No. 6 Penn State Football Steamrolls UMass 63-0 In Downpour
No. 6 Penn State football (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) eviscerated UMass (1-7) 63-0 in a downpour during Saturday’s Homecoming game at Beaver Stadium.
The Nittany Lions started slow, scoring seven points in the first quarter and giving up a fumble, but scored 21 points in each of the next two and didn’t look back. Three passing touchdowns from Drew Allar were paired with two punt return touchdowns from Daequan Hardy and rushing touchdowns from Allar, Beau Pribula, Trey Potts, and Kaytron Allen.
How It Happened
Nick Singleton received the kickoff and nearly broke free, but got tackled at the 29-yard line. Two plays later, he made a nine-yard gain to set up 3rd-and-1, followed by five-yard and one-yard passes to KeAndre Lambert-Smith. However, the drive went up in flames five plays later when the officials ruled that Trey Wallace fumbled a pass and the Minutemen recovered the ball.
Next, Taisun Phommachanh and the Minutemen took over at their own 32-yard line. After two incompletions, he was sacked by Adisa Isaac and Dani Dennis-Sutton for a loss of eight yards to force a three-and-out.
Despite a successful defensive showing, the offense continued struggling. A nine-play drive culminated in consecutive plays that resulted in negative yardage, as Singleton lost four yards on a carry and Allar was sacked for a loss of eight.
UMass, starting in a precarious position at its own 10-yard line, suffered a second three-and-out. Then, Hardy returned CJ Kolodziey’s 43-yard punt from Penn State’s 44-yard line for a touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
To. The. House. pic.twitter.com/2FBmHth2pO— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 14, 2023
Phommachanh fired a 16-yard pass to George Johnson for the Minutemen’s inaugural first down of the afternoon. His pass two plays later was broken up by Hardy, and Kolodziey punted the ball away.
Allen ripped an 18-yard run to begin the Nittany Lions’ drive, bulldozing angrily into the UMass defense. The anger simmered, as he made another eight-yard gain. A 21-yard pass to Wallace and a nine-yard completion followed, and Penn State found itself knocking on the door of the end zone at the three-yard line. Allar pounded the ball over the goal line via the tush push to make it 14-0 Penn State at 12:35 in the second quarter.
Tush Push. pic.twitter.com/tY1v0FE5wr— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 14, 2023
UMass received a boost on the second play of the drive from a roughing the passer call against Keon Wylie. Phommachanh was sacked twice on the drive despite this, the first being by Cam Miller and the second by Chop Robinson. The drive ended in a punt from Penn State’s 47-yard line.
Allen was heavily involved in Penn State’s ensuing drive. He had five rushes, including a 17-yard gain. When the Nittany Lions reached the nine-yard line, it was his turn again. Allen received the handoff and barreled into the end zone to give Penn State a 21-0 lead with 6:20 to go in the half for his third touchdown of the season.
Lawn boyz. pic.twitter.com/KXctK5OCoF— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 14, 2023
The Minutemen accomplished nothing on their next drive. Phommachanh’s woes continued as he was sacked for a third time, with Isaac getting his first full sack of the game for a loss of six yards.
It didn’t take long for Penn State to put even more points on the scoreboard, as a seven-play, 2:37-minute drive resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Warren to make it 28-0 with one minute left in the half. Singleton carried on the first four plays, while Allar passed on the latter three.
The following UMass drive resulted in a punt, but the ball was recovered by the Minutemen at midfield after it hit a Nittany Lion. Nothing eventful took place, and the half ended with Penn State up 28-0.
UMass’ first drive to open the second half was another three-and-out. Penn State then found itself facing 4th-and-2 on its inaugural drive of the half, but Allar scrambled for eight yards to move the chains. Two plays later, Allar threw a dot to Theo Johnson, who caught it in stride and took it to the house for a 30-yard touchdown, making it 35-0 at 11:29 in the third quarter. It was his first of the season.
Facing 3rd-and-11, Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams broke loose for a 16-yard run for the Minutemen’s third first down of the game. However, the drive was halted three plays later when he was tackled by Dvon Ellies for a loss of three yards.
Starting at the 46-yard line, Singleton ripped a 10-yard run into UMass territory, which he followed up with a nine-yard gain. After an incompletion from Allar, he had consecutive gains to reach the 22-yard line. Allar then had Warren wide-open in the end zone, but he dropped the pass for an incompletion. However, he found Johnson two plays later for an 18-yard completion to make it 42-0 Penn State with 5:12 to go in the third quarter.
UMass went three-and-out on the next drive, with Phommachanh being replaced by Ahmad Haston. Then, on the punt return, Hardy danced around several Minutemen and dodged multiple others en route to a 68-yard return for a touchdown, his second of the game to make it 49-0 Penn State with 3:57 left in the third quarter.
Haston, Lynch-Adams, and the Minutemen began to move the ball, as a seven-yard scramble gave them a first down. However, Keaton Ellis picked him off and originally returned it for a touchdown, but a block below the waist call against Penn State was enforced for a 15-yard setback to UMass’ 49-yard line.
After the interception, Pribula replaced Allar at quarterback. The Nittany Lions quickly moved into the red zone. Pribula handed the ball to Potts, who jutted right but suddenly cut to the left, easily making his way into the end zone with plenty of room to expand the lead to 56-0 with 13:37 left in the fourth quarter.
UMass had another drive without any points, and Pribula led the Nittany Lions again. On the fourth play of the drive, though, Tank Smith rushed for 39 yards, which set the record for the longest Penn State rush of the season. It was followed up with a 31-yard scramble by Pribula into the end zone to give the blue and white a 63-0 lead with 8:21 to go in the game.
The clock ticked away after this, and Pribula took the knee with 36 seconds left to close out a shutout victory for Penn State.
- Penn State’s defensive line wreaked havoc the whole game, with six total sacks. This is a significant reason why the Minutemen had just 10 first downs the whole game, as the unit was simply all over the place and blew up plays on a consistent basis.
- Hardy had an incredible performance on special teams, as he returned two punts for touchdowns. He has been splitting reps with Kaden Saunders, but he may have just locked down that spot for the foreseeable future given today’s performance.
- Johnson also had a great performance. The Canadian has ceded reps to fellow tight end Warren, but Johnson caught two touchdown passes today, hauling in a total of four catches for 66 yards.
- Believe it or not, Tank Smith’s 39-yard rush in today’s game was the longest Penn State rush of the season. He’s been a reliable piece in a crowded and talented running back room, which is a reassuring sign that it can still be successful in the event one of the starters gets injured.
Penn State has a showdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be broadcast on FOX.
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About the Author
When paired with the Thespian Society by Penn State THON, the world changed for Theresa Illicete.
Thompson was granted two extra years of eligibility by the NCAA.
Fashanu is the Nittany Lions’ most recent First-Team All-American since Micah Parsons in 2019.