STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – No. 6 Penn State returns after its bye week this Saturday for the Nittany Lions Homecoming game against the UMass Minutemen.

Last time out

Penn State (5-0, 3-0 Big Ten)

Penn State is coming off of its bye week, meaning the Nittany Lions will be well rested. Their last game was on Sept. 30 when they downed Northwestern 41-13 on the road.

In the Northwestern win, quarterback Drew Allar was 18 for 33 with 189 passing yards and one touchdown. Allar also rushed for one touchdown. The Sophomore boasts a 65% pass completion percentage and has not thrown an interception this season.

Central York grad Beau Pribula relieved Allar, drawing up one play that resulted in a gain of 30 yards for a touchdown.

Running back Nicholas Singleton rushed for 80 yards, scoring one touchdown to lead the squad.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith was on top of the receiving game with four receptions for a team-high 86 yards. Singleton and Trey Potts each had a receiving touchdown.

On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Zane Durant helped to hold off Northwestern with a sack and three tackles for loss. Durant had four solo tackles in the effort.

In total, Penn State had seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss against the Wildcats.

Punter Riley Thompson was on deck four times, punting for a total of 187 yards with a long of 50.

UMass (1-6)

UMass is coming off a 41-24 loss to Toledo on Oct. 7. The Minutemen’s quarterback Taisun Phommachanh went 20 for 31 for 272 passing yards with two touchdowns. Taisun threw one interception and was sacked twice in the contest.

Running back Kay’Ron Adams was the star of the rushing game, rushing for 157 net yards, with a long of 47 yards, and one touchdown. On the receiving front Anthony Simpson led for the Minutemen with seven receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown.

The defensive game was led by Noah Boykin who had five solo tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss. UMass had no sacks in the matchup.

Their punter CJ Kolodziey had four punts for 155 total yards and a long of 47.

Dissecting UMass

UMass has struggled this season, only winning its first game of the season against New Mexico State. The Minutemen pulled off their lone win by a margin of 11 points.

UMass is 32 for 88 on third down conversions this season (36%), holding their opponents to 45% on third down. The Minutemen are averaging 26.1 points per game.

UMass quarterback Phommachanh has a 66% pass completion percentage with three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. The 6’4″, 215-pound redshirt junior played at Clemson and Georgia Tech prior to joining UMass.

The top players for UMass are Kay’Ron Adams and Anthony Simpson.

UMass is led by Head Coach Don Brown, who returned to coach the Minutemen in November of 2021. Brown previously coached UMass from 2004-08 and is a Minutemen legend for leading them for the most successful five years the program has experienced. Brown has almost 46 years of coaching experience that includes several seasons as Michigan’s defensive coordinator.

UMass is in last place amongst the independent programs with its 1-6 record.

Penn State and UMass have only ever met once on Sept. 20, 2014, when the Nittany Lions dominated UMass 48-7.