Penguins Face Challenging Road Test at South Dakota State

YSU vs. South Dakota State
YSU vs. South Dakota State
Youngstown State at South Dakota State
Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 25 | 3 p.m. Eastern Time
Location Coughlin-Alumni Stadium | Brookings, S.D.
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   The 16th-ranked Youngstown State football team hits the road on Saturday for a contest at No. 13 South Dakota State. Kickoff for the contest at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in Brookings, S.D., is set for 3 p.m. Eastern/2 p.m. Central time. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM as well as iHeartRadio, WBCB "The CW" in Youngstown and on ESPN3.com.
    YSU (5-2 overall and 2-1 in the MVFC) had a strong bounce-back effort beating Southern Illinois 26-14 at Stambaugh Stadium in its annual Homecoming contest. The Penguins jumped out a 17-0 halftime lead before SIU closed within 20-14 after three quarters. But in the fourth, Jody Webb scored on a nine-yard run, and the defense kept SIU off the board in the 12-point victory. On the first possession of the game, the Guins marched 85 yards in 14 plays and capped it off with a nine-yard pass from Hunter Wells to Jelani Berassa. Later in the quarter, Joey Cejudo kicked a 27-yard field goal, and, in the second quarter, Webb scooted home from 19 yards for a touchdown and made the margin 17. SIU had two third-quarter touchdowns and was able to pull within six points, but that was as close as it would get.
    South Dakota State (5-2 and 2-1) had an impressive 31-28 win at UNI last Saturday. The Jackrabbits led 28-14 before the Panthers rallied to tie the contest in the fourth quarter. A Justin Syrovatka 44-yard field goal with 1:42 remaining proved to be the difference. SDSU trailed 14-7 at halftime before scoring two third-quarter touchdowns to take a 21-14 lead on a 30-yard interception return for a score by Dallas Brown. In the fourth, Zach Zenner's second touchdown of the game extended the lead to 28-14 with 8:59 left. But UNI scored two touchdowns in a span of 90 seconds to tie the game with 3:29 left on a 59-yard interception return for a score. SDSU answered right back as Syrovatka's kick capped a six-play, 44-yard drive. An interception at the SDSU 3-yard line ended the game in the last minute.
    The Penguins have not beaten the Jackrabbits since 2007, and the lone victory in Brookings was back in 1974. Last year SDSU ended the Penguins' postseason hopes with a 42-13 win at Stambaugh Stadium in the season finale.


Southern Illinois Notes

• The Penguins jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the game before SIU trimmed the deficit to 20-14 in the third quarter.
• QB Hunter Wells started the first conference game of his career and completed 21-of-28 passes for 269 yards and a score.
• YSU scored points on its opening drive for the sixth straight game. The Guins opened the game with a 14-play, 85-yard drive that took 7:53 off the clock.
• WR Jelani Berassa had a touchdown reception for the second straight game.
• TB Jody Webb had two rushing touchdowns for the second straight contest. Webb has scored a touchdown in four straight contests.
• TB Martin Ruiz rushed for 109 yards on 28 carries for his fourth 100-plus yard performance of the season. He has rushed for 79-or-more yards in each game this season.
• FS Donald D'Alesio intercepted his first pass of the season. His most recent pick was against Illinois State in 2013. YSU is 3-0 in games he intercepts a pass.
• The offense ended the game on a 13-play, 72-yard drive that took 6:59 off the clock.
• WR Andrew Williams caught a career-high eight passes for 96 yards in the win.
• PK Joey Cejudo connected on a career-long 42-yard field goal in the third quarter after converting a 27-yard FG in the first period. Cejudo is now 12-of-13 on the year, including 9-of-9 at home.
• WR Andre Stubbs has caught 11 passes the past two contests (five vs. SIU and six against WIU).
• The defense held the Salukis to 224 yards of total offense of which 62 came on one play. YSU also limited SIU to just 3-of-11 third-down conversions and 13 first downs.

