Penguins Back on The Road To Take On Indiana State

YSU heads to Indiana State this Saturday.
YSU heads to Indiana State this Saturday.

    The Youngstown State football team opens November with a contest this Saturday at Indiana State. Kickoff for the contest at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind., is set for 1 p.m. The game is available on WBCB TV, Watch ESPN, WKBN 570 AM and iHeartRadio.
    YSU (3-5 overall, 1-4 in the MVFC) has lost its last four games following a 35-0 defeat to Illinois State last Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium. The Redbirds scored two touchdowns in a span of 45 seconds in the first quarter to seize control of the contest.
    Against Illinois State, YSU was never able to get going suffering its first shutout since 2008. Illinois State jumped out in front 7-0 on an 11-yard touchdown run by James Robinson just over five minutes into the game. Just 45 seconds later, Matt McCown scooped-and-scored on a fumble by QB Nathan Mays giving the Redbirds at 14-0 lead. In the final seconds of the first half, Markel Smith's one-yard touchdown run gave ISU a 21-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, Robinson added scoring runs of two yards and three yards for the final outcome.
    Indiana State (0-8, 0-5) lost a 59-20 contest at Missouri State last Saturday at Plaster Field in Springfield, Mo. MSU scored the first 17 points of the game and built a 38-6 lead at halftime. The Bears outscored the Sycamores 21-14 in the second half for the final score. Indiana State had 347 yards of total offense, including 209 through the air. ISU allowed 624 yards of total offense in the game, 339 of which came on the ground.
    The last three meetings between YSU and Indiana State have featured some late-game heroics. Last season at Stambaugh Stadium, Darien Townsend's 79-yard punt return for a touchdown with 9:19 remaining led YSU to a come-from-behind 13-10 win. In a snowstorm in Terre Haute to end the 2015 season, Eric Heidorn kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired for a 27-24 Sycamores win. In 2014, YSU rallied to force overtime with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns before Heidorn connected on a 28-yard field goal on the final play. All-time, YSU is 11-2 in Terre Haute dating back to 1992.
    YSU plays its final road game of the season on Nov. 11 at Southern Illinois.

 

  

 

Quick Notes
• YSU was shutout for the first time since a 33-0 loss to Southern Illinois on Oct. 18, 2008.
• The Penguins held the Redbirds to 42 yards passing and just six completions.
• YSU has outscored opponents 106-50 in the second half and 59-20 in the fourth quarter.
• The Penguins have 11 wins at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute. YSU won its first 10 tries at Indiana State. Since 2011, ISU has won two of three games, including a 27-24 win in a snowstorm in 2015.
• The Penguins have had advantages of more than five minutes in time of possession in three of the last five contests.
• Junior LB Armand Dellovade had a career-high 10 solo tackles in the loss to Illinois State. Dellovade has 26 total tackles in the last two games (15 at UNI and 11 vs. ISU). The 15 against the Panthers were a career high.
• Senior S Jalyn Powell has made 20 tackles in the past two games and 36 in the past four games. Powell had 11 at South Dakota and 10 against UNI and Illinois State. On four occasions this year he has double figures in tackles.
• TB Tevin McCaster has scored a touchdown in six of eight games of the season.
• WR Alvin Bailey has caught a pass in all 23 games of his Penguins career. He has 29 catches for 374 yards this year.
• WR Damoun Patterson had a career-high five receptions for 100 yards at UNI. It was Patterson's second career 100-yard game. He has touchdowns in two of the last three games.
• OT Justin Spencer has started 47 straight games on the offensive line. Spencer, Gavin Wiggins and Vitas Hrynkiewicz have started the past 24 games together on the line.
• The Penguins have faced a tough schedule playing No. 2 North Dakota State, No. 4 South Dakota State, No. 6 South Dakota and No. 16 Illinois State (rankings at time of game).

Last Time Out: ISU 35, YSU 0
    YSU was never able to get on track in a 35-0 defeat to Illinois State last Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium.
    The Redbirds scored two touchdowns in a span of 45 seconds in the first quarter to seize control of the contest.
    Against Illinois State, YSU was never able to get going suffering its first shoutout since 2008. Illinois State jumped out in front 7-0 on an 11-yard touchdown run by James Robinson just over five minutes into the game. Just 45 seconds later, Matt McCown scooped-and-scored on a fumble by QB Nathan Mays giving the Redbirds at 14-0 lead. In the final seconds of the first half, Markel Smith's one-yard touchdown run gave ISU a 21-0 lead at halftime. In the second half, Robinson added scoring runs of two yards and three yards for the final outcome.

