Penguins Head to No. 3 NDSU Looking to Remain in Playoff Mix

YSU vs. North Dakota State
YSU vs. North Dakota State
Youngstown State at North Dakota State
Date | Time Saturday, Nov. 22 | 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location Fargodome | Fargo, N.D.
Radio 570 WKBN | iHeartRadio
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    The 20th-ranked Youngstown State football team concludes the regular season with a visit to No. 3 and three-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State on Saturday. Kickoff for the contest at the Fargodome is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern/2:30 p.m. Central time. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM, iHeartRadio, WBCB "The CW" and ESPN3.
    YSU (7-4 overall and 4-3 in the MVFC) is coming off a tough 27-24 overtime loss to Indiana State. The Penguins trailed 24-10 in the final five minutes of the game only to force their first overtime contest since 2004. However, in the extra session the Guins turned the ball over on their first play, and Indiana State went on to kick a field goal and earn the win.
    YSU took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Martin Ruiz scored on a 24-yard run. The Sycamores tied the game in the second before a 34-yard Joey Cejudo field goal put the Penguins in front 10-7 at the break. Indiana State scored the next 17 points with a pair of third-quarter rushing touchdowns and a fourth-quarter field goal. With 4:51 left, Hunter Wells connected with Nate Adams on a two-yard touchdown and with 1:20 remaining Ruiz tied the game on a four-yard run. On the first play of overtime, Mark Sewall's acrobatic interception put the Guins in a tough spot and six plays later a 28-yard field goal by Eric Heidorn gave the Sycamores the victory.
    North Dakota State (10-1 and 6-1) needs a win over YSU to clinch at least a share of the Valley Football title for the fourth consecutive year. NDSU bounced back from its first loss of the season in impressive fashion trouncing Missouri State 45-10 last Saturday in Springfield. After falling behind 3-0, NDSU reeled off 42 consecutive points with 21 coming in the second quarter and 21 more coming in the third. The Bison have won 19 straight games at the Fargodome - the longest streak in Division I football - dating back to a loss to Indiana State in 2012.
    YSU visits Fargo for the third time in four campaigns. Last year, NDSU picked up a 35-17 win at Stambaugh Stadium, and in the last contest at the Fargodome won 48-7. YSU picked up a 27-24 victory against the top-ranked Bison in Fargo in November 2011.

Indiana State Notes
• The Penguins have led in the second half of all 11 games after owning a 10-7 advantage early in the third quarter.
• TB Martin Ruiz rushed for 142 yards on  27 carries for his eighth 100-plus yard performance of the season. He has rushed for 79-or-more yards in each game this season.
• DE Derek Rivers had a sack in his fourth straight game and has recorded a sack in eight contests this year.
• YSU had a season-high four turnovers and lost a season-high three fumbles in the contest. It marked the most giveaways in a contest since last year against Dayton and the most lost fumbles since last season at South Dakota.
• WR Andrew Williams had seven of the Penguins' 11 receptions in the game. He has 502 yards receiving in the last four games.
• LB Dubem Nwadiogbu intercepted the first pass of his YSU career against the Sycamores.
• FS Donald D'Alesio set a career high with 10 solo tackles in the contest.
• DE Terrell Williams became the second player this year and fourth in school history to be credited with four sacks in a game.
• PK/P Joey Cejudo boomed a career-long 69-yard punt and finished the regular season a perfect 10-of-10 in home field-goal attempts.
• YSU had a season-long 18-play drive in the fourth quarter that led to a touchdown.
• It was the first overtime game for the Penguins dating back to Sept. 11, 2014, against Florida International. It was the first MVFC OT game since YSU beat Indiana State 30-24 in Terre Haute in 2003.

Indiana State Recap
    YSU rallied late to force overtime, but Indiana State won 27-24 after kicking a 28-yard field goal following a Penguin turnover at Stambaugh Stadium last Saturday.
    The Guins took a 7-0 lead as Martin Ruiz scored the first of his two touchdowns midway through the first quarter. After the Sycamores tied the contest, Joey Cejudo made a 34-yard field goal to give YSU a 10-7 halftime lead.
    In the third quarter, the Sycamores had a pair of scoring runs and went in front 24-10 early in the fourth on a 25-yard field goal by Eric Heidorn.
    YSU then marched 77 yards in 18 plays to pull within a touchdown on a two-yard scoring pass from Hunter Wells to Nate Adams. After forcing a quick three-and-out, YSU was back in the end zone and forced overtime with 1:20 remaining on a four-yard score by Ruiz.
    In overtime, Mark Sewell intercepted a Wells pass on the first play. On ISU's possession, Heidorn kicked a 28-yard field goal for the game-winning points.

