Penguins Play Host To Southern Illinois in Annual Homecoming Game

YSU vs. Southern Illinois
YSU vs. Southern Illinois
Youngstown State vs. Southern Illinois
Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 18 | 4 p.m.
Location Stambaugh Stadium | Youngstown, Ohio
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    The No. 19 Youngstown State football team plays its annual Homecoming game against 14th-ranked Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Stambaugh Stadium. Kickoff for the contest is set for 4 p.m. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM as well as iHeartRadio, ESPN3.com and on tape delay on MyYTV.
    YSU (4-2 overall and 1-1 in the MVFC) is coming off a disappointing 30-24 loss to Western Illinois at Stambaugh Stadium last Saturday. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak by the Penguins. WIU jumped out to a 14-3 lead, but YSU took a 17-14 lead at halftime as Hunter Wells connected with Jelani Berassa on a 15-yard touchdown pass and Jody Webb scored on a nine-yard run. But WIU scored on its opening drive of the third quarter and never trailed again. The Leathernecks had two touchdowns and a field goal building a 30-17 with 8:18 left in the fourth. The Penguins crept within 30-24 on a 16-yard scoring run by Webb with 6:08 left, however, WIU milked all but 40 seconds off the clock. YSU had one last desparation throw from the Western 48, but it was knocked down as time expired.
    Southern Illinois (5-2 and 2-1) dropped a 38-10 decision to top-ranked North Dakota State in Fargo last Saturday. The Salukis trailed just 10-7 in the second and 17-10 in the third quarter, but the Bison closed out the game with 21 unanswered points, thanks to two big scoring plays. Down 10-0 in the second quarter, QB Mark Iannotti hit all-league TE MyCole Pruitt on a 26-yard score. SIU trailed 24-10 in the fourth before NDSU threw a 75-yard touchdown pass and capped off the victory with a 48-yard scoring run. SIU has combined to score 23 points in its two losses and has scored at least 34 points in its five victories.
    YSU holds a 13-11-1 lead in the all-time series with the Salukis. Last year was a thriller in Carbondale that went the Penguins' way. Trailing 27-14 in the fourth-quarter, YSU had two scores in the final 10 minutes of the game and forced a Saluki turnover in the last minute to pick up the win. Two years ago at Stambaugh Stadium, SIU defeated the Penguins 38-21.
    This is the annual Homecoming game for YSU. The Penguins own a 50-22-1 all-time mark in Homecoming contests.


Western Illinois Notes

• The Penguins took a 3-0 lead and were on top 17-14 at halftime. YSU has had the lead in every game this season.
Dante Nania started the game at quarterback before Hunter Wells took over at the start of the second quarter.
• Wells came on to pass for 187 yards, completing 14-of-25 attempts and a touchdown.
• Redshirt freshman Cole Newsome started and played the entire game at center in place of Stephen Page.
• The 11 accepted penalties by the Guins were the most since Nov. 5, 1994 against Buffalo (11). YSU had 17 penalties in four non-conference games. In two MVFC contests, the Guins have been whistled for 19 penalties.
• The contest featured Instant Replay for the first time in the history of Stambaugh Stadium.
• WR Jelani Berassa had a career-long 34-yard punt return which helped set up the Guins' go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.
• TB Jody Webb scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. It was the third time in his career he had two scores in a game.
• Webb has scored a touchdown in three straight games.
• PK Joey Cejudo connected on a 28-yard field goal and is now 10-of-11 on the season, including 7-of-7 at home.
• WR Andre Stubbs caught a career-high six passes in the defeat. Stubbs had seven catches in the first five games this year.
• LB Dubem Nwadiogbu had a career-high 13 total tackles in the game, including eight solo stops.
• Western held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the second half and used a fake punt to set up it first touchdown of the second half.

Western Illinois Recap
    YSU led by three points at halftime, but Western Illinois scored 16 straight second-half points to upset the Penguins 30-24 at Stambaugh Stadium.
    The Guins led 3-0 before two WIU scores put them in a 14-3 hole in the second quarter. But a big fourth-down stop by the defense turned the momentum, and YSU responded with two straight scores.
    QB Hunter Wells found Jelani Berassa for a 15-yard score, and Jody Webb scored on a nine-yard run to put the Guins in front 17-14 at the break.
    To open the second half, the defense had stopped WIU, but a fake punt changed momentum once again and the Leathernecks reeled off 16 consecutive points.
    With 6:08 left, Webb sped home from 16 yards to pull the Guins within 30-24. YSU had one last pass to the end zone on the game's final play, but it was knocked down.

