to make shots and make plays over guys," Vincent Edwards said. "They just did a good job of taking up that space and being able to force him into tough shots."

Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with a career-high 33 points and the senior set a school record with 129 career points in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.

Against Penn State, Purdue used a 12-2 run the middle of the second half to build a 15-point lead. Carsen Edwards led the way, spinning through the lane for a driving layup and making a 3 from up top that made the score 59-44 with 9:15 left. He finished with 27 points and shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range after scoring 26 on Friday against Rutgers.

"It's a consistency," guard Dakota Mathias said of Edwards. "He's being very efficient, too."

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

Isaac Haas, the 7-2 center, added 17 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.

With Carr struggling, Penn State could not keep up. He picked up a third foul in the second half, a push off call that caused Penn State coach Pat Chambers to draw a technical.

"I think they were very physical," Chambers said. "Obviously that's why I felt like I needed to get T'd up, my first T in a long, long time."

Big Picture
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had a chance to work their way into the conversation for an NCAA at-large bid by beating Purdue, but now Penn State seems like a long shot at best. Chambers is still hopefully.

"Well, I'm an optimist," he said. "We have NCAA Tournament talent."

Purdue: The Boilermakers hit a rough patch losing three straight close games in early February to Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, but an argument can be made that they have been the Big Ten's most consistent team this season.

"We had an opportunity to win the Big Ten regular season. We kind of gave that away," said Thompson, one of four senior starters. "But we still had a goal of winning a Big Ten championship on our list before the season started and we put ourselves in position to be able to do that tomorrow."

Purdue does most everything well, except rebound. A night after giving up 17 offensive boards to Rutgers, the Boilermakers allowed 16 rebounds to Penn State.

Shep Shooter
Garner went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, including a four-point play, to carry Penn State in the first half. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.

Up Next
Penn State: An NIT bid is likely coming the Nittany Lions way, though the big question beyond March is whether Carr returns for another season or heads to the NBA draft.

Purdue: The Boilermakers swept the Wolverines in two games decided by a combined five points.

"Just a really skilled offensive team," Carsen Edwards said. "They have a lot of options. For us it's going to come down to defense and getting stops."