Last Year's NDSU Recap
    North Dakota State outscored the Penguins 21-7 in the second half, and YSU played three quarterbacks in a 35-17 defeat at Stambaugh Stadium last November.
    The Guins came out strong marching 80 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 when Kurt Hess threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Andre Stubbs.
    NDSU answered with touchdowns on each of its next two possessions before backup quarterback Dante Nania led the Guins on a 10-play 87-yard drive that resulted in a Joey Cejudo 24-yard field goal as the first half expired.
    The Bison scored the next two touchdowns on Brock Jensen to Kevin Vaadland passes in the third quarter to go in front 28-10.
    YSU pulled within 28-17 on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Garry to Nate Adams, but a Jensen one-yard run put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
    Hess left the game with an ankle injury while Nania suffered a shoulder injury.

Series History
    YSU has dropped the past two contests to the Bison after picking up a 27-24 win in Fargo late in the 2011 season. After eight games, the series is tied at four wins apiece.
    The first six games in the series were all decided by eight points or less before the two big recent wins by North Dakota State. Each team has won twice on the others home field, including a pair of YSU wins in the Fargodome since 2009.

First OT Game Since 2004
    The Penguins played their first overtime game since 2004 last Saturday against Indiana State. Ironically the last MVFC game to go to overtime was at Indiana State in 2003, a game which YSU forced a turnover and then won with a touchdown in Terre Haute.
    YSU last played an extra-session game on Sept. 11, 2004, a 22-16 defeat at Stambaugh Stadium to Florida International.
    Following the loss, the Penguins drop to 6-4 all-time in overtime games and have not scored in their last two tilts. YSU is now 2-2 in Valley overtime contests.     
    The Guins had one of the longest active non-playoff game streaks in the FCS at 123 contests before last week's game.

Knocking Off Ranked Foes
    The Penguins are 3-2 this year against FCS ranked foes. This year YSU has defeated then No. 23 Missouri State, clipped then 14th-ranked Southern Illinois at home before going on the road to beat No. 16 South Dakota State. The last time YSU beat three ranked teams in a regular season was 2006. YSU plays its third straight ranked opponent, NDSU, on Saturday.
Pair With Four Sacks
    Entering the month of November only two players - Pat Danko (1991 vs. Morgan State) and Chris Stec (1984 vs. Morehead State) - had recorded four sacks in a game in school history. In a span of three games, DE Derek Rivers had four sacks against South Dakota (Nov. 1) and DE Terrell Williams had four against Indiana State last Saturday.

D'Aleiso Has Standout Game
    Senior FS Donald D'Alesio had perhaps the best game of his YSU career against Indiana State. D'Alesio led the Penguins with 12 total tackles, including a career-high 10 solo stops, on Senior Day. He had a pass breakup, a forced fumble, and he had an interception wiped out because of a questionable defensive holding penalty in the third quarter.
    This year, D'Alesio has a career-high 78 total tackles, eclipsing his previous best mark of 70 last year. His 40 solo stops are just one shy of his career high 41 he set as a true freshman back in 2010.
    In his career, D'Alesio has been credited with 261 tackles - 142 unassisted and 119 assists. He has four interceptions and four forced fumbles as a Penguin.

Ruiz Sets New Career Highs
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz has rushed for a career-high 1,287 yards on a career-best 247 attempts this year. Last year as a freshman, Ruiz rushed for 1,094 yards on 192 attempts.
    His 2014 yardage total ranks 12th on the all-time single season list.
    In his 22-game career, he has rushed for 2,381 yards on 439 attempts. Against Indiana State he had 142 yards on 27 carries, going over the 100-yard mark for the eighth time this season and the 12th time in his career.

Rivers Excels in League Games
    Sophomore DE Derek Rivers has 40 tackles and 10 sacks in seven league games. Of his 40 stops, 23 have been unassisted.
    In the past four games, he has nine sacks, including a school-record-tying four in the win over South Dakota. Rivers joins Pat Danko (1991 vs. Morgan State), Chris Stec (1984 vs. Morehead State) and Terrell Williams (2014 vs. Indiana State) as the only players in school history to register four sacks in a single game.

