Penguins Open MVFC Play With Visit to Southern Illinois

Penguins Open MVFC Play With Visit to Southern Illinois

   The 25th-ranked Youngstown State football team returns to the road this Saturday opening up Missouri Valley Football Conference play at Southern Illinois. The Penguins will play in Primetime at Saluki Stadium with a 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central start time. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM,iHeartRadio, locally on WBCB TV and nationally via WATCH ESPN.
    YSU (3-1, 0-0) is coming off a solid overall performance in a 59-17 victory over Duquesne last Saturday. The Penguins jumped out to a 24-0 lead and answered two third-quarter Dukes touchdowns by closing the game on a 35-3 run. Freshman Martin Ruiz continued to shine with three rushing scores, quarterback Kurt Hess passed for 292 yards and had touchdown tosses of 55 and 52 yards. The defense recovered three fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown to cap off the impressive win.
    SIU (2-2, 0-0) has won two straight following a 36-19 win over Southeast Missouri State in a contest played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium. The contest was tied at 19 late in the third quarter before SIU scored the final 17 points, including two fourth-quarter scores. The Salukis were balanced on offense against SEMO with 209 yards coming on the ground and had 200 through the air.
    The contest is the Valley Football opener for both schools. YSU has won all three of its league openers under Head Coach Eric Wolford, however this will be the first time since 2009 the Penguins open on the road. SIU has won its last two MVFC openers (both over Missouri State) since dropping its 2010 opener to YSU in Youngstown. In 16 league openers since joining the conference in 1997, the Penguins are 13-3 and have won three straight, including a wild 42-35 win over UNI last year. In their first road conference game in 16 tries, the Guins are 7-9.
    The Penguins own a narrow 12-11-1 lead in the all-time series against the Salukis. Last year, SIU beat the Penguins 38-21 at Stambaugh Stadium. Prior to that contest, the Guins had won two straight, including a come-from-behind 35-23 win in Carbondale in 2011.
    YSU plays its second consecutive MFVC road game next Saturday at Indiana State. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

Duquesne Notes
• The Penguins scored in two impressive spurts to amass 59 points. YSU scored the first 24 points of the game and 35 of the final 38.
• YSU forced four turnovers in a game for the first time since Oct. 29, 2011 vs. Western Illinois. The Guins recovered three fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown.
• Junior PK Joey Cejudo knocked home a career-long 40-yard field goal in the first quarter. He has made a field goal in three straight games.
Kevon Caffey and Tre' Moore made their first career starts while Steve Zaborsky and Dale Peterman started for the first time this year. YSU played without LB Travis Williams, DT D.J. Moss, DT Octavious Brown, CB Julius Childs and SS Donald D'Alesio.
• Senior QB Kurt Hess started his 37th consecutive game at the quarterback spot. His 292 yards were the third most in his career. He has now thrown 59 touchdown passes in his career.
• Hess' 55-yard scoring toss to Marcel Caver was the longest pass play for the Penguins since a 70-yard toss against Western Illinois in 2011.
• YSU did not have a pass longer than 50 yards last year. It had two against the Dukes - 52 and 55 (both for touchdowns).
• Freshman TB Martin Ruiz became the second freshman running back to score three touchdowns in a game this year. Ruiz had three against Duquesne, and Jody Webb had three vs. Morehead State.
• Ruiz has rushing touchdowns in four straight games. His seven scores lead the team.
• Freshman CB David Rivers returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown and now has two picks this year. Last season no player had more than one INT.

Duquesne Recap
    YSU scored the contest's first 24 points and after Duquesne trimmed the lead to 24-14, the Penguins scored 35 of the final 38 in a 59-17 win over the Dukes at Stambaugh Stadium.
    Freshman TB Martin Ruiz continued his strong play scoring three rushing touchdowns while senior QB Kurt Hess completed 15-of-25 passes for 292 yards and two scores.
    The defense played a key role as well forcing a season-high four turnovers and held Duquesne to just 39 yards rushing.
    YSU led at halftime 24-0 before two Dukes touchdowns in under three minutes closed the gap to 10 points. But the Penguins responded with a flourish scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter and adding three in the fourth, including a pick-six by freshman David Rivers to cap off the victory.

