STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – The Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0) preserved their undefeated season with a 63-0 Homecoming shutout over the UMass Minutemen (1-7) on Saturday in Beaver Stadium.
“More than anything, we want to be 1-0 each week,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “We were able to do that up to this point. I think the other thing that’s important to me is, are we getting better each week.”
Penn State hadn’t had any punt return touchdowns this season heading into Saturday’s matchup. Daequan Hardy executed two in the blowout victory.
“The story of the night is Daequon Hardy,” Franklin said. “That was awesome for us to have success with that tonight, and specifically for him.”
Penn State put up its first special teams return touchdown of the season to open play with Hardy returning a punt for a 56-yard touchdown.
The Nittany Lions continued strong, controlling the first two quarters and denying UMass a score, jumping out to a 28-0 lead heading into the half.
After a relatively quiet first quarter, Penn State exploded in the second quarter with three touchdowns. The Nittany Lions first extended their lead after Drew Allar rushed for a one-yard touchdown following Kaytron Allen placing Penn State in scoring position.
Allen followed this play up with a 9-yard rushing touchdown.
Allar struck again with a touchdown pass to Tyler Warren with 1:01 remaining in the second quarter. This final scoring play of the half allowed Penn State to enter halftime in a more than comfortable position.
Penn State didn’t let off the breaks after halftime with Allar throwing a 30-yard dime to Theo Johnson for a touchdown less than four minutes out of the gate.
Almost immediately afterward, the Nittany Lions’ Theo hurdled into the endzone following an 18-yard pass from Allar to put Penn State up 42-0.
Hardy got his second punt return score of the game off a 35-yard punt from UMass’s CJ Kolodziey. Hardy ran 68 yards for his second touchdown of the contest.
A little over a minute into the final quarter, Penn State’s Trey Potts drove two yards up the middle for a touchdown, giving Penn State a considerable 56-0 lead and showing the Nittany Lions were not letting up.
Beau Pribula relieved Allar at the start of the fourth quarter where he rushed for a 2-yard touchdown for the final play of the game.
Allar finished the game with a 70% completion percentage for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Allar kept his interception-free status intact in the campaign. Lambert-Smith led the receiving game with six receptions for 30 yards. Nick Singleton led on rushing with 15 attempts for 79 yards.
Curtis Jacobs topped the defensive chart with five tackles (four solo). Adisa Issac registered 2.5 sacks.
Penn State now turns to its highly anticipated road matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Oct. 21.