Penn State will play a football game against a team from coach Bill O’Brien’s home state in 2014.
UMass athletic director John McCutcheon announced Saturday that the Minutemen will visit Beaver Stadium on Sept. 20, 2014. O’Brien was born in Dorchester, Mass., and raised in Andover, Mass., which is 90 miles from UMass’s campus in Amherst. O’Brien spent the past five years working for the NFL’s New England Patriots.
UMass and Penn State have never met in football. The Minutemen are making the transition from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision this season. They will play in the Mid-American Conference.
The game will be Penn State’s fourth non-conference contest to begin the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions play host to Temple on Aug. 30 and Akron on Sept. 6 before visiting Rutgers on Sept. 13.
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The date was Penn State’s only available non-conference spot from 2012-14. Penn State’s 2013 non-conference schedule includes games against Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, Virginia and Kent State.
Penn State will begin 2015 with non-conference games against Temple, Rutgers and Buffalo. Penn State and Pitt play a home-and-home series beginning in 2016.
UMass will play four Big Ten schools from 2012-2017. The Minutemen are meeting Indiana and Michigan this season and Wisconsin in 2013. UMass and Indiana play again in 2017.
The Minutemen went 5-6 in 2011, their final year as a FCS program. Former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Charley Molnar replaced Kevin Morris as head coach last December. Molnar graduated from Lock Haven University in 1984. He was member of the Bald Eagles’ coaching staff from 1984-86.