No. 14 Penn State defense shines in 30-0 rout of Maryland

Penn State v Maryland
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Nick Singleton scored two touchdowns and ran for 113 of his 122 yards in the first half and the defense of No. 14 Penn State smothered Maryland in a 30-0 win on Saturday.

Tight end Brenton Strange caught a touchdown pass and Jake Pinegar kicked three field goals for the Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP), who beat Maryland for the seventh time in nine games since the Terps (6-4, 3-4) joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Like the overall series, this one was all Nittany Lions thanks to Penn State’s pass rush.

Soggy conditions couldn’t slow Penn State’s front seven. Neither could Maryland’s reeling offensive line.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was hit hard as he threw incomplete on the Terps’ first play from scrimmage – an omen of things to come from a Nittany Lion defense that notched seven sacks, seven QB hurries, forced nine punts and three turnovers on down.

The Nittany Lions did most of their damage early. They sacked Tagovailoa five times and held Maryland to just 27 total yards before halftime.

By that point, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had put the game out of reach when he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Strange just 6:08 in. Meanwhile, Singleton lapped Maryland’s defense on a pair of fourth-and-inches runs that went for 45- and 27-yard touchdowns. Pinegar added field goals from 50 and 46 yards to put Penn State up 27-0 at halftime.

Pinegar added a 21-yarder midway through the third.

Tagovailoa finished 11 for 22 for 74 yards. Roman Hemby led the Terps with 68 rushing yards on 13 carries.

THE TAKEAWAY

Maryland: It looks as if it could be another long November for the Terps. They’re just 2-9 in the month all-time under coach Mike Locksley and were beaten all over the field on Saturday. Their inability to run the ball and protect Tagovailoa doomed them from the start.

Penn State: Although the Nittany Lions don’t have a shot at a Big Ten championship, the future looks bright. The team’s most impactful players down the stretch are freshmen. Linebacker Abdul Carter had a team-best seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Singleton and fellow back Kaytron Allen appear to be Penn State’s best running back tandem since Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Hosts No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) on Saturday.

Penn State: Visits Rutgers (4-6, 1-6 Big Ten) on Saturday.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”