Last Meeting: YSU 13, ISU 6
    The Penguins overcame a 10-point deficit, backed by an impressive defensive effort and a key special teams touchdown, for a come-from-behind 13-10 win over Indiana State last year at Stambaugh Stadium.
    Indiana State went on top 10-0 in the first quarter following a 29-yard field goal by Jerry Nunez and a nine-yard touchdown pass from Isaac Harker to Robert Nunez.
    YSU hunkered down defensively after those scores, and Zak Kennedy made a pair of second-quarter field goals (23 and 31 yards) to keep the contest close.
    With just over nine minutes left, Darien Townsend returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown, which was the game-winning score.

Dellovade Playing Tough
    YSU junior LB Armand Dellovade has led the Penguins in tackles in each of the past two games. Dellovade had a career-best 15 tackles in the 19-14 loss at UNI. Against the Panthers he had four solo stops and 11 assists.
    Last time out he had 11 total tackles, including an impressive 10 solo stops vs. Illinois State.
    Dellovade is now has over 200 tackles in his YSU career. In 35 career contests, Dellovade has been credited with 217 tackles, including 133 solos stops. His previous single-game high was 10 at South Dakota State last year. He has eclipsed that in each of the past two contests.
 
Losing The Close Ones
    Four of YSU's five losses this season have come by a total of 18 points. Three of those defeats have come on the road by a total of 15 points. YSU dropped its opener at Pittsburgh 28-21 in overtime, lost a 31-28 contest at South Dakota on a late field goal and dropped a 19-14 decision at UNI. YSU had its 11-game home winning streak snapped by North Dakota State with a 27-24 overtime defeat.

March of the Penguins
    This season the Penguins have 29 drives of at least eight-or-more plays this year.
    YSU had four scoring drives vs. NDSU and all four were more than eight plays. The Penguins tied the game up with 1:23 remaining with a nine-play, 90-yard drive that took 5:01. Most recently at UNI, YSU had three eight-play drives, including a 14-play sequence that ended with a missed field goal.
    At South Dakota, YSU had four drives for eight plays, and three of those ended in touchdowns. Against South Dakota State, YSU had six drives of nine plays or longer.
    Against SDSU, the Guins' offense had six drives that lasted nine or more plays. YSU had drives of nine (twice), 14, 15 (twice) and 16 against the Jackrabbits. YSU had a school record 45:14 time of possession in the contest.

Working Overtime
    Twice this season the Penguins have played an overtime game. YSU battled North Dakota State to OT after the contest was tied at 24 at the end of regulation. The Penguins, however, suffered a 27-24 setback to the Bison.
    YSU opened the season with an overtime contest at Pittsburgh. The Penguins came up short in that contest as the Panthers scored a TD and the defense held YSU in a 28-21 contest.
    YSU is now 8-7 all-time in overtime games and has played six since November 2014 after last playing an overtime game in September 2004. At home, the Penguins are 5-3 with their last win coming against Wofford in 2016.

Spencer Shows Durability
    Senior OT Justin Spencer, a preseason third-team All-America pick, has been a mainstay on the offensive line for the Guins since 2014.
    A preseason All-MVFC first-team selection, Spencer has started all 47 games in his YSU career. After playing right tackle his first two years with the program, Spencer moved to left tackle in 2016 where he started all 16 games.
    He was a second-team All-MVFC pick in 2016 and an honorable-mention selection in 2015.

Secondary Growing Together
    YSU lost five members from last year's secondary, but the 2017 group has played well.
    Opposing QBs have completed just 52.5 percent of their passing attempts for a total of 1,156 yards - 144.5 yards per game average.
    Billy Nicoe Hurst, Bryce Gibson and Jalyn Powell have started all eight games while Kyle Hegedus has started the last seven contests.
    Powell leads the team with 62 total tackles while Hegedus is second with 60. Powell is also tops on the squad with 40 solo tackles while Hegedus is second with 34.
    Through eight games, the Guins have allowed just seven passing touchdowns. Last year they allowed 26 in 16 games. As a unit, YSU has 31 pass breakups and two interceptions.

