Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Massachusetts Minutemen CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 9/20/14
Massachusetts Minutemen (0-3) at Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Beaver Stadium)
The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions -27 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Massachusetts Minutemen and Penn State Nittany Lions will play Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
Despite an 0-3 record, the Massachusetts Minutemen have lost their last two games by just three points. It’s actually pretty incredible how UMass has been able to keep things competitive considering this isn’t a good team on either side of the ball. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel is completing just 48.9 percent of his passes and the Minutemen ground game is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry. The Minutemen have managed to score a combined 69 points in their last two games, and that’s mainly due to Tajae Sharpe and Rodney Mills making plays in the passing game. Other than that, it’s been a struggle for Massachusetts to get consistent production from its offense. Defensively, the Massachusetts Minutemen allow 431.7 yards per game and have forced three turnovers and three sacks. Jovan Santos-Knox leads the Minutemen with 42 tackles and Daniel Maynes has four tackles for loss.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are off to a fast 3-0 start and a lot of it has to do with a passing offense that ranks 10th in the country. Christian Hackenberg is completing 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,082 yards and four touchdowns but needs to limit his five interceptions. Geno Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton have combined for 46 catches, 727 yards and one touchdown. The only complaint with the Nittany Lions offense is that their ground game is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, led by Bill Belton who has just 88 yards on 34 carries. Running game or not, Hackenberg has proven he’s good enough to lead his team to wins. Defensively, the Penn State Nittany Lions are allowing 275.7 yards per game and have forced six turnovers and nine sacks. Mike Hull leads the Nittany Lions with 31 tackles and Anthony Zettel has seven tackles for loss.
The Minutemen are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in September and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. The Nittany Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games.
UMass is a team that's not really good at anything, while Penn State has the potentail to really turn some heads in the Big Ten. The talent gap is massive between these two teams, which is why I have to back the Nittay Lions in what should be a blowout.