Jahan Dotson caught three touchdown passes from Sean Clifford as Penn State snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 31-14 victory over visiting Maryland.
Dotson broke the school’s single-game record with 242 receiving yards, catching 11 passes from Clifford, including the touchdowns in the first, third and fourth quarters.
Clifford finished 27 of 47 for 363 yards as the Nittany Lions (6-3, 3-3) bounced back from a rugged stretch in which they dropped three tough games — losses to top-five foes Iowa and Ohio State, sandwiched around the first nine-overtime loss in FBS history.
The Terrapins (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten) had snapped a three-game slide last week, but they were not able to ride the momentum into their visit to University Park, Pa.
Dotson opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, as he executed a double-move and Clifford hit him for a 38-yard score.
Maryland got within 7-6 on Challen Faamatau’s 2-yard TD run late in the first half, but Joseph Petrino’s extra-point attempt was wide.
It was still a one-point game midway through the third quarter Dotson struck again, running a nice route up the seam and Clifford found him for a 21-yard scoring strike.
Still, Maryland was game. The Terps drew even on the initial play of the fourth quarter as Taulia Tagovailoa and Corey Dyches connected for a 13-yard touchdown, and the ensuing two-point conversion tied it at 14-14.
Just 61 seconds later, though, Dotson was standing in the end zone again. He faked out the entire Maryland defense by jogging off the snap before he sprinted up the field and snagged Clifford’s pass for an 86-yard touchdown.
The Terps punted on their next two possessions before the Nittany Lions kicked a short field goal — set up by Dotson’s 45-yard catch on third-and-8 — to give Penn State a two-possession advantage, 24-14.
Tagovailoa finished 41 of 57 for 371 yards with a touchdown and a late interception that Penn State’s Ji’Ayir Brown returned 87 yards for a score to punctuate the outcome with 2:39 remaining.
–Field Level Media
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