Football Drops 38-21 Decision to Big XII Foe West Virginia

Ricky Davis (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Ricky Davis (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Morgantown, W.Va. – The 20th-ranked Youngstown State football turned in a gutsy performance but dropped a 38-21 decision to Big XII member West Virginia on Saturday afternoon in front of 56,261 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The Penguins fall to 1-1 while the Mountaineers improve to 2-0 on the season. This was the first meeting between the two schools since 1938, and the Penguins' first game against a team from the Big XII Conference.

Junior quarterback Ricky Davis passed a for a career-high 189 yards on 11-of-26 passing with a touchdown and led the team in rushing with for 62 yards on 13 carries.

Alvin Bailey had three catches for a team-best 92 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown reception.

Senior Martin Ruiz rushed for 48 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, which was the 31st of his career and moved him into a tie for seventh all-time.

Senior Jameel Smith had a team-high 12 tackles, just one shy of his career high, while LeRoy Alexander and Armand Dellovade each had seven.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard was impressive completing 20-of-33 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns. Skyler had touchdown passes of 53, 54 and 57 yards. Two of his touchdowns went to Shelton Gibson, who caught six passes for 171 yards. Daikel Shorts also had six receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.

After trailing 7-0 following a late first-quarter West Virginia touchdown, the Penguins scored twice in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Ruiz capped a nine-play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard scoring plunge to tie the game at 7-7 with 13:47 left in the second.

On the next WVU possession, the Penguins' defense forced the Mountaineers to punt, and YSU took over at its own 20.

Following a pair of rushes by Tevin McCaster, Davis beat a WVU blitz on a a 74-yard scoring strike to Bailey that gave the Penguins a 14-7 lead at the 10:13 mark of the second quarter.

West Virginia scored 24 straight points, including 17 in the third quarter, to turn its seven-point deficit into a 17-point lead, 31-14, at the end of three quarters.

Trent Hosick got the Penguins back within 10, 31-21, with a 15-yard touchdown run, but the Mountaineers answered with Howard's fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 21-yard pass to Kennedy McCoy.

The Penguins host Robert Morris, Saturday, Sept. 17. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at Stambaugh Stadium.