Moore With Four INTs
    Junior FS Tre' Moore is the first Penguin with at least four interceptions in a campaign since De'Angelo Wilson had five interceptions in 2008.
    Dating back to 2006, Moore is just one of four players with at least four INTs in the same season.

"Bam" Has Been All Over
    Junior LB Dubem Nwadiogbu, aka "Bam", has been a key stalwart on defense. Nwadiogbu has 91 tackles, 13 more than any player on the roster. He also leads the team with 56 unassisted tackles.
    Against Indiana State, Nwadiogbu had the first interception of his career and returned it 17 yards. He also was credited with nine total tackles.
    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 has eight or more tackles in seven games this year and has at least five in all 11 contests.

Williams Having Best Year
    Junior WR Andrew Williams has set season career bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns this year while also setting personal marks for game receptions and yards.
    For the campaign, he has a career-high 907 yards (previous was 424 yards in 2013). Entering the season, Williams had 819 career receiving yards.
    Additionally, he has 47 catches this year and leads the team by 16 in that category. As a freshman he had 27, and as a sophomore he caught 26 passes. He has five touchdowns this year, which is also a career best.
    Williams has posted single-game highs this season of eight catches against Southern Illinois and 158 yards at Illinois State.
    After catching seven passes in the non-conference portion of the season, he has had 40 grabs so far in seven league games.
    He had a three-game scoring streak earlier this season and has had the knack for the long catch with seven of longer than 44 yards. At Illinois State he had a season-best 68-yard reception.
    He has had 61 yards-or-more receiving in nine of his 10 games played this season.

Wells in Hunt for Rice Award
    Freshman QB Hunter Wells has thrown for 1,637 yards completing 106-of-176 attempts with 12 touchdowns this season.
    He ranks seventh in the FCS in passing efficiency at 156.3 this year. Saturday's matchup pits Wells against NDSU's Carson Wentz, who is 14th in the FCS in efficiency.
    Wells is the lone quarterback on the 24-player list for the Jerry Rice Award, which honors the nation's top freshman.
    On the FCS level, Wells, VMI's Alex Cobb (2,575) and Southern's Austin Howard (1,924) are the nation's top freshman passing leaders.

Ruiz Model of Consistency
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz has rushed for at least 79 yards in all 11 games this year.
    Ruiz had his eighth 100-yard rushing game of the year last Saturday against Indiana State.  He has rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games for the Penguins.
    He had a season-best, and second most in his career, effort of 185 yards on 28 carries in the win over South Dakota on Nov. 1. The week before against South Dakota State he ran for 132 yards on 28 carries and a score.
    Also in MVFC play, Ruiz had a 109-yard effort on 29 carries in the win over Southern Illinois and 106 yards on 18 rushes at Illinois State.
    In league games this year, Ruiz has run for 833 yards in seven contests, an average of 119 per contest.
    Against Butler, he had 108 yards on 21 attempts. In the win over Duquesne, he had 148 yards on 23 carries and scored a season-best 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 12 times in his 23-game YSU career. He has scored a touchdown in 17 games as well.

Rivers Ranks Third In Sacks
    Sophomore DE Derek Rivers has 14 sacks this season and ranks third in school history for most sacks in a single campaign.
    He trails only Harry Deligianis (17 in 1997) and Jermaine Hopkins (15 in 1994) in school history. Of note, both players had postseason totals added into their totals. Rivers has his total in 11 games.
    Last year, Rivers had just 10 total tackles. This season he has a sack in eight of 11 games, including a school-record tying four vs. South Dakota. He has 49 tackles, including 31 solo stops and 17 TFLs.
    He is fourth in the FCS and second in the MVFC in sacks per game.

Sack Attack
    The Penguins have 18 sacks the past four games, including six at South Dakota State and vs. Indiana State. In between the two contests YSU had four against South Dakota and a pair at Illinois State.
    At the time, the six sacks at South Dakota State were the most in a game since recording seven against Western Illinois on Oct. 15, 2005. It was the most sacks YSU recorded on the road since an eight-sack effort at Florida Atlantic in 2002.

