Next up in our Penn State opponent previews is UMass. The Minutemen will make a visit to Beaver Stadium on September 20 for the first meeting ever between the two schools. After spending most years playing in the FCS division of college football, UMass moved up to the FBS in 2011. The school became a part of the Mid-American Conference for the 2012 season.
The Minutemen had a season to forget in 2013, finishing with an overall record of 1-11. Their lone win came against conference foe Miami University of Ohio. Miami actually went winless on the year and finished below UMass in the MAC East division.
UMass has experience traveling to play tough road games against Big Ten teams, as the Minutemen went into Madison last season and lost 45-0 to the Badgers.
Although things did not go well a year ago, UMass does have the luxury of returning a lot of experienced players, especially at the skill positions. Head Coach Mark Whipple, who had success as a head coach at the school over a decade ago, has returned after a stint as an assistant in the NFL.
One aspect that will make the game in Happy Valley interesting is the fact that State College native and former Penn State wide receiver Alex Kenney is now a member of the Minutemen.