The Youngstown State football team put on full pads for the first time this spring and head coach Eric Wolford said he is happy with the improvement the defense has shown early in workouts.
YSU held a two-and-a-half hour practice on Saturday morning under sunny skies at Stambaugh Stadium. The temperature gave everyone a taste of November although it was March 26.
After individual work for the first 45 minutes, YSU's offense and defense went head-to-head in a one-on-one full-contact drills. YSU linemen, tight ends and wide receivers had cracks at defensive linemen, linebackers and secondary members during the drill.
The Penguins offensive linemen did a solid job during the one-on-one session and after 17 minutes of work, offensive line newcomer Mark Pratt got the better of defensive line newcomer Nick DeKraker on the final two snaps of the drill.
YSU spent the next hour working on special teams units (punts and punt protection), 7-on-7 situations, offensive vs. defensive line sets and had a 20-minute vertical period with the offense's top two units taking on the defense's top two units.
Head Coach Eric Wolford said the defense has made strides.
"I think they came out ready to play. I kind of sensed they were ready to get the pads on," Wolford said. "They are playing with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, which is what we want. It was good to see them come out today and have some success."
YSU is off on Sunday before returning to practice on Monday at 4 p.m.
Upcoming Spring Schedule (All Practices at Stambaugh Stadium)
March 27 - Coach Wolford at Pizza Cookoff | 4-7 p.m.
March 28 - Practice | 4 p.m.
March 30 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 1 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 2 - Scrimmage | 10 a.m.
April 4 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 6 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 8 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 9 - Scrimmage | 10 a.m.
April 10 - FCA Banquet (Coach Wolford guest speaker) | 6 p.m.
April 11 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 12 - Bob Dove Luncheon | Noon
April 13 - Practice | 4 p.m.
April 15 - Women's Coaching Clinic | 5:30 p.m.
April 15 - Practice | 6:30 p.m.
April 16 - Spring Game | 12:05 p.m.
April 17 - No Stone Unturned Pancake Breakfast at Mt. Carmel
May 6 - Football Alumni Reunion - Youngstown Country Club
For Season Ticket or Spring Game information contact the YSU Athletics Ticket Office at (330) 941-1978.