The Wright Stuff
    Senior LB Lee Wright, a 2015 second-team All-MVFC honoree, has 164 career tackles in 24 games played. Wright has been a starter for the Penguins on 22 occasions during his career.
    This year he has 57 total tackles, 25 solos and 32 assists. He has five-or-more tackles in six contests, highlighted by 10 at Pittsburgh and 10 at UNI.
    He ranks fourth on the squad with his 57 total tackles.
    Last season, he started three of the final four playoff games for the Penguins and was credited with 29  tackles (21 solos) in the postseason.
    In 2015, Wright started all 11 games and led the Penguins with 78 total tackles, including 48 solo stops. He also had six sacks and 9.5 TFLs.

Schuler Has Been Solid
    Sophomore punter Mark Schuler had a strong effort against Illinois State. Schuler tied his career high for punts with eight and averaged 40.5 yards per attempt against the Redbirds. This season he has played in six games – did not punt against Robert Morris and Central Connecticut – and has 31 punts for an average of 42.2 yards per boot.
    He has placed nine kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line and has five kicks of more than 50 yards on the campaign. Last season he averaged 42.5 yards per punt.
 
Pass Defense Stands Out
    The Penguins held Illinois State to just 42 yards passing on six completions. This year, YSU has held seven of eight opponents to fewer than 160 yards passing in a contest. YSU has allowed just seven passing touchdowns on the year. YSU is allowing just 144.5 yards passing per contest. Last season YSU allowed 191.1 yards passing per game and 26 touchdowns.

McCaster Making Moves
    Junior TB Tevin McCaster has scored a touchdown in six of YSU's eight games.
    McCaster, who had four scores at South Dakota on Oct. 7, scored on a one-yard run with 1:23 left in regulation to help the Penguins force overtime vs. NDSU.
    At South Dakota, McCaster scored a career-high four touchdowns. He rushed for 90 yards on 22 carries against the Coyotes. Against South Dakota State, McCaster had a career-high 35 rushes for a career-best 183 yards.
    This season, McCaster has 656 yards on 146 carries and nine touchdowns.

Chapman Providing Pressure
    Senior DE Fazson Chapman has performed well in his first year as a starter for the Penguins.
    Through eight games, Chapman has 30 tackles, which includes six TFLs and four sacks. In the past four games, he has performed well with 18 total tackles.
    At UNI, Chapman had five total tackles, which included a pair of TFLs. Against North Dakota State, he had five tackles, including four solo stops. At South Dakota, Chapman had five tackles as well. He also had a sack and forced fumble against the Coyotes.
    In his career prior to this season, he had one assisted tackle and two quarterback hurries. Last season, he was a backup to third-round NFL Draft pick Derek Rivers.

True Freshmen See Action
    Last year YSU played two true freshmen; one was a kickoff specialist and the other was a special teams/reserve linebacker. After eight games in 2017, YSU has played four.
    TB Christian Turner has 684 all-purpose yards. CB Bryce Gibson has started each game at cornerback. Jake Coates is YSU's punt returner and a kick returner and LB Terray Bryant has played on special teams.

Patterson Plays Big Role
    Senior WR Damoun Patterson caught five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown against UNI. It was the second 100-yard receiving performance of his career while the five catches were a career high. He has nine receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games.
    In the first five games he had nine catches for 126 yards and no touchdowns.

Receivers Step Up
    YSU WRs Damoun Patterson and Alvin Bailey combined for 10 catches, 185 yards and two touchdowns in the Penguins' loss at UNI.
    Patterson caught five passes for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. It was the second 100-yard receiving performance of his career while the five catches were a career high. He has nine receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games. In the first five games he had nine catches for 126 yards and no touchdowns.
    Bailey had a season-high 85 yards on five receptions and caught his first touchdown pass of the season. He has a reception in each of his 23 career games played at YSU.

Mays Performs Admirably
    Sophomore QB Nathan Mays continued his strong play with starter Hunter Wells out of the lineup. Mays, who has started five of the eight games and come on during the first series in two others, has played well for the Penguins.
    Against North Dakota State, he rushed 21 times for 81 yards, including a long run of 36 yards on YSU's final drive of the game. He completed 11-of-15 pass attempts for a career-best 188 yards in the game and had two touchdowns.
    This year Mays has rushed for 317 yards on 77 carries and completed 75-of-113 passes for 905 yards.

Sack Attack Continues
    The Penguins had a tall task following up last year's 49-sack effort.
    YSU has had at least three sacks in four of eight games this season. At South Dakota, YSU had four sacks, including a pair by LB Armand Dellovade. DT Donald Mesier had the lone YSU sack against North Dakota State.
    The Penguins had four against Robert Morris and had three each vs. Pittsburgh and Central Connecticut.
    Seven different players have a sack this year while DEs Fazson Chapman and Justus Reed lead the team with four each.

