The 2016 Youngstown State football season had many memorable moments. The Penguins went 8-0 at Stambaugh Stadium, won two playoff road games against national top-four seeds, played a school-record 16 games and featured the conclusion of the careers of some of the best players in school history.
• YSU reached the FCS National Championship Game for the seventh time in school history (4-3 record).
• The Penguins played a school-record 16 games. YSU is the first team to play five postseason games since the field expanded in 2010.
• The 2016 Penguins join the 2013 Towson Tigers and the 2014 North Dakota State Bison as teams to play 16 games in a season.
• The Guins finished the year ranked No. 2 in both major polls. YSU was not ranked at the outset of the season.
• The Penguins played the 16th game on the first official night of the season (Sept. 1) and played the final game of the year.
• Among teams ranked in the in the top 10 at the conclusion of the season, YSU played No. 1 James Madison, No. 3 North Dakota State, No. 4 Eastern Washington, No. 6/7 South Dakota State, No. 6/7 Jacksonville State and No. 9 Wofford. Four of those contests were on the road, one was at home and one was at a neutral site. YSU eliminated three of those teams in the postseason.
• YSU played seven road games, tying for the second most in school history. All seven were in different states. YSU played its first game in Alabama, was in Texas for the first time since 1993, made its first trek to Washington since 1997 and visited West Virginia for the first time since 2001. YSU played eight road games in 1992, which included a contest at Marshall in the title game. The Guins also played seven road games in 1987.
• YSU traveled more than 15,000 miles during the season to and from its games.
• The Guins won all eight home games, including a pair in the postseason against SoCon foes Wofford and Samford. It was the first unbeaten home season for the program since 2005.
• The two home postseason wins extended YSU's home playoff winning streak to 16. The Penguins lost their first playoff home game in 1990 before starting their current run in 1991.
• The 12 wins were the most in a season since 1999.
• YSU qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Individual Season Notes
• Starting all 16 games were DE Derek Rivers, LB Armand Dellovade, CB Kenny Bishop, C Vitas Hrynkiewicz, OT Dylan Colucci, OT Justin Spencer and OG Gavin Wiggins.
• YSU started three different quarterbacks who all won games - Ricky Davis, Trent Hosick and Hunter Wells. Nathan Mays came on against UNI to lead the Penguins to the victory.
• TB Jody Webb (1,342 yards) and TB Martin Ruiz (1,153 yards) gave the Penguins a pair of 1,000-yard rushers for the third time in school history. It marked the first time since 1993 that the Penguins had multiple 1,000-yard runners. YSU also had a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in 1991.
• DE Derek Rivers had a career-high 15 sacks, which tied for the second-most in a season in school history.
• TB Jody Webb set a school single-season record with 2,279 all-purpose yards. Webb had 1,342 yards rushing, 521 kickoff return yards and 415 receiving yards. He averaged 162.8 yards per game.
• PK Zak Kennedy made 19 field goals for the second straight season. He attempted a school-record 29 field goals on the year.
• WR Damoun Patterson caught 20 passes for 484 yards, an average of 24.2 yards per catch. His average broke the previous school mark of 23.4, which had stood since 1969.
• Punter Mark Schuler set a freshman school record averaging 42.5 yards per punt. Schuler punted 64 times for 2,717 yards. Overall that average ranks second in YSU history.
• Webb set the school record for all-purpose yards in a game against Wofford. Webb had 331 all-purpose yards against the Terriers, including a career-best 213 on the ground. The previous mark was set by Dave DelSignore on Sept. 20, 1969, against Western Illinois (323).
• QB Hunter Wells' 47 passing attempts against James Madison tied for the fourth most in a game in school history.
• PR/WR Darien Townsend finished with 297 punt-return yards. That total was the second most in school history behind Dave Roberts' 317 set back in 1992.
Individual Career Notes
• TB Jody Webb set the school record for all-purpose yards with 5,247 yards. In his career, Webb had 3,259 yards rushing, 1,092 on kickoff returns and 896 on 73 receptions. Entering the playoffs, Webb had 3,975 yards before amassing 1,272 yards in five games.
• DE Derek Rivers finished with a school-record 41 sacks. Rivers had set the record as a junior and added to his record total with 15 more in 2016. His total number of sacks also set the career record for the MVFC. He also had 56.5 TFLs which ranks fourth all-time at YSU. That number was the most by any player since the late 1970's.
• TB Martin Ruiz finished second in school history in career rushing yards with 4,306. Ruiz had more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons with the Penguins. He also finished third in 100-yard games (18), third in all-purpose yards (5,198) fourth in carries (854), fourth in total touchdowns (47) and fifth in rushing TDs (41).
• QB Hunter Wells finished the season ranked sixth in passing yards (5,461), completions (415) and touchdown passes (38).
Team Records and Stats
• YSU set single season records for first downs (337), rushing yards (3,883), passing yards (2,883), total offensive yards (6,766), all-purpose yards (8,220), third-down conversions (117), sacks (49), field goals made (20) and field goal attempts (33).
• The Penguins allowed more than 30 points in just two of the 16 games - 38 by West Virginia and Eastern Washington.
• YSU had an impressive 33:52 time of possession average. The Guins had more time of possession than their opponent in 15 of the 16 games.
• It was the seventh straight season the Penguins rushed for more than 2,000 yards and eighth straight with at least 2,000 yards passing.
• YSU averaged 27.6 points per game, the seventh straight season of averaging 27.3 points or more in a game.
• The Penguins averaged 242.7 yards rushing per game, the most in a season since 2001 and second-best total since 1990.
• The Penguins rolled up a school-record 747 yards of total offense and had a school-best 572 yards rushing in the regular-season finale at Missouri State. YSU had five touchdown runs of longer than 50 yards in the contest. YSU also had three 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time in school history as Joe Alessi had 190, Martin Ruiz had 183 and Jody Webb added 166.
• Against Wofford, the Penguins did not allow a pass completion, a first in school history.
• The game at Eastern Washington was the 800th in school history.