Last Year's SIU Recap
    YSU scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to overcome a 13-point deficit and defeat Southern Illinois 28-27 last September at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale.
    QB Kurt Hess threw four touchdown passes in the win while Andre Stubbs caught two and tight ends Nate Adams and Carson Sharbaugh each caught one.
    Trailing 27-14 in the fourth quarter, Hess threw a 15-yard scoring toss to Adams with 9:30 left to get the Penguins within six points.    
    Behind 27-21, the Guins moved the ball 83 yards in 16 plays and tied the game when Hess found Sharbaugh on a one-yard score on fourth-and-goal. Joey Cejudo's extra-point gave the Penguins a 28-27 lead.
    SIU had one last possession and advanced to the Penguins' 41-yard line. However, Teven Williams stripped the ball from SIU's MyCole Pruitt and Donald D'Alesio recovered it at the YSU 40 with just 43 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Series History
    The Penguins own a 13-11-1 lead in the all-time series against the Salukis and have won three of the last four.
    Prior to Coach Eric Wolford's arrival, SIU had won six of seven meetings with the Penguins' lone victory coming in 2006. YSU has wins over the Salukis in 2010, 2011 and 2013 under Wolford.
    Of the 25 meetings, 11 have been decided by a touchdown or less with the Penguins holding a 6-4-1 edge in such contests, including a 28-27 win last year in Carbondale.
    The magic numbers in the series are 29 (YSU) and 23 (SIU).
    The Penguins are 9-0 when scoring at least 29 points in the series. SIU has scored 23 points in each of the last 11 contests and is 7-4 in those games.

Homecoming Happiness
    The Penguins are playing their 74th Homecoming contest this Saturday against Southern Illinois.
    YSU has won three straight Homecoming contests and will be looking to win its fourth consecutive, the most since winning 11 straight from 1992-2002.
    Last season, the Guins pulled out a 24-14 win over Western Illinois. In 2012, the Penguins defeated South Dakota 13-10 and in 2011, YSU dispatched of WIU 56-14.
    The Penguins own an all-time mark of 50-22-1 in Homecoming contests. SIU has been the Guins' Homecoming opponent on three occasions - 1967, 1998, 2002. The Guins have won all three contest against the Salukis.

Bam Has Been All Over
    Junior LB Dubem Nwadiogbu, aka "Bam", has been a key difference maker on defense so far this year. Nwadiogbu has 55 tackles, including 36 solo stops. Both are team highs.
    On four occasions this year he has set a new career high in tackles.
    The most recent time was against Western Illinois. Nwadiogbu had 13 stops against the Leathernecks, including eight solo tackles.
    Against Butler, Nwadiogbu had the first double-digit performance of his career with 11 stops, including seven solos. He also had a fumble recovery in the contest.
    He had eight total tackles and six solo stops in the win over Duquesne after tying his previous career standard with six at Illinois. He added eight more tackles, including six solos, in the win over Saint Francis.
    At Missouri State, he had nine tackles and was more active pressuring the quarterback with a pair of hard-hit hurries.

Ruiz Model of Consistency
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz has rushed for more than 79 yards in all six games this year. He scored rushing touchdowns in the first four games of the season as well.
    Against Western Illinois he had 80 yards on 14 carries. The week prior he rushed for 79 yards at Missouri State.
    Ruiz played just the first half against Saint Francis and had 82 yards on 12 carries while scoring two touchdowns.
    Against a strong Butler rush defense, he had 108 yards on 21 attempts and scored a touchdown.
    In the win over Duquesne, he had 148 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns. At Illinois, he had a career-high 32 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown.
    Ruiz has rushed for more than 100 yards seven times in his 18-game YSU career. He has scored a touchdown in 13 games as well.

Moore To Offer
    Junior SS Tre' Moore has made a big impact since becoming a regular in the lineup during the second quarter of the Butler game. In his three starts, he has been credited 21 tackles. At Missouri State, Moore had his best game to date by intercepting two passes and recording a career-best 11 tackles in the win. He had two second-half picks against MSU, including one that helped seal the win at the YSU 32-yard line with 2:21 left.
    He came on against Butler and registered nine tackles, including six solo stops. In the win over Saint Francis he had five total stops, including four solos. He made his first start of the season against the Red Flash.
    Last year he had 24 tackles, but just six came in the last six contests.

