Penguins Face Stiff Early Season Test at Michigan State

DeVon McKoy
DeVon McKoy

    The No. 23 Youngstown State football team ventures on the road for the first time this season to take on Big Ten foe Michigan State. Kickoff at Spartan Stadium is set for 2 p.m. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM/iHeartRadio and will be carried on the Big Ten Network.
    It is the second meeting in the past three years between the two programs. YSU dropped a 28-6 contest in the season opener for both squads in September 2011. This will be the sixth contest for the Penguins against a member of the Big Ten Conference - Ohio State (twice), Penn State (twice) and the Spartans (twice). YSU will play at Illinois next season.
    YSU (2-0) used a solid all-around performance in an impressive victory over Morehead State last Saturday. The Penguins racked up a school-record 718 yards of total offense (359 both rushing and passing) in a 67-13 win over the Eagles. Senior quarterback Kurt Hess threw three touchdown passes while freshman tailback Jody Webb rushed for three scores and freshman tailback Martin Ruiz added two more. The Guins scored 43 of their 67 points in the first half
    Michigan State (2-0) has defeated Western Michigan and South Florida to open the campaign. The Spartans knocked off the Bulls 21-6 last Saturday at Spartan Stadium. MSU's Shilique Calhoun returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in the victory. After two games, MSU ranks third in the FBS in total defense allowing just 179.5 yards a contest. USF could muster only 155 yards, including just 66 through the air last week.
    Last season, the Penguins snapped a nine-game FBS losing streak beating Pittsburgh 31-17 at Heinz Field. It was YSU's first win over a BCS program in eight tries. All-time the program has 20 wins against FBS programs in 46 games played (20-25-1).
    In 2011, the Penguins trailed the Spartans 7-6 midway through the second quarter and 14-6 at halftime. MSU, which was ranked 17th, scored two second-half touchdowns to put the contest away on a steamy evening.
    YSU returns home to play host to Duquesne on Sept. 21. The contest is set for a 4 p.m. start.

Morehead State Notes
• The Penguins set a school record with 718 total offensive yards in the win over the Eagles. YSU had 359 yards rushing and 359 passing in the game.
• The 359 yards passing were the sixth most in school history and highest team total since 1983 (369 vs. Eastern Kentucky). YSU had 73 the previous week, its lowest total since 2005.
• YSU scored a touchdown in every quarter against the Eagles. It scored three in each of the first two quarters.
• The 33 first downs were one shy of the school record of 34 set in 2011 vs. Valparaiso. Since 2010, YSU has had four games with 32-plus first downs.
• The 67 points were also the second most in a game in school history.
• Junior PK Joey Cejudo made the first field goal of his career - a 37-yarder in the third quarter. He also converted eight PAT kicks.
• Senior TB Torrian Pace made the first start of his career.
• Senior QB Kurt Hess threw for 282 yards, the most since a 290-yard effort vs. UNI last year. It was the 19th 200-yard plus performance of his career.
• For the 32nd time in school history the Penguins had two 100-yard plus rushers. Freshman Jody Webb had 122 yards while freshman Martin Ruiz had 117 yards on just six carries.
• In the first quarter, Dante Nania completed a pass for a two-point conversion to Kintrell Disher. It was the Guins' first two-point conversion since 2010 (at Illinois State).
• Hess started his 35th consecutive game at the quarterback spot.
• YSU has won five straight games dating back to the end of last season.
• The Penguins have started the campaign 2-0 for the second straight year.

Morehead State Recap
    The Penguins scored nine touchdowns and set a school record with 718 yards in a 67-13 win over Morehead State at Stambaugh Stadium.
    YSU quarterback Kurt Hess threw three touchdown passes and completed 16-of-19 passes for 282 yards in the first half. Jody Webb had three rushing touchdowns, Martin Ruiz added a pair and Torrian Pace chipped in a score. Marcel Caver, Andrew Williams and Andre Stubbs each had scoring receptions.
    The Guins scored the first 36 points of the contest and had 60 after three quarters. YSU scored touchdowns in every quarter.
    Amazingly the Penguins finished the game with 359 yards rushing and 359 passing. The 67 points and 33 first downs in the game were the second most in school history.

