Blue White Illustrated

UMass Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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This was the lock. To anyone who skimmed Penn State's football schedule heading into the 2014 season, tallying up the likely wins and losses in hope of get- ting a better read on the team's outlook, the Nittany Lions' week-four matchup against Massachusetts stood out as the one game that, even in a year full of ques- tion marks and imponderables, could safely be placed in the "W" column. And who knows, maybe it still can be. At Ve-, the Lions are 30-point fa- vorites to beat the Minutemen and go 4-0 on the season. But given how the past three weeks have played out, both in University Park and in Amherst, Mass., it's reason- able to ask whether this will, in fact, be the walkover that lots of people have been anticipating. For one thing, Penn State has been far from dominant in any of its P R E G A M E R E P O R T P E N N S T A T E V S . U M A S S 4 P . M . , S E P T . 2 0 B T N UMASS FACTS COACH Mark Whipple (Brown, '79) COACH'S RECORD 121-62 in a 17- year head coaching career, which has included stops in Division II and the Ivy League. He has a 49- 29 career record in two separate stints at UMass. This is his first season back with the Minutemen since he left in 2003 after a six- year stay. 2014 RECORD 0-3, 0-0 Mid- American (East) RECORD VS. PSU Saturday will be the first time in history that the two teams will play each other. GOOD NEWS UMass' offense has seen an in- crease of scoring since Whipple returned. It has already scored 10 touchdowns in three games. It scored 14 in all of 2013. BAD NEWS The Minutemen have held a lead in the second half of each of their last two games, but have not been able to seal a victory. DID YOU KNOW? Former Penn State wide receiver Alex Kenney, a native of State Col- lege, Pa., is playing his final sea- son of eligiblity at UMass. He transferred after the 2013 season, and he is now a reserve in UMass' receiving corps. Through three games, he's caught one pass for 14 yards. FAMILIAR FOE UMass head coach Mark Whipple focuses on, praises Hackenberg M A T T   H E R B | M A T T @ B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M Tim Owen S E P T E M B E R 1 7 , 2 0 1 4 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 1 AN OLD FRIEND Hackenberg used to be roommates at PSU with Whipple's son, Austin, who has since transferred to UMass.

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