The Nittany Lions are projected to win by a lot of points in this one. James Franklin pointed out that UMass does have some potential to be explosive on offense, namely with former Penn State prospect Taisun Phommachanh at quarterback, but the Minutemen have a 1-6 record for a reason: the defense lets its opponents score a lot of points.
The rain might put a damper on things a bit for Drew Allar and the offense at first, but fans should expect Penn State to get in a rhythm quickly and score often.
Score a lot of points. Get the starters out early. On to Columbus.
Penn State 48, UMass 7
Despite potentially less-than-ideal weather and the historical struggles PSU has had coming out of bye weeks under James Franklin, this game is going to end up looking like a glorified scrimmage. UMass is probably worse than Delaware, if we’re being honest, and even without any real explosive plays on offense, PSU was able to put up 63 points on them.
Look for something similar to play out on Saturday, except this time, I anticipate Drew Allar chucking a TD bomb to KLS or the finally-back-in-action Tre Wallace for a score that will get the crowd on its feet in what will otherwise be a good type of snoozer that sees the backups get plenty of run.
Penn State 56, UMass 7
If there’s one thing I expect from this game, it’s for the Nittany Lions to almost force explosive plays. Explosive run plays are *usually* due to broken tackles, so those are tough to predict. That means I’m expecting to see Drew Allar throwing it deep, though hopefully not forcing it. I just think this offense needs to know that they have it in them, and Drew needs to know that he does have the arm strength and skill to do it. With that in mind, I’m calling for the starters to build a fairly large lead by the first five minutes of the second quarter, and for the backups to be in before the half. As the Lions work in their depth one last time, UMass gets on the board a couple times, and the Lions fail to cover for the first time since last year’s Minnesota game.
Penn State 49, UMass 14
This should be the game that Penn State gets a few explosive plays on offense. Beau plays the majority of the second half, and the running game gets back on track.
Penn State 52, UMass 3
Has there been a more “just get this one over with” vibe to a game from this fanbase in recent memory? 1-0 mentality and all, but I will be curious to see if that feeling leaks into the locker room. Weather looks sloppy. I’m predicting we say the same about the tackling and execution. Get ‘em in healthy, but not looking for this to be a game we fondly recall at the end of the year.
Penn State 41, UMass 14
An ornery James Franklin this week mixed with sloppy weather and a clear lookahead spot makes me think this game won’t be much of a “get right.” Of course Penn State will win and win big, but it isn’t going to warm the hearts of many.
Penn State 35, UMass 6
Eli (Originally Appearing in the Big Ten Preview)
UMass has allowed less than 30 points just once this season. The one other power 5 opponent on their schedule so far, Auburn, dropped 59 on them. The Tigers are not exactly offensive juggernauts. The only thing that could stop Penn State in this game is Penn State, and the weather.
Penn State 56, UMass 17
Jared (Originally Appearing in the Game Preview)
There are three keys to this game: win, get the starters off the field relatively early, and no injuries. Outside of that, there is too much of a talent disparity to expect a competitive game unless Penn State somehow completely falls apart. We’ve seen enough of this team to know they have a business-like ‘1-0’ approach that they take very seriously.
Penn State moves to 6-0, and then things get interesting...
Penn State 45, UMass 7