2011 Michigan State Recap
    Youngstown State put up a solid effort against 17th-ranked Michigan State but never wrestled complete control of the game away from the Spartans, falling 28-6 in the season opener in front of a crowd of 75,910 at Spartan Stadium.
    Following a scoreless first quarter, Michigan State took a 7-0 lead on six-yard run by Larry Caper. The Penguins answered back when Kurt Hess connected on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jelani Berassa, but they still trailed 7-6 when the extra-point kick was blocked.
    MSU followed the YSU score when Le'Veon Bell scampered home from three yards, giving the Spartans a 14-6 lead at halftime.
    In the third, Kirk Cousins tossed an 18-yard scoring strike to B.J. Cunningham to extend the MSU advantage to 21-6 at the 4:52 mark.
    The Spartans turned YSU's lone turnover of the game into a quick score to put the game away. Bell scooted in from three yards out with 7:09 remaining for the final margin.

Going Back to MSU
    Seventeen current members of the program played in the Penguins' 2011 contest in Spartan Stadium, including eight who started that steamy September evening. The offensive starters were WR Kevin Watts, WR Christian Bryan, OG Chris Elkins, WR Andre Stubbs, WR Jelani Berassa and QB Kurt Hess while the two defensive starters were LB Travis Williams and CB Donald D'Alesio. The positions listed are those from that contest.
    Others playing that night against MSU were Adaris Bellamy, Dom Rich, Torrian Pace, Kyle Sirl, Nate Adams, Nathan Gibbs, Andrew Williams and Kintrell Disher. It was the first career games for Stubbs, Bryan, Travis Williams, Adams, Gibbs, Andrew Williams and Kintrell Disher.
    Berassa caught the first touchdown pass of his career in the second quarter.

YSU-MSU Links
    Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio was defensive secondary coach and defensive coordinator at Youngstown State (1986-90).
    MSU Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi, is the son of former YSU Head Coach Bill Narduzzi. Pat played one season for the Penguins in 1986 before transferring. Co-Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach Jim Bollman was a YSU assistant from 1986-90 as well.
    Linebackers/Special Teams coach Mike Tressel is the nephew of former Penguins Head Coach Jim Tressel.
    Two former Walsh Jesuit QBs will be on different sides of the ball. MSU's Connor Cook was the Warriors' QB in 2009 and 2010 while Penguin QB Nick Wargo took over for Cook in 2011.

Leading the Nation (FCS)
    YSU had to replace 4,000-plus yard career rusher Jamaine Cook to start the season. So far, so good for the Penguins, who lead the FCS averaging 363 yards per game.
    In the opener vs. Dayton the Guins churned out 367 yards on 45 carries. Against Morehead State, YSU had 359 yards on 45 carries. The Penguins averaged 8.2 yards a carry vs. Dayton and 8.0 vs. Morehead State.
    Dayton held Duquesne to just 62 yards on 27 attempts this past week.
    In 2012, the Penguins averaged 187.3 yards rushing per game with a high output of 334 against Valparaiso.

Offensive Minded
    The Penguins also rank highly in many other FCS offensive categories. YSU sits third in third-down conversion percentage (59.1), fourth in total offense per game (579.0 yards) and sixth in scoring offense (47.5 points).

Balanced Offense
    The Penguins set a school record with 718 yards of total offense in the victory over Morehead State. Amazingly the Guins had 359 yards passing and 359 yards rushing in the contest. The previous school record for total offensive yards in a game was 657 yards against Valparaiso in 2011. The 67 points in the contest were the second most in a game in school history. The top three scoring games in school history have all come since 2010 – 77 vs. Valpo (2011), 67 vs. Morehead State (2013) and 63 (2010) vs. Central Connecticut State.

