Penguins Ranked 13th in The Sports Network; Preseason MVFC Favorite By Phil Steele

YSU Scrimmage
YSU Scrimmage

The Youngstown State football team is ranked 13th in The Sports Network preseason poll which was released on Monday afternoon. Also, Phil Steele Magazine has tabbed the Penguins as their 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason favorite.

In The Sports Network Poll, YSU received 1,860 votes to find itself in the 13th spot. One pollster even had the Penguins No. 1 on their ballot. Sam Houston State was first while MVFC rival North Dakota State was second. The preseason ranking is impressive considering that following their 6-5 campaign in 2011, the Guins received a total of seven votes in the end-of-the-year poll.

Phil Steele Magazine, one of the authorities on FCS football, recently tabbed YSU fourth in their top 25 and by viture of being the highest-ranked Valley Football team, where picked to win the league for the first time since 2006.

While the news was good off the field, the Penguins practiced twice on Monday with the morning session in full pads and the afternoon workout in helmets.

Head Coach Eric Wolford said he was extremely pleased with the morning session as the offense seemed to get back on track after Saturday's scrimmage.

Wolford said following the afternoon practice the Penguins plan to add some more "exotic" plays this week, the second of fall camp. Also, YSU will spend time solidifying the depth chart with some position battles still going on for both the offensive and defensive lines, the secondary and the second-team tailback. He said some players are fighting for playing time on special teams as well.

On Saturday, the offense was held to just two touchdowns in a two-hour practice. During Monday morning's workout, Kintrell Disher caught a perfectly thrown pass by Kurt Hess for a score. To end the workout, Hess threw a strike to Andre Stubbs in the back of the end zone on a two-point conversion play. TB Adaris Bellamy also had a solid workout subbing for Jamaine Cook who did not practice.

YSU is set to practice on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The evening's festivities will include the annual Steak Fry where newcomers will sing the YSU Fight Song and the coaches and players will get a chance to mingle with some Penguins supporters.

Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are on sale now by calling the YSU Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1978.