Author Topic: YSU football - game discussions  (Read 1594 times)

Offline Double ET

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YSU football - game discussions
« on: July 27, 2022, 05:43:05 AM »
From today’s Tribune/Vindy

A look into the 1st half of the 2022 season

LOCAL SPORTS
JUL 27, 2022

JOEL WHETZEL
Staff writer
jwhetzel@tribtoday.com
 
 

Correspondent file photo / Robert Hayes Youngstown State receiver Bryce Oliver snags a touchdown catch during the 2021 season.

YOUNGSTOWN — In some ways, the 2022 football schedule shapes up a bit easier for Youngstown State than last season. Don’t be fooled, though. The Missouri Valley, once again, is going to be tough sledding.


The Penguins open their season Sept. 3 against Duquesne. That’s the first of three nonconference matchups, as YSU hosts Dayton the following week and then caps its nonconference slate Sept. 17 at Kentucky.

That’s an extra non-con game compared to last season, in which the Penguins hosted Incarnate Word and then visited Michigan State before beginning MVFC play.

The MVFC slate this season won’t include Northern Iowa and South Dakota State, a pair of teams who have given YSU fits recently. Instead, YSU will host South Dakota and visit Illinois State in consecutive weeks.

Here’s a week-by-week look at the first half of YSU’s 2022 schedule:


WEEK 1: DUQUESNE

The Penguins and Dukes have met four times, all of which resulted in double-digit Penguin victories at Stambaugh. The teams last collided in 2019, a 34-14 YSU win.

This season, the Dukes open a week before YSU does with a road contest at Florida State.

Duquesne is coming off a 7-3 season in which it went 5-2 in the Northeast Conference. The Dukes managed an upset of FBS-level Ohio in Athens during the campaign.

Back from that squad is lead rusher Billy Lucas, who as a freshman ran for 723 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Darius Perrantes also is entering his sophomore season after tossing for 1,620 yards and 17 touchdowns on a 139-for-233 season last year. Perrantes doesn’t run much — just 25 attempts a season ago, with his longest run at 11 yards.

The Dukes are tasked with replacing their No. 2 rusher, Garrett Owens, as well as their lead receivers, Cyrus Holder and Davie Henderson.

WEEK 2: DAYTON

The Penguins are 1-9 all-time against Dayton, but 1-0 since the 80s. Their last meeting in 2013 was YSU’s lone win, a 28-10 win at Stambaugh. Prior to that, the teams last played in 1977.

The Flyers went 6-4 last season, which included a 55-3 loss to Southern Illinois in Week 3.

Dayton loses its starting QB from last season, Jack Cook, but does return leading rusher Jake Chisholm (235 rushes, 1,033 yards, 14 touchdowns). Cook was the team’s No. 2 rusher.

Leading receiver Sam Bubonics hauled in 34 receptions for 477 yards and two touchdowns and returns for his redshirt sophomore year.

Dayton opens its season at Robert Morris in Week 1.

WEEK 3: AT KENTUCKY

The annual buy game will come against a team with plenty of Mahoning Valley ties.

UK is coached by Cardinal Mooney alumnus Mark Stoops, and a$$ociate head coach/tight ends coach Vince Marrow, also a Mooney grad, played at YSU before transferring to Toledo.

UK’s safeties coach, Frank Buffano, also went to Mooney and coached at YSU from 2010 to 2012 under Eric Wolford. Buffano also coached at Mooney in the 90s, and he was on Mooney’s 1987 state championship team.

Under Stoops, the Wildcats have undergone a bit of renaissance in football, and are fresh off a 10-3 season that concluded with a Citrus Bowl victory over Iowa.

Penn State transfer Will Levis returns for his senior season at quarterback after tossing for 2,827 yards and 24 touchdowns a year ago. However, he loses his top three targets from the receiving corps.

Leading rusher Chris Rodriguez is back after accumulating 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He and Levis each tallied nine scores, and Levis added 376 yards rushing.

YSU will receive $550,000 for the game, according to FBSchedules.com.

Week 4: Bye week

Week 5: at North Dakota State

On one hand, this is a really, really tough way to open the MVFC slate. On the other, at least YSU is getting it out of the way early.