Stubbs Has Career High
    Junior WR Andre Stubbs had a career-high six receptions for 73 yards against Western Illinois. He also had 69 yards on four kickoff returns and had two rushes for 16 yards.
    His previous high in receptions was five on two occasions, both of which were against Southern Illinois (2012 and 2013).

Webb Scores Twice
    Sophomore TB Jody Webb had two rushing scores against Western Illinois. It was the third time in his career in which he has scored two touchdowns or more.
    Webb had scoring runs of nine yards and 16 yards against WIU. His nine-yard score late in the second quarter gave the Penguins a 17-14 lead while his 16-yard scamper in the fourth trimmed the Guins' deficit to six points.
    Webb had 57 yards on 10 carries in the contest. For the season he has 331 yards on 48 carries and has scored four touchdowns.

Youthful Lineup
    Against Western Illinois, YSU started just five seniors. Of the five players, two were wide receivers - Jelani Berassa, Christian Bryan - two were members of the secondary - Julius Childs and Donald D'Alesio and one was nose tackle Octavius Brown.
    On the offensive line, YSU started two redshirt freshmen - Cole Newsome and Justin Spencer - and a pair of sophomores - Dylan Colucci and Brock Eisenhuth. Junior QB Dante Nania started the game before being replaced by freshman Hunter Wells. Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz led the team with 80 yards rushing while sophomore TB Jody Webb had two scores.
    On defense, YSU had four sophomores and four juniors start.

Going to Wells
    After the first two possessions of the game in the opening quarter, the Penguins changed quarterbacks from Dante Nania to Hunter Wells.
    In playing the last three quarters, Wells completed 14-of-25 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. He engineered three scoring drives in the game. His favorite target was Andre Stubbs as the two hooked up on five occasions.

Adams Gets a Few Rushes
    Senior TE Nate Adams had the first career rushing attempts of his YSU career against Western Illinois. He had two carries for 19 yards in the game.
    Adams was a bull with two strong carries in the contest. He had a nine-yard run on a third-and-two rush in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, he had a 10-yard gain on a third-and-1 at the WIU 41-yard line. Two plays following his second attempt, the Guins scored a touchdown.

Berassa A Go-To Receiver
    Senior WR Jelani Berassa has 23 receptions this season, nine more than any other YSU wide receiver. Berassa has 418 yards receiving this season and has a team-high four touchdown receptions. He caught a 15-yard scoring toss from Hunter Wells against WIU. Berassa also had a three-touchdown performance in the win over Butler.
    Last year, Berassa caught just six passes for 74 yards and one score. He missed the 2012 season with a knee injury. In 2011, he had at least four catches in a game on five occasions, including a career-best seven in the season finale against Missouri State.

Rivers Flowing to QBs
    Sophomore DE Derek Rivers has had 12 tackles in the past two games. Rivers was credited with a career-best seven tackles against Western Illinois.
    He was coming off a career-best five tackles in the win at Missouri State. Rivers had a pair of quarterback hurries and a sack against MSU.
    This year, Rivers has 21 tackles, including 13 solo stops and 8.5 TFLs. Last year, he posted 13 tackles playing in 10 games.
    He has sacks in four of six games this year, including two against Saint Francis.

Solid Start for Cejudo
    PK/P Joey Cejudo has done a good job managing all of the kicking roles for the Penguins this season.
    Cejudo has made 10-of-11 field-goal attempts and started the year by making his first nine attempts of the season before a miss at Missouri State. He knocked through a 28-yard field goal against Western Illinois
    As a punter, he is averaging 39.8 yards per kick and has had five punts of more than 50 yards in the last two games. He has placed nine, including a season-best three vs. WIU, inside the opponents' 20-yard line this year.
    He has kicked off 37 times this year with 18 of his boots going for touchbacks.
    He was named the MVFC's Special Teams Player of the Week for his three field-goal performance at Illinois.

Quick-Strike Offense
    YSU has had six scoring drives of under 30 seconds this season. In four of the past five games, the Guins have had at least one quick-strike score.
    Three times this season, YSU has had a one-play scoring drive - Duquesne, Butler and Missouri State.
    Against the Bulldogs, QB Hunter Wells found WR Jelani Berassa on a quick one-play, 72-yard scoring strike in just 12 seconds.
    Against the Dukes, QB Dante Nania found Andrew Williams for a 54-yard score in a seven-second drive.
    Against the Bears, TB Jody Webb took an inside handoff and scooted 81 yards in 12 seconds for a one-play drive in the second quarter.