Last Meeting vs. SIU
    Youngstown State jumped out to a 21-10 second-quarter lead, but four fourth-quarter turnovers sealed a disappointing 38-21 loss to Southern Illinois at Stambaugh Stadium last October.
    The Salukis scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the win. YSU held SIU to 256 yards of total offense, including just 10 in the fourth quarter.
    The Penguins opened the game strong, taking their initial possession in for a touchdown as Jamaine Cook capped the 10-play drive with a one-yard scoring run.
    Early in the second, Cook found paydirt from four yards out to give the Guins a 14-3 lead. YSU took its second 11-point lead of the half on Cook's third touchdown run.
    Southern Illinois reclaimed the momentum by scoring with 42 seconds left before halftime. SIU took the lead for good when Korey Faulkner found MyCole Pruitt on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 1:22 left in the third.
    Turnovers ended any chance of a rally as YSU gave the ball away four times in the fourth, which led to two Saluki scores.

MVFC Openers
    The Guins are 13-3 in Missouri Valley Football Conference openers since joining the league in 1997. In its 17th season of play in the league, this is the second time that YSU will open the conference slate against SIU and the first opener in Carbondale.
    Of the 16 league openers, the Guins are a perfect 9-0 at home while going 4-3 on the road. In MVFC openers YSU is 4-0 against Missouri State, 3-0 vs. Indiana State, 2-0 against Western Illinois, 2-0 against Illinois State, 1-0 against UNI, 1-0 against Southern Illinois, 0-1 vs. South Dakota State and 0-2 vs. Western Kentucky.
    In first road games of the MVFC slate, the Guins are 7-9 all-time.

Series History
    The Penguins own a narrow 12-11-1 lead in the all-time series against the Salukis. Last year, SIU beat the Penguins 38-21 at Stambaugh Stadium. Prior to that contest, the Guins had won two straight, including a 35-23 win in Carbondale in 2011.
    Prior to Coach Wolford's arrival, SIU had won six of seven meetings with the Penguins' lone victory coming in 2006.
    Of the 24 meetings, 10 have been decided by a touchdown or less with the Penguins holding a 5-4-1 edge in such contests.
    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 10 contests and is 7-3 in those games.

Four-Takeaway Win Streak
    YSU has won 19 straight games when it forces at least four turnovers. The last loss was against UNI in 2006. Since 2006, the Guins are 21-1 when they have at least four takeaways in a game. The last time the Guins forced four turnovers in a game was against Western Illinois in 2011. Last year, the single-game high was two turnovers forced, which came on four occasions.

Defense Sees New Faces
    YSU had four new starters on defense against Duquesne. Senior cornerback Dale Peterman returned to the lineup after missing the first three games of the season. Defensive tackle Steve Zaborsky made his second career start and first of the campaign. Sophomore Kevon Caffey was in on the initial play of the game for his first career start. Sophomore strong safety Tre' Moore, a transfer from Northern Illinois, started his first game as well for the Penguins.

Hess Nears Yardage Record
    Senior quarterback Kurt Hess is just 263 yards shy of breaking the school record for career passing yards. Hess has 7,465 yards and trails four-year starter Tom Zetts, who finished his career with 7,728 yards. Hess owns school marks with 59 career touchdown passes, 20 200-yard passing games, passing yards per game 201.8 and passer rating at 142.16 and he's tied for TDs responsible for with 67.

Other MVFC Tidbits
    This is the 17th conference game the Penguins have played in the month of September since joining the league in 1997. YSU is 12-4 in September MVFC conference tilts and has won five of its last six. On the road, the Guins are 4-4 in September.
    This is just the seventh night road MVFC game for the Penguins. YSU is 2-4 playing a road night game with both wins coming at Missouri State. This is the Guins' first night trip to Carbondale since Nov. 8, 2003.

Ruiz Making Big Impact
    Freshman TB Martin Ruiz has scored eight touchdowns - seven rushing and one receiving - in four games so far this season. Ruiz has moved up the depth chart and sits as the No. 2 tailback behind fifth-year senior Torrian Pace.
    Ruiz has had a rushing touchdown in each game this season. In the opener he had 45 yards on 11 attempts against Dayton. Against Morehead State he had 117 yards on just six carries and had two scores. At Michigan State he caught and rushed for touchdown. Against Duquesne he rushed for 65 yards on a career-high 17 carries and scored three times.

