UNIVERSITY PARK — The only group that had it better than ponchos Saturday at Beaver Stadium was Penn State who poured points on UMass to the tune of a 63-0 win.
The moved PSU to 6-0 on the season and set the stage for a battle of unbeaten teams in Columbus next week when it takes on Ohio State.
To get to this point, Penn State utilized a balanced attack on the ground and in the air and also spread the ball around to its playmakers. QB Drew Allar tossed three touchdowns and ran for another. He had 163 yards passing on a rainy afternoon.
Penn State dominated the big play battle with seven rushes going for 10 or more yards and three passes that went 18 yards or more.
PENN STATE: DEFENSE AS ADVERTISED
PSU dialed up the dominance a tad against UMass.
It allowed a first down on the first drive, only gave up two in the first half.
In fact, Penn State only gave up 47 yards through the first three quarters before the second unit took the field for the fourth quarter. They amassed six sacks and 14 tackles for loss against the Minutemen.
Coordinator Manny Diaz had his group dialed in yet again and suffocated the UMass offense before letting up in the fourth quarter. It was a new type of dominance not yet reached this season. Sure, it was UMass, but to execute the way they did was still very impressive.
PENN STATE PLAYS COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL
All three phases of the game were in unison. Penn State’s offense struggled a little on the first two drives, but after that, there was no stopping PSU.
Defensively, as mentioned above, it was pure dominance from the time the defense took the field. From there, it was as dominant of a performance as any Penn State has put on this season.
For as good as Penn State was on offense and defense, it was just as good, if not better, on special teams. Alex Felkins made all six of his extra points while Sander Sahaydek made each of his three extra points as well.
They were solid, but Daequan Hardy had himself even more of a day as a punt returner.
HARDY HAS A DAY
Prior to Saturday’s contest, Daequan Hardy hadn’t returned a punt at the college level. He returned three against UMass, two of which he found the end zone on.
The first one, a 56-yard return, got the scoring started for the Nittany Lions and they’d never look back.
55 YARDS TO THE HOUSE. 😱@PennStateFball gets on the board thanks to Daequan Hardy’s punt return TD.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) October 14, 2023
His second was a 68-yard return where he continued eluding the entire punt unit for the Minutemen.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 14, 2023
Not a bad day for a newbie punt returner.