Tough Rushing Defense
    YSU has allowed just three rushing scores in six games. The rushing scores YSU has allowed were by Duquesne and Saint Francis.
    Duquesne's Marcus Hughes scored on a 23-yard run while Saint Francis' Marcus Bagley scored on a 28-yard carry and Khairi Dickson had a 10-yard TD rush.
    The Penguins have not allowed a rushing touchdown in the opening quarter this year.

Big Plays In Pass Game
    The Penguins have made some big plays in the passing game this season.
    In the first six games, the Guins have six pass plays of 54 yards or more. Last year, the Penguins had just four completions of longer than 50 yards in 12 games played. YSU did not complete a pass of over 50 yards in 2012.
    Hunter Wells completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Jelani Berassa in the win over Butler. Against Duquesne, QB Dante Nania completed a 66-yard toss to Berassa while Andrew Williams caught a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. At Illinois in the season opener, Nania found Williams for a 61-yard gain and connected with Jody Webb on a 54-yard toss.
    On the first snap of the game against Missouri State, Nania connected with Williams on a 56-yard pickup.

Red-Zone Success
    YSU has converted at a high success rate in the red zone under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    The Guins are 22-of-26 so far this season (10 field goals and 12 touchdowns - seven rushing and five passing).
    Last year, YSU was 43-of-47 (91.5 percent) in its red-zone opportunities. It marked the second season in his four-year tenure that the Guins converted more than 90 percent of their red-zone opportunities. YSU scored touchdowns on 38 of those red-zone visits.
    In 51 games under Coach Wolford, the Penguins are 183-for-207 (88.4 percent) inside the red zone. YSU has scored 150 touchdowns (101 rushing and 49 passing) while making 33-of-34 field-goal attempts. Of the 11 turnovers committed, nine have been interceptions.
    The Penguins were 35-of-43 inside the red-zone in 2012 (81.7 percent). YSU went 42-of-47 in 2011 (89.4 percent), and, in 2010, the Guins converted 41-of-45 chances (91.1 percent).
    Overall, the program has a red-zone score in 56 consecutive games.

Adams Has Multi TDs Again
    Senior TE Nate Adams has caught two touchdown passes this season, marking the third straight year he has had at least a pair of scores. Adams had a career-high four-touchdown receptions last year.
    Against Butler he caught a two-yard pass for a score after hauling in a 31-yard touchdown catch against Duquesne.
    It's usually good news for the Guins when Adams scores at TD. The Penguins are 7-1 in contests when he hauls in a TD pass.

Receivers Grow Up
    The group of Jelani Berassa, Christian Bryan, Andrew Williams and Andre Stubbs have combined for 307 receptions in their YSU careers.
    Berassa is in his sixth year with the program while Bryan, Williams and Stubbs all came in together as part of the 2011 recruiting class.
    Bryan never redshirted and has caught 106 passes in a solid career. He ranks 10th in school history in career receptions. Berassa has 70 catches, Williams has caught 67 passes and Stubbs has 64. Berassa missed the 2010 and 2012 seasons with knee injuries. When healthy in 2011, he had 37 catches.
    Fifth-year senior TE Nate Adams has 28 catches, including eight touchdowns, as well.

>400 Yards/27 Points
    The Penguins have had more than 400 yards of total offense in 26 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    In his 51 contests, YSU has had more than 300 yards in 44 of them. Additionally, the Guins have scored 27-or-more points in 34 of Wolford's 51 games at the helm.

Williams A Play Maker
    Junior WR Andrew Williams has had 61 yards -or-more receiving in four of his five games played this season. Williams had a season-best 83 yards on five catches and a score in the win at Missouri State.
    On the first play of the game, his 56-yard reception set up his first score, which was a nine-yard toss from QB Dante Nania. Later in the game, Williams caught a 38-yard strike, but that was nullified by a penalty.
    Williams is second on the team with three touchdown receptions. Williams has caught a touchdown pass in three of the last four games.
    He has tied his career-high for receiving touchdowns, which came back in 2012. Williams caught two TD passes last year.

Three is Still Important
    Under Coach Eric Wolford, YSU is a combined 38-of-45 on field-goal attempts (84.4 percent).
    PK Joey Cejudo started off the season making 10 of his first 11 attempts. He made six-of-eight attempts last season, including a long of 40 against Duquesne.
    In his YSU career, Cejudo has made 15-of-18 attempts (83.3 percent).
    In 2012, PK David Brown converted six-of-seven attempts. In 2011, the Penguins did not make a field goal in the first eight games before converting three field goals.
    YSU was 12-of-14 in 2010, all of which came by the foot of Stephen Blose.