Efficient Openings
    YSU has scored touchdowns on each of its game-opening drives this year. One reason has been solid play by QB Kurt Hess. On the two opening drives this year, Hess is 8-of-10 for 89 yards and a touchdown (vs. Morehead State). TB Torrian Pace has 31 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown (vs. Dayton) as well on the two initial drives of the game.

Two Frosh Over 100
    Freshman tailback Jody Webb rushed for 122 yards on 11 carries and fellow freshman Martin Ruiz had 117 yards on just six totes vs. MSU. Ruiz averaged 19.5 yard per carry while Webb had 11.1 per rush. The duo combined for five touchdowns as Webb had three and Ruiz had a pair. It is believed to be the first time a pair of freshmen had more than 100 yards rushing in a game in school history. It marked the 32nd time in school history the Guins had multi-100-yard rushers in a game. The last time was in 2011 when Jamaine Cook (162) and Jordan Thompson (135) each went over the mark against Saint Francis (Pa.).

Three Picks in Two Games
    The Penguins intercepted four passes last season and didn't pick off their third until the final game of the season in 2012.
    YSU had two interceptions in the season-opening win over Dayton and picked up one against Morehead State. The Guins dropped two other potential picks vs. the Eagles.
    Including the final game of the season last year vs. Indiana State, YSU has five total interceptions in the last three games. The Penguins had two interceptions in the first 10 games last year.

Hess Back in Rhythm
    After having a subpar performance against Dayton, senior quarterback Kurt Hess rebounded to have one of his best in the win over Morehead State.
    Playing just the first half in the win over the Eagles, he completed 16-of-19 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns.
    The yardage total was the most since 290 in a full-game performance last year against UNI. The touchdowns were also the most since that contest against the Panthers when he threw for four.
    Against Michigan State in 2011, he was 17-of-35 for 126 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

Receivers Still Young
    Three different sophomore wide receivers caught touchdown passes while six wide outs caught passes in the win over Morehead.
    Leading the way was Marcel Caver who had a career-high 113 yards on five catches and scored the first touchdown of his career.
    Andrew Williams caught five passes for 82 yards and a score while Andre Stubbs had a TD catch. Another sophomore, Michael Wheary, caught a career-best three passes for 55 yards and junior Christian Bryan had two grabs. Senior Jelani Berassa returned after missing the 2012 campaign with a knee injury to catch his first pass of the year.
    Of the 18 grabs by wide receivers, only one was by a senior while of the 21 total receptions in the game, two were by seniors as TE Carson Sharbaugh had the other.

>400 Yards/27 Points
    The Penguins have had more than 400 yards of total offense in 20 of the 35 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford, including both this season (440 and 718). Of his 35 contests, YSU has had more than 300 yards in 31 of them.
    Additionally, the Guins have scored 27-or-more points in 26 of Wolford's 35 games at the helm.
    The fewest points in a game are six which came in the Guins' last visit to Michigan State in 2011.

Five-Game Winning Streak
    The Penguins own a five-game winning streak entering the contest at Michigan State. It's the third-longest win streak at the FCS level behind North Dakota State (11) and Towson (six). Three other schools also have five-game win streaks, including MVFC member UNI.
    In the five-game span since last November, it's easy to see why YSU is having success.
    YSU is averaging 33.2 points per game, 265 yards rushing per game, 192 yards passing per game and 457 yards of total offense per game while scoring 22 TDs. Its opponents are averaging 9.2 points, 86.4 rushing yards, 151.8 passing yards, 238.2 total yards and have scored five touchdowns.
    The most points allowed in that stretch has been 13, which came from Morehead State.