Williams Tied School Mark
    Junior WR Andrew Williams tied a long standing school record by recording his third straight  contest with more than 100 yards receiving.
    Williams had a career-high 158 yards on just six catches at Illinois State. He was coming off a 140-yard performance against South Dakota after finishing with 139 yards at South Dakota State on Oct. 25.
    The only other time in school history in which a Penguin had three consecutive 100-yard performances was by Bob Ferranti in 1970. Ferranti had 108 against Northern Michigan, 127 against Murray State and 105 vs. Tampa in October 1970.

Winning Seven Again
    The Penguins have won seven games for the third consecutive season. YSU sits at 7-4 on the season following an 8-4 performance last year and a 7-4 season in 2012.
    The last time YSU won seven-plus games in three consecutive years was a stretch from 2005 (8), 2006 (11) and 2007 (7). Overall YSU is 22-10 the since the start of 2012.

Webb Finding His Stride
    Sophomore TB Jody Webb has been a key contributor in MVFC games. Since league play started, Webb has scored in six of seven games after being held out of the end zone against Indiana State. Webb had scored a TD in the previous seven games before last week.
    Of YSU's 13 rushing scores in MVFC play, Webb has eight of them.
    In league play he has rushing touchdowns against Illinois State, South Dakota (60 and 34 yards), Missouri State (81 yards), Western Illinois (nine and 16) and Southern Illinois (nine and 19). At South Dakota State he had a 22-yard touchdown reception.
    For the season, he has 707 yards rushing on 99 rushes and is averaging 7.1 yards a carry.
    Last year in eight conference games, Webb had two rushing scores - one against Illinois State and one at South Dakota. In 2013, he rushed for 345 yards on 48 carries.

Tough Rushing Defense
    YSU has allowed just 10 rushing scores in 11 games. After allowing three in the first seven games, the Guins have surrendered seven in the past four games.
    Of note, the Penguins have not allowed a rushing touchdown in the first quarter this year.
    YSU had its best performance against the rush regarding fewest yards allowed against Southern Illinois. The Penguins surrendered just 75 yards on 29 attempts.

Big Plays In Pass Game
    The Penguins have made some big plays in the passing game this season.
    In 11 games, the Guins have nine 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 against Butler and has found Andrew Williams for a 69-yard gain at Illinois State, a 58-yard touchdown against South Dakota and a 54-yard pass at SDSU. Against Duquesne, QB Dante Nania completed a 66-yard toss to Berassa while 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. Nania connected with Williams on a 56-yard pickup against Missouri State on the game's first play.

Wells Over 200 in Five of Six
    In five of his six starts, freshman QB Hunter Wells has thrown for more than 200 yards.
    In his five starts, Wells is 90-of-149 for 1,408 yards and 11 touchdowns. He owns a 4-2 record as YSU's starting quarterback. He has also thrown a TD pass in his last six games, five of which were starts.
    Wells completed 14-of-26 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns at Illinois State. Against South Dakota he had 244 yards and in engineering YSU's first win at South Dakota State since 1974 he had 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Against Southern Illinois he was 21-of-28 for 269 yards and a score. In his first career start vs. Butler, Wells threw four touchdown passes while completing 16-of-27 passes for 297 yards. Last Saturday he was 11-of-23 for 106 yards and a touchdown against Indiana State.
    He was 14-of-25 for 187 yards in playing the last three quarters against Western Illinois. He did not play against Illinois and Missouri State and just saw a few snaps against Duquesne in the fourth quarter.

Two With 100-Yard Games
    Senior WR Jelani Berassa and junior WR Andrew Williams have each had back-to-back 100-yard receiving performances. Williams had a three-game streak with 158 yards at Illinois State, 140 vs. South Dakota and 139 at South Dakota State. Berassa had a career-best 167 against Butler after a 114-yard performance v Duquesne. It is the first time in school history that two different receivers had two 100-yard plus games consecutively in the same season.

Moore To Offer
    Junior SS Tre' Moore has been a key addition to the Penguins' secondary the past eight games.
    Moore has been part of the starting lineup since game three and has recorded 57 tackles in those contests. He also leads the team with four interceptions. All four of his interceptions have come in the last seven games. He has five-or-more tackles in eight contests since the Butler game.

Wells-Berassa Connection
    Freshman QB Hunter Wells has thrown 12 touchdown passes this season. Of those, half have gone to senior WR Jelani Berassa.
    Berassa and Wells hooked up for three touchdown passes in the Penguins' win over Butler on Sept. 13. Wells came on in the second quarter against Western Illinois and promptly hit Berassa for a score on Oct. 11.
    Early in the first quarter against Southern Illinois, Wells found Berassa for a nine-yard touchdown, and the Penguins never trailed in the game. At SDSU, the tandem found each other once again when Berassa caught a 20-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.