Southern Illinois Recap
    YSU built a 17-0 lead and was able to wrap up a 26-14 win over Southern Illinois behind a solid all-around defensive effort and a ball-control offense.
    The Penguins held SIU to just 224 yards of total offense, including 75 on the ground. YSU dominated time of possession holding the ball for 37:33 while opening and closing the game with long, time-consuming drives.
    To cap the first drive of the contest, QB Hunter Wells connected with Jelani Berassa on a nine-yard score. Later in the quarter Joey Cejudo made a 27-yard field goal.
    In the second quarter, Jody Webb scored on a 19-yard run as the Guins led 17-0 at the half.
    After SIU crept within 20-14 late in the third, Webb's second TD run of the game increased the advantage to 26-14.
    The Guins milked the final 6:59 off the clock marching to the SIU five as time expired.

Last Year's SDSU Recap
    The Penguins were never able to get on track after a back-and-forth first-quarter dropping a 42-13 decision in the 2013 season finale to South Dakota State at Stambaugh Stadium. Of note, the final two-plus quarters were played in a blinding snow storm.
    YSU trailed 7-0 before Martin Ruiz scored midway through the first quarter. The Jackrabbits increased their lead to 14-6 early in the second on a Zach Zenner three-yard reception from Austin Sumner. Zenner found paydirt again from six yards out to increase the advantage to 21-6.
    Kurt Hess connected with Ruiz on a 63-yard scoring toss to trim the deficit to 21-13 just 12 seconds later. However before halftime, SDSU punched in another score to increase its lead to 28-13 at the break.
    The Jackrabbits scored the only two touchdowns of the second half for the final 42-13 margin.
    The snow and wind intensified in the final 12 minutes, and neither team was able to have much offensive success.

Series History
    The Penguins have not been able to solve the South Dakota State riddle in recent years.YSU's last win in the series was in September 2007, a 23-17 triumph at Stambaugh Stadium.
    Since that victory, the Penguins have dropped six straight in the series, all of which have come in Missouri Valley Football Conference play.
    YSU has won five of the 15 all-time meetings in a series that dates back to 1942. The Penguins have allowed 40, 30 and 41 points in their three conference trips to SDSU.
    Last time in Brookings, YSU lost 41-28 as the Jackrabbits used a 28-point second quarter to seize control of the game.

Win Before SDSU Game
    Until their win over Southern Illinois, the Penguins had lost seven straight times the week before they played South Dakota State dating back to the resumption of the series in 2007.
    The 2007 season was also the last time the Guins defeated the Jackrabbits, which was a narrow 23-17 victory at Stambaugh Stadium.
    YSU lost to Ohio State in 2007 and 2008 before playing SDSU. Since 2009, the Guins had dropped an MVFC game the week before they played the Jackrabbits.

Strong After Turnovers
    The Penguins have not allowed the opposition to score any points off turnovers so far this season. YSU has had just seven giveaways so far this year, and each time the defense has risen to the occasion and not surrendered any points.

Wells-Berassa Connection
    Freshman QB Hunter Wells has thrown six touchdown passes this season. Of those six, five 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 last Saturday, Wells found Berassa for a nine-yard touchdown, and the Penguins never trailed in the game.

Solid Openings
    The Penguins have scored on their first drive of the game in each of the past six contests. In the three conference games, YSU has opened with a touchdown at Missouri State, a field goal against Western Illinois and a touchdown against Southern Illinois. YSU moved to the WIU 3-yard line before a penalty derailed the drive.
    Against Duquesne and Saint Francis (Pa.) the Guins scored a touchdown while they kicked a field goal to start the game against Butler.

Tough Rushing Defense
    YSU has allowed just three rushing scores in seven games. The rushing scores YSU has allowed were by Duquesne and Saint Francis.
    Duquesne's Marcus Hughes scored on a 23-yard run while Saint Francis' Marcus Bagley scored on a 28-yard carry and Khairi Dickson had a 10-yard TD rush.
    The Penguins have not allowed a rushing touchdown in the opening quarter (or third 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.