Numbers Under Wolf
    After 35 games, Head Coach Eric Wolford is now 18-17. YSU has won 13 of its last 19 games under Wolford since the mid-point of the 2011 season. A couple of good notes have come from his first 35 games regarding wins and losses:
• YSU is 10-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer
• YSU is 16-1 when allowing 27 points or fewer
• YSU is 17-2 when allowing 33 points or fewer

New Line Gets Snaps
    The Penguins have started the same offensive line in the first two games. Against Dayton, the group played all 67 snaps together. In the win over Morehead State, 11 players saw at least 18 snaps of action.
    The five starters in both games were Kyle Bryant, Fred Herdman, Chris Elkins, Brock Eisenhuth and Andrew Sinko. Eisenhuth had a high of 52 while Sinko had 45 and Elkins played 44. Sinko, Eisenhuth and Herdman had not started in a game prior to this year. Eisenhuth is starting as a redshirt freshman.

Williams Wreaking Havoc
    Despite having a combined 119 tackles in his first two years and starting 20 games, junior LB Travis Williams said after the win over Morehead State is feeling more comfortable in his role at linebacker. That's good news for Penguins fans.
    Williams has a team-high 12 tackles through two games. He has 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries. He has also been close on a TFL on other occasions.
    He had seven TFLs in 11 games last year and just one as a freshman in 2011.

Lefty's Few & Far Between
    Preseason All-American senior C Chris Elkins has made a successful debut at the position. Elkins has started the past 28 games, including a stretch of 26 consecutive at right guard, before assuming duties as starting center in 2013.
    Elkins is just one of two FCS centers who are left-handed. The other is Wagner's David Fredrickson, who has started 26 straight games. Note courtesy of Wagner's John Beisser.

Bryan Is Mr. Dependable
    Junior WR Christian Bryan has caught a pass in every game of his YSU career while hauling in a TD pass in more than a third of them.
    In 24 career games played, Bryan has caught a touchdown pass in nine of them. He has started every game as well.
    He had two receptions in the win over Morehead State and one vs. Dayton.

New Chef in the Kitchen
    The Penguins have had three different 100-yard rushers in the first two games of the post-Jamaine Cook era.
    Against Morehead State, freshman Jody Webb rushed for 122 yards while freshman Martin Ruiz had 117 yards. The duo combined to score five touchdowns.
    In the season opener, senior Adaris Bellamy had 203 yards rushing - more than his entire 2012 total. Senior power back Torrian Pace has 90 yards in the first two contests.
    In their careers, Bellamy has 1,221 yards on 217 carries, Pace has 613 yards on 121 rushes and sophomore Demond Hymes has 93 yards on 17 attempts last year. Hymes has not played this year.

Providing Protection
    In 35 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford, YSU has allowed just 35 sacks. Conversely, senior quarterback Kurt Hess has started all of those contests. Last season, YSU allowed a school-record low eight sacks. The Guins ranked seventh in the FCS in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.73).
    The YSU offensive line has surrendered just 22 sacks in the last 25 games as well.
    Only eight times in the 35 games under Wolford and assistant coach Carmen Bricillo have the Guins allowed more than one sack, and four of those came in 2010. In the contests against Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Penn State, the Penguins allowed a total of one sack (PSU).

Running the Ball
    The Penguins had 367 yards rushing in the win over Dayton. It was the third-best performance since November 2007. In 2011, YSU had 458 yards rushing against Valparaiso and later in the season had 450 versus Saint Francis (Pa.). YSU's 359-yard effort against Morehead State ranks as the fourth best in that span. Last year's season-high rushing total was 334 vs. Valpo.

Liste Had Two Over 60
    Senior punter Nick Liste had two punts of more than 60 yards against Dayton. Liste had a 64-yard punt in the second quarter and a 62-yard boot in the fourth quarter. Liste also had a 53 yarder in the first quarter.  He averaged 51.0 yards on his five punts. Against Morehead State he had a 59-yard boot with the Guins pinned at their own one-yard line.
    As the Penguins' kickoff specialist he has 10 touchbacks in 16 kickoffs.