The Bison are coming off yet another national championship, their ninth in 11 years. It wasn’t even a close game, as NDSU stampeded over Montana State, 38-10.

A season ago in Youngstown, North Dakota State made quick work of the Penguins, as the Bison led 21-3 at halftime en route to a 49-17 win.

NDSU returns plenty on offense, as quarterback Cam Miller and tailbacks TaMerik Williams and Kobe Johnson each are back.

Miller went 103-for-152 last season for 1,444 yards and 14 touchdowns and added 69 rushes for 280 yards and four scores.

Williams led the Bison rushing attack with 773 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Johnson added 671 yards and three scores.

Week 6: North Dakota

Here’s where a really important stretch to the season begins. Presumably, YSU will enter this game at 2-2. Over the next five weeks, YSU will face UND, Indiana State, Western Illinois, South Dakota and Illinois State — a slate that likely will determine how the 2022 season will be remembered.

The Penguins owe North Dakota after surrendering a 14-10 lead in the fourth quarter in a 24-21 loss to the Fighting Hawks, which went 5-6.

Quarterback Tommy Schuster is back for UND after throwing for 2,493 yards and 13 touchdowns on a 237-for-362 season last year, but tailback Otis Weah, by far the team’s leading rusher, transferred to Missouri State before a Title IX complaint over allegations of sexual a$$ault at UND resulted in the Bears rescinding that offer.

However, leading receiver Bo Belquist is back after hauling in a team-high 52 receptions for 535 yards and five touchdowns in 2021.

Week 7: Indiana State

Another game last year YSU was in a season ago that got away from the Penguins in the fourth. Youngstown State led 17-14 before the Sycamores ripped off 14 unanswered points in the final quarter to win 28-17. ISU finished 5-6 last year.

Lead rusher Peterson Kerlegrand is gone after running for 830 yards and five touchdowns last season and 151 yards and two touchdowns against YSU. Gone, too, is starting quarterback Anthony Thompson, who threw for 1,326 yards and eight scores. He ran for a pair of scores against YSU, as well.

However, playmaker Dante Hendrix is back at receiver. He led ISU with 42 receptions for 447 yards and three touchdowns despite playing in just six games.

Offline guinpen

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2022, 06:59:48 AM »
The Duquesne game makes me very anxious.
“Life is hard, it’s harder if you're stupid” - John Wayne

Offline Wick250

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2022, 12:44:40 PM »
The Duquesne game makes me very anxious.

When Duquesne beat Ohio last season, it was the Bobcats version of our "Butler fiasco."  Later in the year, Duquense lost to Sacred Heart and Saint Francis. They don't have enough talent to beat us; we can most a$$uredly beat ourselves.

Our coaches are recruiting much better than the lazy Pelini.  We are coming off this staff's first legitimate full off-season in the weight room. If the strength training has improved it should remedy our deficiencies on both lines.  I think that we have the skilled athletes to be pretty good.

Offline guinpen

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 05:24:40 PM »
The Duquesne game makes me very anxious.

When Duquesne beat Ohio last season, it was the Bobcats version of our "Butler fiasco."  Later in the year, Duquense lost to Sacred Heart and Saint Francis. They don't have enough talent to beat us; we can most a$$uredly beat ourselves.

Our coaches are recruiting much better than the lazy Pelini.  We are coming off this staff's first legitimate full off-season in the weight room. If the strength training has improved it should remedy our deficiencies on both lines.  I think that we have the skilled athletes to be pretty good.

I hope that you are correct!
“Life is hard, it’s harder if you're stupid” - John Wayne

Offline goodnews

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2022, 11:48:19 PM »
There are no easy games for YSU.  We have ONE winning season in the last 5.  After opening with FSU, the game at Stambaugh will be much slower and manageable for the Dukes.  Don't forget it will be our opener too.  Hoping for a victory but afraid its gonna be closer then people think. 

