Lions insist they'll resist urge to look past Terps Michigan showdown looms for Penn State COLLEGE FOOTBALL

September 27, 1993|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The only thing standing between Penn State and a Big Ten showdown with Michigan on Oct. 16 is a stroll down memory lane.

The Nittany Lions will take that stroll with Maryland one last time Saturday night at Byrd Stadium.

To hear coach Joe Paterno talk, you'd think he was going to miss the Maryland rivalry, which ends, at least temporarily, with this game.

"Maryland will be a big game for us, even though it's not a conference game," Paterno said. "Our kids know the Maryland kids. There's a little bit of familiarity. You just don't walk away from it."

Paterno has put the Big Ten on hold for two weeks while he tends to old business. That business includes back-to-back games against Rutgers and Maryland, two traditional Eastern rivals being phased out of Penn State's schedule because of its new Big Ten obligations.

The ninth-ranked Lions (4-0) dismantled Rutgers Saturday night, 31-7. The specter of Rutgers, rain and a 7:30 p.m. kickoff held the Beaver Stadium crowd to 92,000 -- nearly 4,000 under capacity -- which is a good month at most colleges.

These are two games Penn State fans expect to win. The Lions have a combined record of 54-3-1 against Rutgers and Maryland, including 27-0-1 against Maryland since last losing to the Terps in 1961.

For at least one Lion, it will be a homecoming of sorts.

"I'm ready to go home to Maryland one last time," said defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson, who grew up in Forestville and played at Bishop McNamara in the Washington suburbs. "I'm going to enjoy the whole week. It'll be a great week for me. They pass a lot, and you know I like that."

Never mind Maryland's 0-4 record and troubled defense. Offensive guard Mike Malinoski says Penn State won't get caught looking ahead to Michigan.

"Our goal is to win the national championship," Malinoski said. "A slip anywhere along the line could keep us from that. Maryland will be fired up for us. Over the years, they've become one of Penn State's big rivals."

There were no slips against Rutgers, despite a change in starting quarterbacks. Kerry Collins replaced John Sacca and threw for 222 yards and four touchdowns. What was perceived as a potential problem for the Lions when Sacca threatened to quit the team apparently turned out to be a unifying experience.

"It was tough because I was involved," Collins said. "I think we as a team tried to put it behind us. It says a lot about the team that we were able to do that."

Malinoski said: "We decided not to let it bother us."

Rutgers often committed eight defenders to stopping the run, and Collins completed 18 passes and hit three different receivers for touchdowns. Split end Bobby Engram, who had eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, likes spreading the wealth around.

"I see it opening up things for the whole offense," Engram said. "If [opponents] have to play three receivers and worry about the running game, that will be tough."

AP TOP 25

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press 1993 college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Saturday, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and ranking in the previous poll:

No. School ......... Record ... Pts ... Pvs

1. Florida St. (58).. 4-0-0 .. 1,545 .... 1

2. Alabama (4) ...... 4-0-0 .. 1,482 .... 2

3. Miami ............ 3-0-0 .. 1,414 .... 3

4. Notre Dame ....... 4-0-0 .. 1,361 .... 4

5. Florida .......... 3-0-0 .. 1,297 .... 5

6. Nebraska ......... 4-0-0 .. 1,180 .... 6

7. Ohio State ....... 3-0-0 .. 1,157 .... 7

8. Michigan ......... 2-1-0 .. 1,077 .... 8

9. Penn State ....... 4-0-0 .. 1,058 .... 9

10. Oklahoma ........ 3-0-0 .. 1,006 ... 10

11. Tennessee ....... 3-1-0 .... 943 ... 11

12. Arizona ......... 4-0-0 .... 782 ... 15

13. Syracuse ........ 3-0-1 .... 750 ... 12

14. Texas A&M ....... 2-1-0 .... 718 ... 14

15. Washington ...... 2-1-0 .... 688 ... 16

16. North Carolina .. 4-1-0 .... 648 ... 18

17. California ...... 4-0-0 .... 514 ... 20

18. Louisville ...... 4-0-0 .... 429 ... 24

19. Colorado ........ 2-2-0 .... 426 ... 13

20. Brigham Young ... 4-0-0 .... 415 ... 21

21. Virginia ........ 4-0-0 .... 390 ... 22

22. Wisconsin ....... 4-0-0 .... 338 ... 23

23. Auburn .......... 4-0-0 .... 188 ... 25

24. N.C. State ...... 2-1-0 ..... 73 ... 19

25. West Virginia ... 3-0-0 ..... 71 ... --

Others receiving votes: Stanford 39, Mississippi 34, Virginia Tech 25, Southern Cal 17, UCLA 17, Northwestern 13, Baylor 11, Georgia Tech 10, Fresno State 7, Hawaii 7, Kansas State 7, San Diego State 6, Oregon 4, Indiana 2, Clemson 1.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.