Turning Up The Heat
    The Penguins had five sacks in the first four games of the season before recording four in the win at Missouri State. The Guins also had six quarterback hurries and intercepted two passes.
    Against MSU, Dubem Nwadiogbu, Terrell Williams, Desmond Williams, Derek Rivers and Jaylin Kelly were all credited with getting to MSU QB Kierra Harris. For the game, the Guins had eight tackles for 29 yards in losses.

Bryan Eclipses 100
    Senior WR Christian Bryan has 106 career receptions in his YSU career.
    Bryan is just one of 14 players in school history to eclipse the 100-reception mark in a career.
    He ranks 10th in school history with his 106 career grabs and is two from moving into a tie for eighth place.
    Bryan is tied for 13th in school history for career touchdown receptions with his 11 TDs. He is one of 15 players in YSU history with 11-or-more TD grabs in a career. He's tied with Ray Ellington and Kyle Smith with 11 career touchdown receptions. Teammate Jelani Berassa moved ahead of him against Butler.

Numbers Under Wolf
    After 51 games, Head Coach Eric Wolford is now 28-23. YSU has won 23 of its last 35 games under Wolford since the mid-point of the 2011 season. A couple of good notes have come from his 51 games regarding wins and losses. Both losses when allowing 27 or fewer points have come at UNI (21-17 in 2011 and 22-20 in 2013).
• YSU is 14-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer
• YSU is 25-2 when allowing 27 points or fewer
• YSU is 26-5 when allowing 33 points or fewer

Two Over 200 Yards
    So far the Penguins have had two quarterbacks throw for over 200 yards in a game.
    Dante Nania had 288 against Duquesne while Hunter Wells had 297 vs. Butler.
    The last time two different quarterbacks passed for more than 200 yards in a game in the same season was in 1985. Bob Courtney threw for more than 200 yards in three games. Trenton Lykes had a season-high 231 yards in the season finale against Morehead State.

Cejudo Pulls Double Duty
    Joey Cejudo is handling both the placekicking and punting duties for YSU this year. He is one of just three Penguins to handle both punting and kicking in the same year since 1970.
    The last Penguin to handle both roles as punter and placekicker was Jeff Wilkins in 1992-93. Wilkins was the placekicker in each season throughout his YSU career. Wilkins shared punting duties in 1992 before assuming both placekicker and punting roles in 1993. He turned out to be pretty good playing 14 years in the NFL and winning a Super Bowl title with the St. Louis Rams.
    The only other kicker since 1970 to handle both chores was Chuck Haynali, who did both in three straight seasons - 1976, 1977 and 1978.

Berassa Rare Game
    Senior WR Jelani Berassa had a rare game in a multitude of ways against Butler.
    First, Berassa became just  the fourth player in school history to catch three touchdown passes in the same game. It marked the first time since 1979 that a Penguin caught three touchdown passes in the same contest. Impressively, all three came in the second quarter.
    Only five times in school history has a receiver caught three touchdown passes and had more than 100 yards in the same game.
    He followed up a 114-yard performance against Duquesne with a career-high 167-yard game against Butler. It was the first time since Dominique Barnes had consecutive 100-yard receiving games to end the 2010 slate that a Guin recorded back-to-back 100-yard plus contests.

Three Over 150 Tackles
    Senior FS Donald D'Alesio leads the program with 219 career tackles, including 118 solo stops. Senior LB Travis Williams has 170 career tackles, 99 of which are solos. Senior CB Julius Childs has 159 tackles, 116 of which are solos.

Offensive Line Gelling
    An offensive line that features just one senior - C Stephen Page - has played well through the first six games.
    This year, YSU has had four first-time starters on the unit, including two who have started every contest. OG Dylan Colucci and OT Justin Spencer have started all six games this season after not having any starts under their belts.
    YSU has started the same grouping in four of six games. So far this year, the Guins have produced a 100-yard rusher in four of six games, rushed for more than 199 yards four times and had over 380 yards of total offense on four occasions.
    The line does have some veterans in Trevor Strickland, Brock Eisenhuth and Page. Strickland started five contests a year ago while  Eisenhuth started nine times last season. Prior to this year, Page's last start was in 2012 at South Dakota State.

