Fresh off bye, No. 6 Penn State seeks 11th straight win when it faces UMass

Thu, Oct 12, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

Fresh off bye, No. 6 Penn State seeks 11th straight win when it faces UMass

UMass (1-6) at No. 6 Penn State (5-0, 3-0 Big Ten), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (BTN)

Line: Penn State by 41 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Penn State leads 1-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Other news No. 12 North Carolina hosts No. 25 Miami to headline the ACC's Week 7 slate No. 17 Duke returns from Notre Dame loss to host instate ACC foe NC State Gators, Mertz looking for back-to-back SEC victories at South Carolina

The Nittany Lions will try for their 11th-straight win dating to last season. They want to keep rolling - and stay healthy - as a showdown with No. 3 Ohio State looms next week. The Minutemen haven't won since Week 1, though they've been in nearly every game. Coach Don Brown believes his team is close to getting a second win, though he knows it'll take a near-perfect effort against a rested group of Nittany Lions in Beaver Stadium.

KEY MATCHUP

UMass's running game vs. Penn State's front seven. Penn State has made opponents one-dimensional and has regularly moved the line of scrimmage backward, created turnovers and tackles for loss. Kay-Ron Lynch Adams fuels the UMass running game and leads the country with 24 carries of 10 yards or more. A few of those could help break the Nittany Lions' defensive siege.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

UMass: QB Taisun Phommachanh. UMass's starter can throw deep and run. He ran for 96 yards and touchdown in the team's Week 1 win and added 34 rushing yards and another score a week later before suffering a leg injury that forced him to miss three games. Since returning, Phommachanh has jelled nicely with wideout Anthony Simpson, who is 21st nationally with 19 catches for 10 yards or more.

Penn State: TE Tyler Warren. A former high school quarterback, Warren does a little bit of everything. He blocks and features in Penn State's T formation where he can throw or catch. The Minutemen have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end this year, but Warren has a knack for finding the end zone and has great chemistry with quarterback Drew Allar.

FACTS & FIGURES

Penn State has scored at least 30 points in 11 games in a row. ... Fourteen different Nittany Lions have recorded at least one full sack, most among all FBS teams. ... Penn State leads the country in time of possession per game (30:06.60). ... It's homecoming at Penn State. The Nittany Lions are 73-24-5 in homecoming games. ... QB Drew Allar has attempted 218 passes without an interception. ... UMass WR Simpson is ninth in the country with 566 receiving yards and is coming off a career-best 140 receiving yards last week against Toledo. He has three 100-yard games this season. ... WR Greg Desrosiers Jr. is second nationally with 428 kick return yards.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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