Offline Double ET

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2022, 06:01:17 AM »
Part 2 of the Tribune/Vindy article today


A look into the 2nd half of YSU’s 2022 season

LOCAL SPORTS
JUL 28, 2022

JOEL WHETZEL
Staff writer
jwhetzel@tribtoday.com
 
 

Correspondent file photo / Robert Hayes. Youngstown State tailback Jaleel McLaughlin takes off for a long run during the Penguins’ upset of Missouri State last season.

YOUNGSTOWN — Having reviewed the first half of YSU’s 2022 season, let’s take a look at what the final stretch brings for the Penguins.


YSU’s final five games are at Western Illinois, against South Dakota, at Illinois State, at Missouri State and then home against Southern Illinois.

The first three weeks of that stretch will be critical, as they’re part of a 5-week slate — which also includes North Dakota and Indiana State — that likely will define how this season is remembered.

Should the Penguins make that 5-week stretch count or manage a late-season upset of Missouri State or Southern Illinois, they could earn a postseason berth as long as the rest of the season stays on track.

Here’s how those final five matchups stack up:


Week 8: AT WESTERN ILLINOIS

On this list of games YSU wanted back last season, this is, without any question, at the top of the list. The Penguins were hammering the Leathernecks 35-14 at halftime, only to watch Western rally back for a stunning 38-35 win. That was one of WIU’s two wins last season.

Western has gone through plenty of change since then. Head coach Jared Elliott was let go after posting a 9-31 record through his four seasons at the helm of the program.

In his place, Myers Hendrickson was hired Dec. 17, 2021. Hendrickson played receiver for Western from 2009-2011.

Gone, too, is starting quarterback Connor Sampson, who threw for 3,183 yards and 22 touchdowns on a 311-for-477 year. Leading rusher Myles Wanza also left via graduation after ama$$ing 487 yards and three touchdowns, and WIU’s top three receivers — Dennis Houston (90 receptions, 1,015 yards, 6 touchdowns), Tony Tate (63 receptions, 598 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Dallas Daniels (44 receptions, 524 yards, 2 touchdowns) — each departed.

On defense, the team’s top two tacklers — Darius Joiner and Michael Lawson — are gone, and the team’s No. 3 tackler — Greg Benton Jr. — transferred to Youngstown State.

WEEK 9: SOUTH DAKOTA

The Penguins last faced the Coyotes in the odd Spring 2021 season. That wound up being Doug Phillips’ first career win, as YSU used a stellar day on defense plus a 303-yard day on the ground to win 28-10.

Last year, the ‘Yotes went 7-5 and made the playoffs before falling to fellow MVFC member Southern Illinois in the first round, 22-10. That seven-win total included impressive victories over then-No. 7 South Dakota State (23-20), at then-No. 16 Northern Iowa (34-21) and against then-No. 13 North Dakota (20-13).

South Dakota returns plenty from that squad, too, as its leading rusher, pa$$er and receiver are all back.

Under center, Carson Camp returns for his sophomore season after posting 2,252 yards and 17 touchdowns in his inaugural campaign. Tailback Nate Thomas, also entering his sophomore season, racked up 717 yards and five scores last year, while fellow running back Travis Theis is also back after posting 677 yards and eight touchdowns.

Out wide, fellow sophomore Carter Bell is back after making 41 grabs for 673 yards and five touchdowns.

Week 10: AT ILLINOIS STATE

If it feels like the Penguins haven’t faced Illinois State in a while, consider this: The last time the Penguins and Redbirds met, Bo Pelini was at the helm of YSU’s program. In fact, that Nov. 23, 2019, game was Pelini’s finale — a 21-3 upset of sixth-ranked ISU that concluded a 6-6 year for Youngstown State. Still, ISU went on to a quarterfinals appearance in the FCS playoffs, where it fell 9-3 to eventual champion North Dakota State.

Last year wasn’t as kind to Illinois State. The Redbirds went 4-7, though they did manage upsets of then-No. 15 South Dakota (20-14) and then-No. 13 UNI (17-10, OT).

The Redbirds bring back quarterback Jackson Waring and tailback Cole Mueller, as well as No. 2 receiver Bryson Deming.

Waring played in eight games and tossed for 879 yards and six touchdowns, while Mueller racked up 977 yards and six scores on 189 carries.

