COLLEGE PARK -- It’s not a home game for Maryland, technically, with Saturday’s game against Penn State set to be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. But logistically, it’s nearly the same. There’s only one change.
Instead of driving to the Sheraton hotel not far from campus that they stay at for games at Byrd Stadium, the team will go a little further up the road and settle in at a hotel in Baltimore.
“I know our players are excited about going up and playing in Baltimore,” interim head coach Mike Locksley said this week. “Any chance we have an opportunity we an opportunity to go and play before our Baltimore fan base, that’s a great thing for our program and for the university.”
It’s a game with recruiting implications, too.
Penn State sits just three hours north of Baltimore and head coach James Franklin, a former Maryland assistant, recruits the area hard.
Nine players on the Nittany Lions’ roster are from the state of Maryland. Ten more are from the state of Virginia. With national television cameras watching, this game will mean something to the future recruiting efforts of both teams.
“I’ve been recruiting this area a pretty long time and there’s been a lot more people that come into this area that are hitting it pretty well. Obviously, a win against a good team like Penn State will have some effect.”
“We’ve got to continue to do our share and win our share of the battles.”
Maryland has played at M&T Bank Stadium before. In 2013, the Terrapins beat West Virginia, 37-0. That victory put the team out to a 4-0 start on the year, a season in which they would ultimately finish with seven wins.
The professional team that inhabits the place on Sundays has not fared well, getting out to a 1-5 start with a Monday-night date against the Arizona Cardinals upcoming.
Perhaps a Maryland win on Saturday could get fortunes moving in the right direction.