YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Youngstown State University campus is alive with excitement ahead of the third playoff game for the Penguins this weekend.
YSU takes on the Wofford Terriers at Stambaugh Stadium Saturday afternoon. The only other time YSU played Wofford was in 1996, where the Penguins won 38-24 in the first round of the playoffs.
Fans of the past and present are pushing for a red-and-whiteout in the stands Saturday.
“It’s going to be tremendous tomorrow. White and red, all out. I know that, that’s why I wanted to come,” Berma Autrey said.
Playing at home is big for the Guins, who are 15-1 all time in the playoffs. The Penguins haven’t made it to a playoff game since 2006.
They lost their first home playoff game ever in 1990, and have since won 15 in a row. YSU is 6-0 at home this year.
In the 90s, YSU won four FCS National Championships. Perhaps Jim Tressel, who was head coach for all of those wins, is a good luck charm for the team now that he’s back as president.
“It’s very exciting. It’s like the Jim Tressel days, back 20 years or so. I’m just really excited about it,” Edward Kershaw said. “I came in town to see my grandmother and definitely wanted to come to the game as well.”
Associate Athletic Director Rick Love says YSU is one of only four teams in the country hosting a playoff game this weekend.
“We are the only game in town,” he said. “It’s really a great opportunity for this community, this campus, and our players and coaches that worked really hard to get to this point.”
YSU senior Anna Cowan says she and her sorority sisters always tailgate together before football games, and the fun will continue into the stadium.
“The tailgates have always been upbeat and fun, but you notice a lot of people never really went to the stadium. So now, it’s really exciting because people will be going in. It’s great to see the support.”
Tailgate lots open at 8 a.m. and kickoff is set for 2:05 p.m.
“It’s going to be a really fun game. We’re really looking forward to it and I’m expecting a big turnout from the whole student body,” said YSU senior Vitas Hrynkiewycz.
PNC Bank partnered with Jim and Ellen Tressel to provide 1,000 free tickets to students.
Still, tickets aren’t sold out yet.
“We sold more than the last game. Not as packed as we hoped, but there’s definitely still a lot of tickets available,” said freshman Paige Brown.
- Ticket office and phone sales (330-941-1YSU) for the general public start at 9 a.m. on Monday
- Ticket prices: $5 YSU students, $18 Reserved in advance / $20 on gameday, $25 Chairbacks – Tailgate passes $25
- The ticket office at Stambaugh Stadium is open this week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
If the Penguins win this weekend, they will be just one win away from a trip to Texas and the National Championship.