Adams Has Best Game
    Junior TE Nate Adams had the best game of his YSU career against Duquesne, setting personal bests for receptions (four) and yards (108). His previous high was two catches and 30 yards against UNI last year.
    He had catches of 52, 23, 20 and 13 yards against Duquesne.
    Of note, the Guins are now 3-0 when Adams hauls in a touchdown reception. He had a three-yard touchdown catch against South Dakota and a 25-yard score vs. UNI last season.

Big Plays In Passing Game
    The Penguins had two touchdown passes longer than 50 yards in the win over Duquesne. Kurt Hess connected with Marcel Caver on a 55-yard toss and Nate Adams on a 52-yard score. The Penguins did not have a pass play longer than 45 yards last season.
    In 2011, big plays in the passing game helped spark the offense. Hess had a 70-yard touchdown pass to Christian Bryan, a 69-yard strike to Jelani Berassa and 52-yard toss to Will Shaw.

Going for Four
    The Penguins closed out the 2012 campaign winning their final three conference games - South Dakota, at Western Illinois, Indiana State. The last time YSU won four straight league games spans the final three games of the 2006 campaign and the first contest of the 2007 season. YSU closed the 2006 season beating Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky and opened the 2007 campaign knocking off Missouri State.

>400 Yards/27 Points
    The Penguins have had more than 400 yards of total offense in 21 of the 37 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford. YSU has eclipsed the mark in three of four games this season. Of his 37 contests, YSU has had more than 300 yards in 32 of them.
    Additionally, the Guins have scored 27-or-more points in 27 of Wolford's 37 games at the helm.

Six-Game FCS Win Streak
    YSU owns a six-game winning streak against FCS foes entering the Southern Illinois tilt.
    In its last six contests at the FCS level, YSU is averaging 37.5 points per game, 199.7 yards rushing per game, 214.7 yards passing per game and 464.3 yards of total offense per game while scoring 30 TDs. Its opponents are averaging 10.5 points, 78.5 rushing yards, 188.3 passing yards, 266.8 total yards and have scored seven touchdowns.
    The most points allowed in that stretch has been 17, which came from Duquesne.

Kickers Start Strong
    Senior P Nick Liste and junior PK Joey Cejudo are off to strong starts this year. Both have already been honored as MVFC Specialists of the Week (Cejudo vs. Morehead State and Liste vs. Michigan State).
    Liste ranks third in the FCS averaging 46.5 yards per punt on 19 attempts. As the kickoff specialist, he has 16 touchbacks in 30 kicks.
    Against Michigan State, Liste had kicks of 55, 62, 52, 53 46, 50 and 48 for an average of 52.3 in the contest.
    Cejudo has been solid in four games converting all 20 PAT tries and making field goals from 34, 37 and 40 yards. He made a season-long 40-yarder in the first quarter vs. Duquesne.

Four Picks in Four Games
    The Penguins have equalled last year's total of four interceptions in just four games this season. The defense had four INTs last year, two of which came in the final quarter of the final game.
    So far this season, the Guins had two interceptions against Dayton, one vs. Morehead State and one against Duquesne. Against both the Dukes and Eagles, the Penguins dropped two would-be picks in each game.
    Including the final game of the season last year vs. Indiana State, YSU has six interceptions in the last five games. The Guins had two picks in the first 10 games a year ago.

New Chef in the Kitchen
    The Penguins have had three different 100-yard rushers in the first four 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.
    Against Dayton, senior Adaris Bellamy had 203 yards rushing - more than his entire 2012 total. Senior tailback Torrian Pace has 166 yards in the first four contests.
    In their careers, Bellamy has 1,221 yards on 217 carries, Pace has 689 yards on 142 rushes and sophomore Demond Hymes has 100 yards on 19 attempts.

Providing Protection
    In 37 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford, YSU has allowed just 39 sacks. 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 23 sacks in the last 27 games as well.
    Only eight times in the 37 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 four contests against BCS foes, the Penguins have allowed a total of two sacks.

Hess Back in Rhythm
    Senior QB Kurt Hess has had solid outings the past three contests.
    In his last three games, Hess is 42-of-71 for 695 yards and six touchdowns. He has a passing efficiency of 169.27.
    Playing just the first half in the win over Morehead State, he completed 16-of-19 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns.
    At Michigan State he was 11-of-27 for 121 yards and a touchdown. In two career games at MSU he completed 28 passes, including two touchdowns with just one interception.
    In the win over Duquesne, he was 15-of-25 for 292 yards and two touchdowns. The 292 yards marked the third-highest total he has thrown for in his career.

