1-0: Penn State Football To Face UMass For Second Time In Program History
For just the second time in program history, Penn State will play UMass on the football field.
The Nittany Lions are coming off the bye week, while UMass blew a halftime lead over Toledo and walked away with a 41-24 loss.
The first matchup between the two teams took place in Happy Valley in 2014 as Penn State defeated UMass by a final score of 48-7. The Nittany Lions’ offense moved the ball with ease and totaled 464 yards and five rushing touchdowns. The UMass offense was held to an abysmal three rushing yards but found some success throwing the ball for 263 yards and a score.
Penn State running backs Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak each rushed for two touchdowns, while Akeel Lynch led the team with 81 yards and an additional score. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw for 179 yards, however, the lone passing score of the game came from backup D.J. Crook on an 11-yard completion to tight end Brent Wilkerson.
The only score for UMass came at the start of the fourth quarter on a 77-yard pass from Blake Frohnapfel to former NFL wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.
Penn State remained undefeated under the leadership of then-first-year head coach James Franklin. After serving a bowl ban due to NCAA sanctions, the Nittany Lions once again participated in bowl season. While finishing the season 7-6, the Nittany Lions clawed out a 31-30 Pinstripe Bowl overtime victory against Boston College.
The UMass team remained winless at 0-4, under head coach Mark Whipple, who had been coaching in the NFL for 10 previous seasons. UMass finished the 2014 campaign 3-9.
Coming into the 103rd Homecoming game for Penn State on Saturday, the matchup between these teams looks very similar to the prior. A struggling 1-6 UMass squad will travel to Happy Valley to face an undefeated Penn State team.
This time, the Nittany Lions will feature a new double-headed backfield featuring Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. The Minutemen will rely on quarterback Carlos Davis to generate some offensive production against a Penn State defense that features 14 different players who have recorded at least one sack this season.
Folks can tune in to the Big Ten Network at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, to see the second-ever matchup between these teams.
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About the Author
When paired with the Thespian Society by Penn State THON, the world changed for Theresa Illicete.
Fashanu is the Nittany Lions’ most recent First-Team All-American since Micah Parsons in 2019.
Johnson is the second Penn Stater to declare for the NFL Draft.