YSU set to open conference play

Youngstown State University

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) –  The 10th-ranked Youngstown State football team opens Missouri Valley Football Conference play on Saturday when the Penguins take on South Dakota. Kickoff at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D. is set for 2:05 p.m. Central time/3:05 p.m. Eastern time.

YSU (2-1, 0-0) was idle last Saturday following its most complete victory of the year, a 48-3 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 19 at Stambaugh Stadium. The offense scored six touchdowns, including five on the ground, while the defense held the Red Flash to just 87 total offensive yards on 45 plays. The Penguins scored the first 48 points of the contest, including 38 in the first half on another rainy Saturday at home.

Jody Webb and Shane Kuhn had two touchdown rushes each in the victory. The YSU passing defense was strong again allowing just one completion for 10 yards. The Guins scored on their first eight possessions of the contest – six TDs and two Zak Kennedy field goals.

South Dakota (2-1, 0-0) was also off last Saturday following an impressive victory. The Coyotes beat Drake 52-0 in their home opener on Sept. 19. USD relied on a strong ground game as RB Trevor Bouma scored three rushing TDs, and the Yotes amassed 296 yards rushing. It was the first shutout for the Coyotes since 2011.

The Penguins have played three hard-fought contests against South Dakota since the Coyotes joined the league in 2013. YSU has won all three games by a combined 18 points.

The program’s lone trip to USD was in 2013. YSU had to rally for a 38-34 win after trailing by 11 points in the second half. In that back-and-forth contest, Martin Ruiz had the game-deciding touchdown run with 11 seconds left.

In 2014 at Stambaugh Stadium, the Penguins trailed 17-7 before scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Down 10 points, Andrew Williams scored on a 58-yard pass from Hunter Wells and Jody Webb scored on a 60-yard run with 11:15 left to put YSU in front for good. Martin Ruiz scored on a two-yard run with just under three minutes left to seal the victory.


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