Non-Conference Success
    YSU ended the non-conference portion of its schedule 3-1 with wins over Dayton, Morehead State and Duquesne. The lone loss came at BCS member Michigan State.
    The Penguins have won eight of their last nine non-conference games since Sept. 10, 2011. YSU won its final two of the 2011 campaign, won all three in 2012 and posted a 3-1 mark this year.
    Under Head Coach Eric Wolford, the Penguins are 9-0 at home against non-conference foes.

Red-Zone Success
    YSU has converted at a high success rate in the red zone under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    In four games this year, YSU is 18-of-20 after going 7-of-8 against Morehead State, 4-for-4 vs. Dayton, 2-of-2 at Michigan State and 5-of-6 vs. Duquesne. YSU has scored touchdowns on 16-of-20 of those red-zone visits.
    In his 37 games as coach, the Penguins are an amazing 136-for-156 (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 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.

New Line Gets Snaps
    The Penguins have started the same offensive line in the first four games. Prior to this season, that unit had not started together while three members had never started before.
    Against Dayton, the group played all 67 snaps together. At Michigan State, the starting five played every offensive snap. In the win over Duquesne, four of the five starters played more than 65 reps.
    The five starters in the four contests are Kyle Bryant, Fred Herdman, Chris Elkins, Brock Eisenhuth and Andrew Sinko. Sinko, Eisenhuth and Herdman had not started prior to this year. Eisenhuth is starting as a redshirt freshman.

Numbers Under Wolf
    After 37 games, Head Coach Eric Wolford is now 19-18. YSU has won 14 of its last 21 games under Wolford since the mid-point of the 2011 season. A couple of good notes have come from his first 37 games regarding wins and losses:
• YSU is 11-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer
• YSU is 17-1 when allowing 27 points or fewer
• YSU is 18-2 when allowing 33 points or fewer

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. And all five have not been on the field together this season.
    While Peterman made his season debut against Duquesne, Moss was sidelined with an injury. Cheaib, Sirl and Peterman all started against the Dukes while Rich was slated to start but at the last minute was replaced by Kevon Caffey at the nickel spot.
    Rich has 13 career starts (two in 2013, eight in 2012 and three in 2010), Sirl has 10 (four in 2013 and six in 2012), Moss has five (two this year, two in 2012 and one in 2010), Peterman has 12 (11 in 2012 and one this year) and Cheaib has four (one each in 2011, 2012 and two in 2013). So in total, the five seniors on defense have started 44 games in their careers.

September Home Streak
    The Penguins are 9-0 at home in September since Head Coach Eric Wolford took over the program in 2010 and have won 10 straight overall. Since losing to Florida International on Sept. 11, 2004, YSU is 22-1 in September at Stambaugh Stadium. The lone loss was a final-play defeat to Liberty in 2008 (31-28).

Game Before MVFC Opener
    The Penguins have done a great job of not "looking ahead" to their Missouri Valley Football Conference opener. In the final contest before its last eight MVFC openers, YSU has won eight times following the win over Duquesne.
    In their previous 17 contests before starting Gateway/Valley Football play throughout the years, the Penguins have won 15 times. The two defeats were in 2002 and 2005.

TDs Against the BCS
    In the first five contests against a BCS team (2005-09) in school history the Penguins scored zero touchdowns.
    In the past four games, the Guins have scored eight. Senior QB Kurt Hess is a big reason why having thrown six touchdown passes in those four games.
    Hess had two at Penn State, one at Michigan State in 2011, two at Pittsburgh in 2012 and one at Michigan State last Saturday.
    The rushing scores came from a pair of freshmen - Andre Stubbs at Pitt and Martin Ruiz at Michigan State.

Childs Sets Career High
    Junior CB Julius Childs set a new career high with 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops, at Michigan State. Childs' previous best was nine at North Dakota State last year. It marked the second time in his career he was credited with eight solo stops in a game - Indiana State in 2012.
    He did not play against Duquesne, sitting out with an injury for the first time in his career.

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 high was 334 vs. Valpo.

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.

