(WHTM) – Penn State head coach James Franklin says he wants to see 110,000 fans in the stands at Beaver Stadium this weekend for 103rd Homecoming game against UMass.
“Let’s pack this place, have it rockin’,” said Franklin on Tuesday. “use your tickets, if you’re not going to use your tickets find somebody to use your tickets and let’s have this place rockin’ again.”
Saturday’s game is the first home game for the undefeated Nittany Lions since they shutout Iowa on September 24.
Ranked No. 6 in the country, the Nittany Lions will play the UMass Minutemen for just the second time in program history.
Franklin says he and Minutemen head coach Don Brown “go way back” to their days as coordinators at Maryland.
“Well-respected head coach as well as defensive coordinator,” said Franklin.
Franklin also gave props to the UMass offense, calling them “maybe the most explosive team we’ve played this year.”
“We think their skill players on offense would start for a lot of people.”
Players highlighted by Franklin included receiver Anthony Simpson, running back Kay’ron Lynch-Adams, and quarterback Taisun Phommachanh, who Franklin said Penn State recruited.
“These guys have got our attention and specifically on the offensive side of the ball we think are doing a great job.”
Phommachanh is playing for his third program in as many years but has gotten significant starting reps while completing more than 65% of his passes.
Franklin also praised his own quarterback Drew Allar, who has yet to turn the ball over this year, citing the young quarterback’s pose and willingness to take short throws instead of shots downfield when the coverage doesn’t allow for it.
“That’s extremely valuable as a play-caller when you have a quarterback that will allow you to call shots, not force the ball down the field and take the back as a check-down, and still I think in
some of those create explosive plays.”
Penn State will kick off their Homecoming game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.