Massachusetts at 6. Penn State
When: Saturday, October 14 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Beaver Stadium, State College
Watch: Big Ten Network
Radio: See Penn State Radio Network
Follow Along: Nittany Nation Twitter Feed
Betting Line: Penn State -41.5
Three Things to Watch…
Knock on wood, Penn State has managed to stay healthy through the first part of the season, but coming away unscathed has maybe never been more important.
“I think we’re in a pretty good place,” said Franklin Tuesday. “The reality is we need to be in a good place going into this game and we need to be in a good place coming out of this game, as well.”
Just 60-minutes of football separates Penn State from Ohio State. It’s the Nittany Lions’ penultimate test, and first real opportunity to face a top-tier team. While getting players like Trey Wallace back on the field and in rhythm with Drew Allar will be important Saturday, it’s secondary to making sure Penn State is healthy at the final whistle.
UMass head coach Don Brown is no stranger to Penn State, or Nittany Lions’ head coach James Franklin. Brown, who was the defensive coordinator at Michigan from 2016-2020 has faced Penn State as a coach, but also worked alongside James Franklin at Maryland. The two were both coordinators with the Terrapins and Franklin has always been very complimentary of his versatile’s scheme.
James Franklin stirred the pot in a few ways this week, angering Michigan fans with a comment about scheduling and leading a strange 2-minute back-and-forth with a reporter on downfield passing strategy. That exchange, which can be heard here, drew significant dialogue on social media and ended with Franklin speaking with the reporter personally.
Back to Michigan.
Tuesday coach was asked about teams buying-out of future non-conference games. Michigan and Indiana recently bought out of future games and coach’s comments were perceived as a slight. Something he felt the need to clarify Wednesday.
“Anybody that watched the entire interview, everybody read the whole transcript, I was actually complimenting the schools from a scheduling perspective,” he said. “It’s what we’ve been doing even in the question that was asked, and that’s what was said.”