Lefties Few & Far Between
    Preseason All-American senior C Chris Elkins has made a successful debut at the position. Elkins has started the past 30 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 28 straight games. Note courtesy of Wagner's John Beisser.

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. Morehead State. 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.).

Receivers Still Young
    Of the five players to haul in touchdown passes so far this season, one is a junior, three are sophomores and one is a freshman.
    Sophomores Marcel Caver, Andrew Williams and Andre Stubbs had touchdown receptions against Morehead State. At Michigan State, freshman TB Martin Ruiz caught the first touchdown pass of his brief career. Against Duquesne, Caver and junior TE Nate Adams each caught 50-plus yard scoring tosses.
    Of the 57 receptions this year, just seven are by seniors. The four sophomores and Adams and junior Christian Bryan rank as the top six leaders in receptions.
    Of the 39 grabs by wide receivers this season, only three are by seniors.

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.
    Of his seven punts at Michigan State, five were longer than 50 yards, including a long of 62 yards.

Williamses Wreaking Havoc
    Junior LBs Travis Williams and Teven Williams are off to solid starts this year - and each player has missed one game. Teven Williams leads the team with 21 total tackles in just three games. Travis Williams is now fifth on the team with 17 tackles and ranks tied for first with 2.5 tackles for loss.
    Teven Williams has been credited with 151 total tackles in his 25-game career while Travis Williams has 136 in 25 contests played.

Stubbs All-Around Player
    Sophomore WR Andre Stubbs has nine receptions, six rushes, nine kickoff returns and three punt returns showing his versatility.
    In his career, Stubbs has 41 kickoff returns, 30 rushes, 31 receptions and 13 punt returns. He has amassed a team-high 1,671 all-purpose yards so far in just 16 games.
    At Michigan State, Stubbs had a game-high 193 all-purpose yards, including 138 on kickoff returns.
    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.

Top of the Liste
    Senior punter Nick Liste continues to be a key contributor as punter and kickoff specialist.
    Twice this year he had averaged more than 50 yards in a game - 51.0 vs. Dayton and 50.9 at Michigan State.
    He is averaging 41.4 yards per punt in his career on 150 kicks. His average ranks first in school history by 0.5 yards ahead of Nick Xides' 40.9 set back in 1982-85.
    This season in just four games, Liste has nine punts of 50 yards or longer. His previous high for a year was eight in 2011.
    Handling kickoff duties, last year he had 18 touchbacks after having just three in 2011. Liste has 16 so far in this campaign.
    As a junior, he averaged 40.7 yards per punt last season. As a sophomore, he averaged 39.8 yards per punt. As a freshman, he averaged 41.1 yards per kick in 2010.

Hess Holds Career Marks
    Senior QB Kurt Hess is already the program's record holder for career touchdown passes (59), passing yards per game (201.8), 200-yard passing games (20) and passer rating (142.16). He is also tied for first with 67 TDs responsible for.
    He is second in yards (7,465), completion percentage (61.8), completions (593) and attempts (960). Hess is third in total offensive yards (7,921).
    In 37 games, Hess has thrown a touchdown pass in 28 games and has 20 multi-TD performances.
    He is the first quarterback in school history to pass for more than 2,000 yards in three straight seasons.

Five Serve as Captains
    The Penguins will have five captains for the 2013 campaign. Senior quarterback Kurt Hess, senior wide receiver Jelani Berassa, senior center Chris Elkins, junior strong safety Donald D'Alesio and senior linebacker Dom Rich are serving as 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.

Three is Still Important
    Under Coach Eric Wolford, YSU is a combined 24-of-29 on field-goal attempts (82.7 percent) since 2010.
    First-year PK Joey Cejudo has made the first three attempts of his career this year, including a season-long 40-yard field goal against Duquesne.
    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.

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.

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.

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 110-24 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 16-53.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 140-18-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 113-12 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 133-22 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 72-8-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 164-11 when leading entering the fourth.
• 74-3-2 when holding opponents to 10 points-or-less in a game.

Up Next: Indiana State
    YSU continues Missouri Valley Football Conference play next Saturday at Indiana State. The Penguins and Sycamores are set to kickoff at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind.
    It marks the first time since 2002 the Penguins will play their first two conference games on the road. YSU lost a wild 37-35 contest to the Sycamores in its last visit to ISU.