Record-Breaking Campaign Features Many Highlights
The Youngstown State football team posted a 6-5 overall mark and finished tied for fourth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Highlighting the campaign were numerous record-setting performances and a win at No. 1 North Dakota State in November.
The 27-24 victory over the Bison at the Fargodome was the first win for the program over the No. 1 ranked team since winning at Villanova in the 1997 playoffs. It was just the fourth time the Penguins had defeated the top-ranked team at the time and first in the regular season in school history.
2011 Team Accomplishments
- In the 77-13 win over Valparaiso, the Penguins set 13 team single-game records.
- For the year, YSU set 19 team game and season school marks.
- YSU was the only FCS team in the country to rush for more than 2,500 yards and pass for more than 2,500 yards in the regular season. YSU also had 27 passing touchdowns and 26 rushing touchdowns.
- The Penguins set a school record with 458.6 total offensive yards per game. The previous mark of 412.0 was set in 2010.
- The 64.2 pass completion percentage (190-of-296) broke the previous mark of 64.1 set in 2009.
- Youngstown State set a school record averaging 36.2 points per game. The previous highs of 33.5 were set in 1978 and 2001.
- The Penguins had 27 passing touchdowns which set a school record breaking the previous mark of 22 set in 1994.
- The 13 turnovers (eight interceptions, five lost fumbles) were the second fewest in school history. YSU committed just 12 turnovers in 15 games during the 1999 campaign. The five lost fumbles tied for the lowest in school history tying the mark set in 1996.
- The 5,045 yards of total offense marked the eighth time in school history the Penguins eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark. YSU played at least 14 games in the seven other seasons it went over 5,000 yards.
- YSU averaged 231.1 yards rushing per game, its best average since 2001. That total ranks seventh in school history.
- The 2,503 yards passing was the second most in school history behind 2,722 set in 15 games in 1999.
- YSU averaged 227.5 yards passing per game, its best averaged since 1972. That is the only season to rank ahead of this year's per game average.
- YSU had 264 first downs, its most since 2006 (277 in 14 games).
- For the eighth consecutive season, the Penguins did not commit double figures in fumbles lost. YSU lost five fumbles in 2011.
- Twice the Penguins had five touchdown passes in a game (Western Illinois and Missouri State). Previously that had been done once in school history (1994 vs. Slippery Rock).
- For the first time since 1979 (and just the second time in school history) YSU had a quarterback pass for four touchdowns in a game (Kurt Hess) and a player run for four scores in a game (Jamaine Cook)
- The Penguins had a passing touchdown in every game. YSU had a rushing touchdown in the final 10 games. The Guins scored 27-or-more points in nine games. YSU ran for more than 200 yards in six games and passed for more than 200 in eight. YSU had more total offense in nine games and more total plays in eight. YSU led in time of possession in eight contests.
- YSU scored 28-or-more points in seven consecutive games during the season. The last time the Penguins scored that many points in consecutive games was a seven-contest stretch during the 1989 season.
- In time of possession, YSU held the ball 69:34 more than its opponents. That's an entire game, plus nine minutes. YSU's 33:10 time-of-possession average was the most since 33:22 in 2000.
- The Penguins allowed just nine sacks, the fewest since 2007.
- In the red zone, YSU was 42-of-47 (89.4 percent) scoring 280 points. YSU had 39 touchowns (22 rushing, 17 passing) and kicked three field goals.
- Defensive improvement was key from 2010 to 2011. YSU allowed 5.8 fewer points, 58.9 total offensive yards, 48 fewer passing yards and 10.9 fewer rushing yards in 2011 then in 2010. The Penguins also surrendered seven fewer touchdowns in 2011.
- YSU held UNI to 30 yards rushing. It was the lowest total allowed by the program since at Illinois State in 2006.
- YSU had 23 sacks in 2011. That is the most sacks for the Penguins since 2007. In five contests, the Guins had three-or-more sacks.
- YSU blocked four kicks for the first time since 2004. The Penguins did not have a punt blocked this year for the first time since 2008.
- The 56 PAT attempts were the second most in school history (58 in 1997) while the 53 made were the third most in school history.
- The Penguins played a total of 21 redshirt, transfer or true freshmen.
- YSU's four MVFC wins were by a total of 64 points. The Penguins' four MVFC defeats came by a combined total of 17 points.
- For the first time since 2006, the Penguins won all three games against Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois. That year YSU beat the Salukis at home and won the other two on the road.