Maryland Terps head football coach Randy Edsall ensured that his team would encounter even more fireworks against Penn State this season when, while appearing before the media at the start of Big Ten Media Days yesterday, he went so far as to say the Nittany Lions were Maryland’s main rival now. Doug Leeson of the Penn State blog Onward State reported Edsall’s statement, in which the gauntlet was arguably thrown down as Edsall simply said “Well, it’s Penn State now” when asked who Maryland’s rival was.
Edsall further explained his reasons for calling out Penn State.
“Well, I think the one thing [about recruiting]is in terms of any time that you beat teams from your area or if you beat a team that you haven’t had really particular success against — when you’re 1-35-1 against a program that you played consistently, you know, through the ’60s, the ’70s, the ’80s and those eras, to be able to go and beat them in Happy Valley for the first time and the first time you’ve ever beaten them there and also the first time since 1961, I think it showed kids in our area that we can compete with them and we can win. And I think kids look at that. High school kids look at that,” Edsall said.
“And Penn State has always had a niche for being able to come down to Maryland and take players up there,” he added. “And that’s one of the things that we knew if we wanted to get some recruits, we’d have to beat them on the field.”
It should also be noted that last season, when Maryland faced Penn State, a pregame altercation between players on both teams led to Maryland’s captains not shaking hands with Penn State at the coin toss. Maryland went on to win the game 20-19 and though apologies were issued by Maryland AD Kevin Anderson and Edsall, the coach let the bad blood seeds be sown when he addressed the incident by also saying “Let the rivalry begin.”
Needless to say, when Penn State takes on Maryland at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, the intensity is going to be sky high.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports