Carbondale, Ill. -- YSU senior quarterback Jeff Ryan threw for 214 yards and ran for 94 more to help lead the Penguins to a 31-7 victory over Southern Illinois at McAndrew Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. on Saturday afternoon.
Youngstown State (7-2) finishes Gateway Football Conference play 5-2 on the year while Southern Illinois drops to 1-7 and 1-4 on the season. YSU trailed 7-3 before scoring the final 28 points of the game on a Ryan to Eugene Mintze touchdown pass, two P.J. Mays touchdown runs and a Darius Peterson scoring run.
Ryan, YSU's all-time leader in total offense, was 16-of-19
passing and had his most yards through the air since Dec. 4, 1999
against North Carolina A&T. He threw a 23-yard touchdown pass
to Mintze in the second quarter that gave the Penguins a 10-7
SIU took a 7-3 lead when tailback Brandon Robinson threw a 38-yard halfback pass to Jason Hollingshead with 1:19 left in the first quarter.
After the Penguins took the lead, they added a one-yard score by Mays with 8:35 left in the second quarter to build a 17-7 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third period, Mays scored on another one-yard run -- his 16th rushing touchdown of the season -- and Peterson added a nine-yard score -- his first touchdown since the Indiana State game.
YSU racked up 507 total offensive yards, the second most on the year. The Penguins had 275 yards rushing and a season-best 232 yards passing.
Mays finished with 87 yards and became the 15th player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards on the season. He has ran for 1,075 yards this year.
The Penguins have next Saturday off before returning to action on Saturday, Nov. 17 against Elon. YSU is 13-2 over the past 15 years after an off week and is 1-0 this season. Youngstown State closes out the regular season on Nov. 24 at Marshall.