Bellamy Rings in New Year
    Senior TB Adaris Bellamy had more yards rushing in the season opener then he did the entire 2012 campaign. In 2012, Bellamy rushed for 128 yards on 30 carries and did not have a touchdown. His game high was 60 yards at Western Illinois.
    Against Dayton, he rushed for 203 yards on 17 carries and had a touchdown. His 203 yards were the most by any Division I back in the first week of the season.
    Bellamy had 103 yards on 11 carries through three quarters. In the fourth, he had 100 on seven totes, including a career-long 80-yard rush on his final carry of the evening. He missed the Morehead State contest with an ankle injury.

Clamping Down on the Run
    YSU allowed 123 yards rushing to Morehead State, the most surrendered since North Dakota State had 169 in week five last year. Of the 123 yards by the Eagles, 85 came in the first half of last week's game.
    Dayton had just 75 yards on 29 attempts. After two games the Guins are allowing 99 yards per game on the ground.
    YSU ranked fifth nationally in the FCS against the run in 2012, holding opponents to 95 yards per contest. The only four teams to finish in front of the Penguins were Harvard, Montana, North Carolina A&T and North Dakota State. The last time the Penguins had allowed fewer than a 100-yard average was 1994.

Youthful Defense
    The Guins have just five seniors on defense this year - DE Kyle Sirl, CB Dale Peterman, DT D.J. Moss, LB Dom Rich and LB Ali Cheaib.
    Rich has 12 career starts (one in 2013, eight in 2012 and three in 2010), Sirl has eight (two in 2013 and six in 2012), Moss has four (one this year, two in 2012 and one in 2010), Peterman started all 11 games last year and Cheaib has three (one each in 2011, 2012 and 2013). So in total, the five seniors on defense have started 38 games in their careers. Rich and Peterman did not play against Morehead State.

Five Serve as Captains
    The Penguins will have five captains for the 2013 campaign. Head Coach Eric Wolford announced that quarterback Kurt Hess, wide receiver Jelani Berassa, center Chris Elkins, strong safety Donald D'Alesio and linebacker Dom Rich have been named team captains.
    With his selection, Hess becomes the first three-time captain in school history after serving in 2011 and 2012. Rich is a repeat pick from the 2012 campaign. D'Alesio is the lone non-senior in the group.

12-Game Regular Season
    The Penguins are playing 12 regular-season games for just the second time in school history. The only other time was during the 2003 campaign in which YSU was 5-7.
    However, two of those wins came against non-Division I foes (Edinboro and Slippery Rock). This is first time in school history the Penguins have played 12 Division I regular-season games. YSU has not played a non-Division I team since 2008.

Special Teams Step Up
    In just two games, the Penguins' special teams have thrived under new coordinator Jamie Bryant.
    Senior P Nick Liste is averaging 48.3 yards per punt on seven attempts and has 10 touchbacks in 16 kickoffs. Junior PK Joey Cejudo is 12-of-12 on PATs and made a 37-yard field goal against Morehead State.
    The kickoff coverage is surrendering just 14 yards per return and only two of Liste's seven punts have been returned by the opposition.

Red-Zone Success
    YSU has converted at a high success rate in the red zone under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    In two games this year, YSU is 11-of-12 after going 7-of-8 against Morehead State and 4-for-4 vs. Dayton. YSU has scored touchdowns on 10 of 11 red-zone visits. The lone red-zone failure came when the Guins cracked the MSU 20-yard line in the final minute of last Saturday's game and let time expire.
    In his 35 games as coach, the Penguins are an amazing 129-for-148 (87.2 percent) inside the red zone.
    The Penguins were 35-of-43 inside the red-zone in 2012 (81.7 percent). YSU scored 31 touchdowns and made four field goals in those trips.
    In 47 visits in 2011, the Penguins scored 39 touchdowns and kicked three field goals. YSU scored a total of 280 points on 42 of those 47 visits (89.4 percent).
    During Wolford's first campaign in 2010, YSU was 41-of-45 in the red zone for a conversion percentage of 91.1 percent.