Out wide, Deming caught 14 pa$$es for 184 yards and two touchdowns for an offense that averaged 19.4 points per game.

Week 11: AT MISSOURI STATE

MSU represents the first of two opportunities for YSU to upset what likely will be top-15 opponents, and also opponents the Penguins knocked off in 2021.

A year ago at Stambaugh, the Bears were plagued by four turnovers, which YSU parlayed into 14 points. That, coupled by huge days rushing by Demeatric Crenshaw (202 yards, 1 touchdown) and Jaleel McLaughlin (162 yards, 2 touchdowns), led to a 41-33 YSU victory.

Missouri State went on to the FCS playoffs, where it fell 32-31 to UT Martin in the opening round and finished 8-4.

This year’s Bears team is loaded, as MSU’s top pa$$er, rusher and receiver all return.

Jason Shelley, last year’s MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, is back under center after ama$$ing 3,347 yards and 22 touchdowns in the air along with 442 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Kevon Latulas joins him in the backfield after rushing for 625 yards and three touchdowns last season

At receiver, Tyrone Scott broke the millennium mark with 1,110 yards and eight touchdowns on 66 receptions.

Week 12: SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

The season concludes with SIU for the second time in as many years. A season ago, the Penguins capped their 3-7 campaign by upsetting the Salukis, 35-18, ending a 17-game road contest losing streak that dated to 2017.

SIU still qualified for the FCS playoffs, and knocked off South Dakota in the opening round before falling to NDSU in the second round, 38-7, to finish at 8-5.

Quarterback Nic Baker returns for his junior campaign after throwing for 3,231 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, and leading rusher Javon Williams is back after a 564-yard campaign that included nine touchdowns.

Lead receiver Landon Lenoir (61 receptions, 876 yards, 10 touchdowns) is gone, but Avante Cox (43 receptions, 739 yards, 5 touchdowns) is back, giving Baker a reliable weapon out wide.

YSU opens its season Sept. 3 against Duquesne.

jwhetzel@tribtoday.com

Offline Kandrase

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 11:02:06 PM »
The Duquesne game makes me very anxious.

When Duquesne beat Ohio last season, it was the Bobcats version of our "Butler fiasco."  Later in the year, Duquense lost to Sacred Heart and Saint Francis. They don't have enough talent to beat us; we can most a$$uredly beat ourselves.

Our coaches are recruiting much better than the lazy Pelini.  We are coming off this staff's first legitimate full off-season in the weight room. If the strength training has improved it should remedy our deficiencies on both lines.  I think that we have the skilled athletes to be pretty good.

Our Butler Fiasco was far worse than OU losing to Duquesne, Duquesne at least has 45 scholarships compared to Butlers 0….

But besides the point I’m not worried about Duquesne, certainly can’t overlook them, but they’re not in the same league as an MVFC opponent.

But also you’re right no easy games for us… I guess what I’m saying is anything short of an easy win makes me nervous
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 11:04:55 PM by Kandrase »

Offline Double ET

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Re: YSU football - game discussions
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2022, 05:43:06 AM »
From today’s Tribune/Vindy:


Phillips touts size, depth at MVFC Media Day

LOCAL SPORTS
AUG 1, 2022

JOEL WHETZEL
Staff writer
jwhetzel@tribtoday.com
 
 

YOUNGSTOWN — It was an offseason of growth — both physically and otherwise — for the Youngstown State football team, according to head coach Doug Phillips.


Phillips addressed media members via Zoom on Monday during Missouri Valley Football Conference Media Days.

“Coming out of the spring, the one thing that jumped out at us was we got bigger and we got stronger just like every team in the country,” Phillips said. “But for us, we were trying to play catch-up, and we had young men starting for us last season who had never had spring football or a true offseason, so for us it was to play catch-up.”

He added that was especially true along the defensive and offensive lines.

“We really liked the play of our defensive ends last fall in Dylan Wudke and James Jackson, and to see those guys grow and develop in the offseason, see them this spring and have depth there I thought was big on the defensive side of the ball,” Phillips said.


