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Lasching Out Podcast Episode 58: UMass Preview

Penn State hosts its final non-conference opponent Saturday as UMass comes to town for a 3:30 airing on the Big Ten Network.

Dubbed the “Adam Breneman Bowl” by Nittany Sports Now’s Jarrod Prugar, this will be the second time these programs have faced off against each other and first since Breneman transferred there for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Don Brown is in his second season at the helm of the Minutemen, in his second stint with the program. Known as “Dr. Blitz,” Brown has held defensive coordinator positions at numerous programs, including two currently in the Big Ten i n Maryland and Michigan. Brown was Maryland’s defensive cooridnator while a man named James Franklin was its offensive coordinator. 

Brown’s record in this stint with UMass sits at 2-17. He has his work cut out for him in trying to turn the program around. The program has won a combined 4 games since the start of the 2019 season. Frankly, the $1.6 million Penn State is paying them for the game Saturday will help.

Penn State bought this game and the 99% win chance, a number that comes from ESPN’s analytics department. It comes at the perfect time in the schedule, too.

Despite Franklin’s 1-0 mantra, fans are looking ahead to next week—the Fox Big Noon matchup in Columbus.

Penn State will have the chance Saturday to make this their “get right” game. A lot of talk has been surrounding the offense’s perceived lack of production.

It’s hard to imagine a team scoring 40.6 points per game is struggling on offense, and Penn State isn’t. The only thing Mike Yurcich’s group has been lacking is explosive plays, but they’ve not needed them. Saturday likely won’t provide many chances given the weather forecast.

The anticipated return of number 2 wide receiver Trey Wallace should help though. If the rain doesn’t completely wash away the passing game, Allar will have more opportunities to stretch the Minuteman defense vertically with Wallace opposite KeAndre Lambert-Smith.

With or without explosive plays, the offense will have 60 minutes of football to work out the last remaining kinks before the season ramps up. I expect the offensive starters won’t play more than 40 of those minutes.

For more in-depth analysis, join Jarrod and me for our weekly pre-game episode previewing the UMass game. Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcasting platform if you enjoy it!

Weather forecast: Temperature (°F): H:48/L:43, rainy, 100% chance of rain, E winds @ 7 MPH. (weather.com)

Spead and over under: PSU: -41.5, O/U: 54.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Prediction:  Penn State 45, UMass 0

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