Webb Finding His Stride
    Sophomore TB Jody Webb has scored twice in each of the past two games and has been a key weapon in the three MVFC games.
    Webb had rushing scores of 19 and nine yards in the win over Southern Illinois. Against Western Illinois, he scored on runs of 16 and nine in the loss.
    It marked the third time in his career that he rushed for two scores in a game and is the fourth in which he scored multiple touchdowns.
    For the season, he has 419 yards on 59 rushes and is tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. Of his six touchdowns, five have come in conference play, including an 81-yard score at Missouri State.
    Last year in eight conference games, Webb had two rushing scores - one against Illinois State and one vs. South Dakota. In 12 games he had six rushing scores in 2013.

Big Contest In Standings
    The loser of Saturday's game will suffer their second loss in the MVFC standings. That could prove costly as the league leaders, Illinois State and North Dakota State are both unbeaten and will not play each other this year.
    The Jackrabbits' lone league loss was to the Redbirds, and they play at NDSU on Nov. 1. The Guins also play at Illinois State on Nov. 8 and visit North Dakota State on Nov. 22.
    
Bam Has Been All Over
    Junior LB Dubem Nwadiogbu, aka "Bam", has been a key difference maker on defense so far this year. Nwadiogbu has 61 tackles, 20 more than any player on the roster. He also leads the team with 39 unassisted tackles and is second with seven TFLs.
    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 also had a fumble recovery in the contest.
    At Missouri State, he had nine tackles and was more active pressuring the quarterback.

Ruiz Model of Consistency
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz has rushed for more than 79 yards in all seven games this year. He scored rushing touchdowns in the first four games of the season as well.
    Ruiz had a 109-yard effort on 29 carries last Saturday in the win over Southern Illinois.
    Against a stout Butler rush defense, 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 eight times in his 19-game YSU career. He has scored a touchdown in 13 games as well.

Moore To Offer
    Junior SS Tre' Moore has intercepted three passes in the last 10 quarters. Moore had two interceptions in the second half at Missouri State and picked off a pass against Southern Illinois last Saturday.
    In his five starts (the last five games), he has been credited 27 tackles and has three interceptions. At Missouri State, Moore had his best game to date by intercepting two passes and recording a career-best 11 tackles in the win. He had two second-half picks against MSU, including one that helped seal the win at the YSU 32-yard line with 2:21 left.
    Last year he had 24 tackles, but just six came in the last six contests.

Williams Has Career High
    Junior WR Andrew Williams had a career-high eight receptions in the win over Southern Illinois.
    Williams had eight catches for 96 yards in the victory. After catching seven passes in the non-conference portion of the season, he has had 15 grabs so far in three league games.
    He a three-game scoring streak earlier this season and has had the knack for the long catch with four of longer than 44 yards.
    He has had 61 yards-or-more receiving in five of his six games played this season. In the win at Missouri State he had 83 yards on five catches and a score.
    He has tied his career-high with three receiving touchdowns, which came back in 2012. Williams caught two TD passes last year.

Rivers Flowing to QBs
    Sophomore DE Derek Rivers has had 18 tackles in the past three games. Rivers had six in the victory over Southern Illinois after recording a career-best seven tackles against Western Illinois.
    He opened MVFC play with a career-best five tackles in the win at Missouri State. Rivers had a pair of quarterback hurries and a sack against MSU.
    This year, Rivers has 27 tackles, including 17 solo stops and 8.5 TFLs. Last year, he posted 13 tackles playing in 10 games.
    He has sacks in four of seven games this year, including two against Saint Francis.

Going to Wells
    Freshman QB Hunter Wells had an impressive MVFC starting debut throwing for 269 yards while completing 21-of-28 passes in the win over Southern Illinois. Wells improved to 2-0 as a starter this year after guiding the Guins to a win over Butler in September.
    In his two starts, Wells is 37-of-50 for 566 yards and five touchdowns.
    In playing the last three quarters against Western Illinois, Wells completed 14-of-25 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. He did not play against Illinois and Missouri State and just saw a few snaps against Duquesne.

Berassa A Go-To Receiver
    Senior WR Jelani Berassa has 27 receptions this season, five more than any other YSU wide receiver. Berassa is the team leader with 475 yards receiving and five touchdown receptions. He caught a nine-yard scoring toss from Hunter Wells against SIU. Berassa had a three-touchdown performance in the win over Butler and caught a TD pass vs. WIU.
    Last year, Berassa caught just six passes for 74 yards and one score. He missed the 2012 season with a knee injury. In 2011, he had at least four catches in a game on five occasions, including a career-best seven in the season finale against Missouri State. He caught eight touchdown passes in 2011 as well.