Of the offensive side, he added, “I could count on one hand the 300-pound offensive linemen. Now, out of 20, I can count on three fingers who’s not 300 up to 325 pounds. So to know we got bigger, stronger and know our players know each other, we had competitions this summer.”

That, he noted, is courtesy of new strength and conditioning coach, Jimmy Rodenberg, who was hired in January.

Defensively, Phillips also was pleased with the depth YSU was able to add at safety and linebacker. The Penguins nabbed Western Illinois transfer Greg Benton Jr. at linebacker and Ohio State transfer Marcus Hooker in the secondary, among others.

He also highlighted Caleb Burr, a senior transfer from Lafayette, and Andrew Hardin, a junior transfer from Monroe, at the safety spot.

At linebacker, Benton was joined by Keon Freeman, a Division II transfer from the University of Charleston (WV).

“It changes the room, because guess what? You might not be 100 percent for that practice. You might be 90 percent, which is normal, and now you have to go out and compete because there’s competition and you want to keep your position,” he added.

The defense also went through a bit of transition at the top this offseason, as 2021 defensive coordinator Joe Schaefer departed the program to join Texas A&M as a defensive analyst.

YSU hired Jahmal Brown to replace him, and also installed new position coaches at defensive line (Deonte Gibson), cornerbacks (Christian Dukes) and linebackers (John Haneline).

“I saw huge strides in our defense (this offseason),” Phillips said. “We have to be gap sound in this league. You’re going to be tested each and every week on your gap integrity, and I think these guys bring a simple but complex (approach). We don’t want our guys thinking too much. We want to play fast, but we can’t just sit there and show everything to the offenses.

“I think they put together a good plan, and we’ll see after these 25 camp practices at Game 1.”

On the offensive side, Phillips said the receiver room had a particularly strong offseason, and especially Bryce Oliver, who grabbed 24 receptions for 266 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns.

“I truly believe Bryce Oliver could be one of the best receivers in this league, and he’s got to go prove it,” Phillips said. “We certainly haven’t earned respect in our league, and how do you do that? You go and perform each and every week. But offensively, the wide receiver position and having the opportunity for quarterbacks to work with the receivers, and for Demeatric Crenshaw and Mitch Davidson to be able to throw (was important).

“We brought in Latrell Fordham from Eastern Michigan, another tall, lengthy, athletic player, and C.J. Charleston is 18 pounds heavier at our inside slot. Someone that really jumped out was Max Tomczak. We saw those guys develop in the spring.”

The concern, Phillips noted, is finding depth behind that group.

Overall, however, the third-year head coach feels the Penguins feature more options as fall camp gets rolling.

“What I like this year is I truly believe we have made great strides in the depth in each room,” he said. “If one player isn’t ready to go that day, we have someone that’s going to step in and keep this train rolling.”

YSU begins its fall camp Wednesday.

Other notes from MVFC Media Day:

— MVFC Commissioner Patty Viverito discussed conference realignment and the uncertain footing Division I football is on, but noted the Missouri Valley so far has been “sheltered” from it thanks in part to geography.

But, she added, “Conference realignment continues to be disruptive to the FCS overall.”

She also noted, “If our schools were located in the south, there’s no doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t look the way we look.”

The subdivision lost one of its most prominent members, James Madison (Harrisonburg, Va.), to the FBS during the offseason.

The MVFC, meanwhile, added Murray State to its ranks effective July 2023.

— Viverito also touched on how MVFC scheduling would work with the addition of the Racers.

“There was unanimity (among conference members) that it was really important that we play each other often, and so we have a scheduling principle set up where every school will see every other school four out of six years. There will be a rotation of all the conference members in a healthy way.”

She added that proposed conference schedules for 2023 and 2024 have been given to athletic directors, which will meet this month and potentially approve them.

“But really, in order to make this work, we need to have a six year plan, because that’s the rotation,” she added. “… We think we’ve had a close enough look around the league that what we’ve put together is going to be acceptable (for the two aforementioned seasons) and then it’s going to be hard work to come up with the last four years of that rotation.”

jwhetzel@tribtoday.com