Standout Coaching Staff
    YSU has one of the best all-around coaching staffs in the FCS and would make some FBS schools green with envy.
    The offensive assistants feature former National Coach-of-the-Year Mark Mangino (tight ends), former FBS head coach Shane Montgomery (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), veteran play caller Kurt Beathard (wide receivers), fourth-year assistant Carmen Bricillo (offensive line) and newcomer Eric Gallon (tailbacks).
    The defensive staff includes former BCS coordinator Joe Tresey (defensive coordinator/safeties), veteran BCS line coach Tom Sims (defensive line), a member of the Stoops coaching family Ron Stoops (linebackers) and second-year assistant Glenn Davis (cornerbacks).
    Jamie Bryant, a former defensive coordinator in the SEC, serves as the program's special teams coordinator.

Stubbs All-Around Player
    Sophomore WR Andre Stubbs has four receptions, three rushes, three punt returns and two kickoff returns, which shows his versatility.
    In his career, Stubbs has 34 kickoff returns, 27 rushes, 26 receptions and 13 punt returns. He has amassed a team-high 1,393 all-purpose yards so far in just 14 games.
    In the season opener against Dayton, Stubbs had 110 all-purpose yards.
    He had a personal-best 206 all-purpose yards last year against Southern Illinois. His 172 all-purpose yards helped lead the Penguins to a 31-17 win at Pittsburgh a year ago. He caught his first touchdown pass since the Pitt game against Morehead State.

Hess Holds Career Marks
    Senior QB Kurt Hess is already the program's record holder for career touchdown passes (56), passing yards per game (201.5), 200-yard passing games (19) and passer rating (142.53).
    He is second in yards (7,052), completion percentage (62.4), TDs responsible for (64) and completions (567) and is third in total offensive yards (7,480).
    In 35 games, Hess has thrown a touchdown pass in 26 games and has 19 multi-TD performances. He has one rushing touchdown in eight different contests.
    He is the first quarterback in school history to pass for more than 2,000 yards in three straight seasons.

Top of the Liste
    Senior punter Nick Liste continues to be a key contributor as punter and kickoff specialist.
    Against Dayton he averaged 51 yards per punt with boots of 64, 62 and 53, and three of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. Against Morehead State he had a 59-yard punt and seven touchbacks on 11 kickoffs.
    Handling kickoff duties, last year he had 18 touchbacks after having just three in 2011. He averaged 40.7 yards per punt last season.
    As a sophomore, he averaged 39.8 yards per punt while 16 kicks were inside the opposition's 20. He averaged 41.1 yards per kick in 2010. He has 131 career punts for an average of 40.6 per boot. He has 18 kicks of 50 yards or longer in his three seasons as punter.

Three is Still Important
    Under Coach Eric Wolford, YSU is a combined 22-of-27 on field-goal attempts (81.5 percent) since 2010.
    Against Morehead State, newcomer Joey Cejudo made the first field-goal try of his young YSU career (37 yards).
    Last season, PK David Brown converted from 47 (Indiana State), 31 (Western Illinois), 27 (Valparaiso), 25 (Pittsburgh, Albany) and 20 (ISU) yards.
    In 2011, the Penguins did not make a field goal in the first eight games before converting a 28-yard kick at UNI and two (33 and 30) at North Dakota State.
    YSU was 12-of-14 in 2010.

Schedule Oddity
    The last time the Penguins played their first two games at home was 2006. Conversely, the last time they played their first two conference games on the road was 2002.
    YSU opened with Dayton and Morehead State at home and in two weeks plays at Southern Illinois and Indiana State to open conference play this year.
Winning Streak
    The current five-game winning streak, mentioned on page three of the notes, is the longest for the program since 2006. It is the longest spill-over season winning streak since winning three straight to end the 2002 campaign and winning the first two of the 2003 season.