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 12-of-13 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. He has rebounded by making his last three kicks.
    As a punter, he is averaging 39.7 yards per kick and has had five punts of more than 50 yards in the last three games. He has placed 10, including a season-best three vs. WIU, inside the opponents' 20-yard line this year.
    He has kicked off 43 times this year with 18 of his boots going for touchbacks.
    The top seven placekickers in the conference have combined to make 79 field goals.

Adams Has Multi TDs Again
    Senior TE Nate Adams has caught two touchdown passes this season, marking the third straight year he has had at least a pair of scores. Adams had a career-high four-touchdown receptions last year.
    Against Butler he caught a two-yard pass for a score after hauling in a 31-yard touchdown catch against Duquesne.
    It's usually good news for the Guins when Adams scores at TD. The Penguins are 7-1 in contests when he hauls in a TD pass.

Quick-Strike Offense
    YSU has had six scoring drives of under 30 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.

Big Plays In Pass Game
    The Penguins have made some big plays in the passing game this season.
    In just seven games, the Guins have six 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 in the win over Butler. Against Duquesne, QB Dante Nania completed a 66-yard toss to Berassa while Andrew 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.
    On the first snap of the game against Missouri State, Nania connected with Williams on a 56-yard pickup.

>400 Yards/27 Points
    The Penguins have had more than 400 yards of total offense in 27 games under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    In his 52 contests, YSU has had more than 300 yards in 45 of them. Additionally, the Guins have scored 27-or-more points in 34 of Wolford's 52 games at the helm.

Three is Still Important
    Under Coach Eric Wolford, YSU is a combined 40-of-47 on field-goal attempts (85.1 percent).
    PK Joey Cejudo started off the season making 12 of his first 13 attempts, including a career-long 42-yard kick against Southern Illinois. He made six-of-eight attempts last season, including a long of 40 against Duquesne.
    In his YSU career, Cejudo has made 18-of-21 attempts (85.7 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 13 field goals in a season was in 2007 (15 made).

Red-Zone Success
    YSU has converted at a high success rate in the red zone under Head Coach Eric Wolford.
    The Guins are 26-of-31 so far this season (15 touchdowns - nine rushing and six passing) and 11 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 52 games under Coach Wolford, the Penguins are 187-for-212 (88.2 percent) inside the red zone. YSU has scored 153 touchdowns (103 rushing and 50 passing) while making 34-of-35 field-goal attempts. Of the 11 turnovers committed, nine 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 57 consecutive games.

Receivers Grow Up
    The group of Jelani Berassa, Christian Bryan, Andrew Williams and Andre Stubbs have combined for 325 receptions for 3,724 yards and 39 touchdowns in their YSU careers.
    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 a solid career. He ranks 10th in school history in career receptions. Williams has caught 75 passes, Berassa has 74 catches  and Stubbs has 69. 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 29 catches, including eight touchdowns, as well.

Offensive Line Gelling
    An offensive line that features just one senior - C Stephen Page - has played well through the first seven games.
    This year, YSU has had four first-time starters on the unit, including two who have started every contest. OT Justin Spencer has started every game this season after redshirting last year. Dylan Colucci started the first six games at guard before missing the SIU game.
    So far this year, the Guins have produced a 100-yard rusher in five games, rushed for more than 196 yards five times and had over 380 yards of total offense on five 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.

Numbers Under Wolf
    After 52 games, Head Coach Eric Wolford is now 29-23. YSU has won 24 of its last 36 games under Wolford since the mid-point of the 2011 season. A couple of good notes have come from his 52 games regarding wins and losses. Both losses when allowing 27 or fewer points have come at UNI (21-17 in 2011 and 22-20 in 2013).
• YSU is 15-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer
• YSU is 26-2 when allowing 27 points or fewer
• YSU is 27-5 when allowing 33 points or fewer

Turning Up The Heat
    The Penguins had five sacks in the first four games of the season before recording four in the win at Missouri State. The Guins also had six quarterback hurries and intercepted two passes.
    Against MSU, Dubem Nwadiogbu, Terrell Williams, Desmond Williams, Derek Rivers and Jaylin Kelly were all credited with getting to MSU QB Kierra Harris. For the game, the Guins had eight tackles for 29 yards in losses.