Solid Year 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 14-of-17 field-goal attempts and converted a career-long 42-yard kick against Southern Illinois. He started the year by making his first nine attempts of the season before a miss at Missouri State. At Stambaugh Stadium he was 10-of-10.
    As a punter, he had his best game at South Dakota State. He averaged 49.4 yards per punt, including a clutch 59-yard boot that put SDSU at its own two-yard line with two minutes left. He is averaging 39.7 yards a punt, has placed 15 inside the opponent's 20-yard line and has nine kicks of 50-plus yards, including a career-long 69-yarder against Indiana State.

Quick-Strike Offense
    YSU has had seven scoring drives of under 34 seconds this season.
    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.
    Twice in the past three contests, the Guins have a scoring drive of over 90 yards in fewer than four plays. Against South Dakota, YSU moved 96 yards in three plays. At Illinois State it went 94 yards in four.

>400 Yards/27 Points
    The Penguins have had more than 400 yards of total offense in 30 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    In his 56 contests, YSU has had more than 300 yards in 49 of them. Additionally, the Guins have scored 27-or-more points in 36 of Wolford's 56 games at the helm.

Red-Zone Success
    YSU has converted at a high success rate in the red zone under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    The Guins are 35-of-45 so far this season  with 22 touchdowns (14 rushing and eight passing) and 13 field goals.
    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 56 games under Coach Wolford, the Penguins are 196-for-226 (86.7 percent) inside the red zone. YSU has scored 160 touchdowns (108 rushing and 52 passing) while making 36-of-38 field-goal attempts. Of the 14 turnovers committed, 10 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 61 consecutive games.

Four Over 100 Tackles
    Senior FS Donald D'Alesio leads the program with 261 career tackles, including 142 solo stops. Senior CB Julius Childs has 196 tackles, 138 of which are solos. Senior LB Travis Williams has 179 career tackles, with 101 solos. Junior LB Dubem Nwadiogbu has 118 tackles, 69 of which are solos.

Receivers Have Experience
    The group of Jelani Berassa, Christian Bryan, Andrew Williams and Andre Stubbs have combined for 363 receptions for 5,425 yards and 42 touchdowns in their YSU careers. The only receiver under 1,000 career receiving yards is Stubbs, and he has 992.
    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 107 passes in his career. He ranks 10th in school history in career receptions. Williams has caught 100 passes, Berassa and Stubbs have 78 catches each. 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 34 catches, including nine touchdowns, as well.

O-Line Grows Up Fast
    An offensive line that features just one senior - C Stephen Page - has played well throughout the season.
    This year, YSU has had four first-time starters on the unit. First-time starters have included Justin Spencer, Dylan Colucci, Cameron Fraser and Cole Newsome. Spencer has started every game this season after redshirting last year.
    So far this year, the Guins have produced a 100-yard rusher in nine games, rushed for at least 196 yards seven times and had over 380 yards of total offense on eight occasions.
    The line does have some veterans in Trevor Strickland, Brock Eisenhuth and Page. Eisenhuth started nine times last season while Strickland started five. 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 23 games on the front line. NT Octavius Brown has started all 11 games this year and made an impact as a run stopper. DE Derek Rivers has started the past 10 contests. He has 14 sacks so far this season. Williams has nine sacks this season as well for the Guins.

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 has gone over the mark in five contests this season.
    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.

Three is Still Important
    Under Coach Eric Wolford, YSU is a combined 42-of-51 on field-goal attempts (82.3 percent).
    PK Joey Cejudo has made 14 of his 17 attempts this year, including a career-long 42-yard kick against Southern Illinois. He made six-of-eight attempts last season.
    In his YSU career, Cejudo has made 20-of-25 attempts (80 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.
    The last time YSU made at least 15 field goals in a season was in 2007.

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 Had 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.

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 70 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.

Six Senior Captains
    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.

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.

Numbers of Note
• Turnover Margin: Since 1996, the Penguins are 118-29 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 20-55.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 145-19-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 119-14 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 142-22 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 74-9-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 172-13 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 73 straight games.
• YSU has scored in double figures in 29 consecutive contests.
• The Guins had a streak of 123 straight games without an overtime tilt come to an end last week against Indiana State.