Receivers Grow Up
    The past two seasons the Penguins have relied primarily on freshmen and sophomores at the wide-receiver spot. In 2013, that group will be one of the most experienced on the roster even though it could still be considered young.
    Senior Jelani Berassa returns from a knee injury that kept him out last year. Berassa, who had 37 catches, including eight TDs, in 2011, was named a team captain. He caught his first pass since November 2011 against Morehead State. The other senior wide receiver, Kevin Watts, has 45 career receptions.
    Junior Christian Bryan has started every game the past two seasons. He has 79 career receptions for 1,148 yards and nine touchdowns.
    YSU returns all 99 catches (115 if you include wide receiver/now tight end Kintrell Disher) from last year's squad. In fact, from the 2011 team, 120 of the 139 grabs are back from that year as well.

Returning Starters From '12
    On offense, YSU returns starters Kurt Hess (QB), Kyle Bryant (OT), Chris Elkins (C), Andrew Williams (WR), Andre Stubbs (WR), Christian Bryan (WR). Bryan, Hess and Elkins started all 11 games.
    On defense, returning starters include Teven Williams (LB), Travis Williams (LB), Dom Rich (LB), Julius Childs (CB), Dale Peterman (CB) and Kyle Sirl (DE). Rich, Peterman and Childs are the two returning defensive players who started all 11 games last season.
    Punter Nick Liste, long snapper Nathan Gibbs and holder Dante Nania all return for that unit.

Single Digits in Fumbles
    The Guins lost six fumbles last season and have given up single digits in fumbles for eight straight seasons.
    After two games, YSU has two lost fumbles - both came in the opener vs. Dayton.
    In 2011, YSU lost five fumbles while in 2010, the Penguins lost nine. In 2009, YSU lost just three fumbles. In 2008, YSU lost nine in 12 games. YSU had nine fumbles lost in 2007, five in 2006, eight in 2005 and eight in 2004. Prior to the current eight-year streak, the Guins had committed single digits in fumbles lost in consecutive years just twice in school history (1986-87 and 1958-59).

Line Features Variety
    The Penguins offensive line features four seniors, two juniors, five redshirt freshmen and four true freshmen. Of the 15 players, only Chris Elkins and Kyle Bryant had started multiple games entering the year. Stephen Page was the only other lineman to start a game prior to 2013.

Defense Has Mainstays
    Three members of the Penguins defense have more than 100 career tackles. Junior LB Teven Williams has 138 tackles, junior LB Travis Williams has 131 and Donald D'Alesio has been credited with 121.
    Three others have at least 44 tackles. Senior LB Ali Cheaib has 81, Julius Childs has 61 and Dom Rich has 44.
    This group of six players has played in 141 games and recorded 576 total stops.

2013 Senior Class
    The Penguins' 2013 senior class features 16 players, eight of which have been with the program for five years. The eight players who have been at YSU for eight years are Jelani Berassa, Fred Herdman, Kurt Hess, Nick Liste, D.J. Moss, Torrian Pace, Dom Rich, Carson Sharbaugh and Kyle Sirl.
    Five of the other seniors, Chris Elkins, Andrew Sinko, Kevin Watts, Adaris Bellamy and Ali Cheaib, were members of Coach Eric Wolford's first recruiting class. Senior OT Kyle Bryant is a transfer from Bowling Green who joined the program in 2012 while Dale Peterman is the lone junior-college transfer senior.

Numbers of Note
• Turnover Margin: Since 1996, the Penguins are 109-24 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 16-52.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 139-18-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 113-12 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 132-22 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 71-8-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 163-11 when leading entering the fourth.
• 74-3-2 when holding opponents to 10 points-or-less in a game.

Up Next: Duquesne
    YSU returns home to Stambaugh Stadium to take on Duquesne for the first time in school history. The Penguins and Dukes are set to kickoff at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Dukes have a bye this Saturday.
    YSU has won 20 of its last 21 non-conference regular-season home games since September 2004.