Experienced Front D-Line
    The defensive line has drawn rave reviews for its performance this season.
    DT Emmanuel Kromah and DE Terrell Williams have started the last 18 games on the front line. NT Octavius Brown has started the first six games this year and made an impact as a run stopper. DE Derek Rivers has started the past five contests. He has five sacks so far this season. Last year, Rivers had three sacks in just 10 games played. He has eight sacks in 15 career games as a Penguin.
    Also contributing up front are DE Eric Myers, DT Steve Zaborsky and DE Desmond Williams.

Ruiz Trifecta First Since 1960
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz opened the campaign by rushing for more than 100 yards in each of YSU's first three games.
    The last Penguin (and only other time it happened) to open a season rushing for 100-plus yards in three straight games was Frank Horvath in 1960.
    Horvath opened the 1960 season with 124 yards against Toledo. He followed that contest with a 123-yard contest against Eastern Michigan and 136-yard performance vs. Northern Michigan. He had a total of 383 yards following those games.
    Horvath eclipsed the 100-yard mark six times in an eight-game slate that year and finished with 1,010 yards on 150 carries for the season.

Wells Bells
    Freshman QB Hunter Wells had an impressive starting debut throwing four touchdown passes while completing 16-of-22 attempts for 297 yards against Butler on Sept. 13.
    His 297 yards passing were the most in a game by a YSU freshman since Denny Klembara had three 300-yard efforts in 1968.
    The last time a freshman quarterback had more than 200 yards in a first career start was Tom Zetts (207) against Slippery Rock in 2004.

Four-TD Passing Games
    Since Nov. 1, 2008, quarterbacks Kurt Hess (six), Brandon Summers (two) and Hunter Wells (one) have combined to throw at least four touchdowns in a game nine times in a span of 66 games.
    In school history before November 2008, a group of six quarterbacks combined for eight four-passing touchdown games. YSU had played 702 games up to that point in school history.
    Hess had a school-record five touchdown passes against Missouri State in 2011.

Strong Florida Influence
    This season, the Penguins have an impressive 19 players from the state of Florida. Of the 19, 18 have been recruited by Coach Eric Wolford and his current staff, which includes Florida natives Glenn Davis and Eric Gallon. Wolford also coached at USF.

Six Captains in 2014
    The Penguins have six seniors serving as team captains. Sixth-year senior WR Jelani Berassa, fifth-year seniors FS Donald D'Alesio and TE Nate Adams, fourth-year senior WR Christian Bryan, third-year senior CB Julius Childs and second-year senior DT Octavius Brown were selected to assume that role this year.

Four-Takeaway Win Streak
    YSU has won 19 straight games when it forces at least four turnovers. In 2013, the Guins were 1-0 when that occurred.
    Since 2006, the Guins are 21-1 when they have at least four takeaways in a game. The last loss was against UNI in 2006.

Classroom Excellence
    Since Head Coach Eric Wolford took over, he has also had an impact on the Penguins' production in the classroom. In eight of the nine spring/fall semesters he has been head coach, the Guins have maintained at least a 2.70 cumulative GPA.
    The Guins had 43 selections to the Missouri Valley Football Conference honor roll. Senior TE Nate Adams was a recipient of the Presidents Academic Award as well.
    This past summer, YSU was the recipient of the FCS Athletics Directors Association APR award for having the most improved APR score in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012-13.

Three Graduates on Roster
    Three members of the program have already earned their bachelor's degrees from Youngstown State. YSU's trio of graduates are Jelani Berassa, Nate Adams and Donald D'Alesio.
    Berassa and Adams both graduated following the 2013 fall semester while D'Alesio earned his diploma following the spring semester.

12-Game Regular Season
    The Penguins are playing 12 regular-season games for just the fourth time in school history. The other times were last year, 2008 and 2003. The Guins posted an 8-4 mark a year ago, were 4-8 in 2008 and went 5-7 in 2003.
    Last year the Guins picked up an impressive eight wins against Division I programs. In 2003, two victories came against non-Division I foes.

Williams Times Six
    The Penguins h
Numbers of Note
• Turnover Margin: Since 1996, the Penguins are 116-28 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 19-54.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 144-18-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 118-13 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 140-22 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 73-9-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 170-13 when leading entering the fourth.
• 75-3-2 when holding opponents to 10 points-or-less in a game.
More recently:
• YSU has scored points in 68 straight games.
• YSU has scored in double figures in 24 consecutive contests.
• The Guins last played an overtime game on Sept. 11, 2004 against Florida International. YSU has not played an OT contest in a span of 119 games dating back to that contest.

Up Next: South Dakota State
    The Penguins return to the road for the second time this month when they visit South Dakota State. SDSU plays at UNI this Saturday and is coming off a win over Missouri State.