Bryan Eclipses 100
    Senior WR Christian Bryan has 107 career receptions in his YSU career.
    Bryan is just one of 14 players in school history to eclipse the 100-reception mark in a career.
    He ranks 10th in school history with his 107 career grabs and is one from moving into a tie for eighth place.
    Bryan is tied for 13th in school history for career touchdown receptions with his 11 TDs. He is one of 15 players in YSU history with 11-or-more TD grabs in a career. He's tied with Ray Ellington and Kyle Smith with 11 career touchdown receptions. Teammate Jelani Berassa ranks seventh with his 14 career touchdown receptions.

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 twice this year.
    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 Over 150 Tackles
    Senior FS Donald D'Alesio leads the program with 224 career tackles, including 121 solo stops. Senior LB Travis Williams has 172 career tackles, with 100 solos. Senior CB Julius Childs has 162 tackles, 119 of which are solos.

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 Has 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.

Ruiz Trifecta First Since 1960
    Sophomore TB Martin Ruiz opened the campaign by rushing for more than 100 yards in each of YSU's first three games.
    The last Penguin (and only other time it happened) to open a season rushing for 100-plus yards in three straight games was Frank Horvath in 1960.
    Horvath opened the 1960 season with 124 yards against Toledo. He followed that contest with a 123-yard contest against Eastern Michigan and 136-yard performance vs. Northern Michigan. He had a total of 383 yards following those games.
    Horvath eclipsed the 100-yard mark six times in an eight-game slate that year and finished with 1,010 yards on 150 carries for the season.

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.

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 19 games on the front line. NT Octavius Brown has started the first seven games this year and made an impact as a run stopper. DE Derek Rivers has started the past six contests. He has five sacks so far this season. Last year, Rivers had three sacks in just 10 games played. He has eight sacks in 16 career games as a Penguin.

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 67 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 Captains in 2014
    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.

Four-Takeaway Win Streak
    YSU has won 19 straight games when it forces at least four turnovers. In 2013, the Guins were 1-0 when that occurred.
    Since 2006, the Guins are 21-1 when they have at least four takeaways in a game. The last loss was against UNI in 2006.

Classroom Excellence
    Since Head Coach Eric Wolford took over, he has also had an impact on the Penguins' production in the classroom. In eight of the nine spring/fall semesters he has been head coach, the Guins have maintained at least a 2.70 cumulative GPA.
    The Guins had 43 selections to the Missouri Valley Football Conference honor roll. Senior TE Nate Adams was a recipient of the Presidents Academic Award as well.
    This past summer, YSU was the recipient of the FCS Athletics Directors Association APR award for having the most improved APR score in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012-13.

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.

12-Game Regular Season
    The Penguins are playing 12 regular-season games for just the fourth time in school history. The other times were last year, 2008 and 2003. The Guins posted an 8-4 mark a year ago, were 4-8 in 2008 and went 5-7 in 2003.
    Last year the Guins picked up an impressive eight wins against Division I programs. In 2003, two victories came against non-Division I foes.

Williams Times Six
    The Penguins have six players on the roster with the last name Williams. On offense, YSU has Andrew (WR) and Dwayne (OL), while the defense is home to Desmond (DE), Milton (DT), Travis (LB) and Terrell (DE).

Numbers of Note
• Turnover Margin: Since 1996, the Penguins are 117-28 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 19-54.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 144-19-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 118-13 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 140-22 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 74-9-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 171-13 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 69 straight games.
• YSU has scored in double figures in 25 consecutive contests.
• The Guins last played an overtime game on Sept. 11, 2004 against Florida International. YSU has not played an OT contest in a span of 120 games dating back to that contest.

Up Next: South Dakota
    The Penguins open the month of November with a home game against South Dakota on the first. USD plays host to top-ranked North Dakota State on Saturday.