Rader Hauls IN TD
    Senior TE Kevin Rader had an impressive 29-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter vs. NDSU. Rader caught a Nathan Mays pass in the flat at the 25-yard line and then took the ball to the end zone.
    It was the fourth touchdown reception of his career and first against an MVFC foe. He has two TD grabs against Robert Morris and one at Eastern Washington during his career.

Rugged Ranked Stretch
    The Penguins faced a daunting stretch facing then fourth-ranked South Dakota State, then-sixth-ranked South Dakota and second-ranked North Dakota State. Last time out, YSU played 16th-ranked Illinois State.
    YSU came within six points of sweeping the top five teams, but came up just short on two occasions.
     The Guins opened MVFC play with an impressive 19-7 win over South Dakota State. YSU then dropped a 31-28 decision at South Dakota as the Coyotes kicked a field goal with seven seconds left. Against NDSU, YSU lost in overtime after missing a field goal while the Bison converted a 36-yarder for the win.

Dellovade a Key Stopper
    Junior LB Armand Dellovade, a 2016 second-team all-league selection, has 58 tackles this season.
    Dellovade has been a key part of the lineup starting the past 26 games and 33 in his career.  He has 217 career tackles, including 133 solo stops. He is the team's active leader in sacks with nine and 21.5 tackles for losses. At South Dakota, he had two sacks in the ball game. Against SDSU, Dellovade had a tackle-for-loss which resulted in a safety and an interception that stopped the Jackrabbits' final drive of the game. He was named the MVFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
    Last season he led the Penguins with 105 tackles, including 70 solo stops, in 16 games. He was third on the squad with 11.5 TFLs.

Mays Running The Offense
    In the past seven games, sophomore QB Nathan Mays has rushed for 311 yards on 76 carries and scored four touchdowns. He has completed 75-of-113 passes for 905 yards with four touchdowns.
    Against NDSU he had 81 yards on 21 carries and threw for 188 yards on just 11 completions.
    Against SDSU, Mays had 11 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. He completed 14-of-19 passes for 113 yards. Mays completed 13-of-17 passes for 149 yards while rushing for 63 yards on seven carries vs. RMU. He had the first passing and first rushing TDs of his career against RMU. Against CCSU he had 96 yards rushing on four carries while completing 8-of-12 passes for 112 yards.
    Last season, Mays had 35 carries for 126 yards while completing 11-of-18 passes for 133 yards.

McCaster Carries the Load
    Junior TB Tevin McCaster has rushed for more than 62 yards in six games this year. McCaster also has at least 19 carries in five contests.
    This year, he has rushed for 656 yards on 146 carries and has nine touchdowns. McCaster has two 100-yard efforts so far this year - 183 vs. South Dakota State and 101 vs. Central Connecticut. Against the Jackrabbits he had a career-high 35 carries.
    He has touchdowns in six games this season. In his career, YSU is 11-4 when he scores a touchdown, including an 8-1 record a year ago.
    Last season, McCaster was second on the team in touchdowns with 11 while rushing for 652 yards on 129 carries. His best performance was at EWU, where he had 154 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns.
    He was the only running back to play in all 16 games in 2016.

20 Seniors Breakdown
    The roster features 20 seniors who have come to YSU through a variety of ways. Eight of the 20 have spent their entire college careers at YSU.
    Five players are fifth-year seniors - Ricky Davis, Cole Newsome, Anthony Parente, Kevin Rader and Justin Spencer. Davis has moved to wide receiver after serving as a quarterback his first four years. Rader was a originally a defensive end for two seasons before moving to tight end.
    DE Fazson Chapman came to YSU in 2013, then spent the 2014 season at Rochester Community College, before returning in 2015.
    Three seniors on the roster joined the program in 2014 and never redshirted - TE Shane Kuhn, DB DJ Thomas and QB Hunter Wells. LB Lee Wright transferred to YSU from Appalachian State while OT Cameron Fraser joined the team from Louisville in 2014.
    Those who have been with the program for three seasons include Big Ten transfers Jalyn Powell (Michigan State) and Soloman Warfield (Iowa) and juco transfer Lasander Washington.
    Five junior college transfers and an FBS transfer are in their second seasons at YSU. Alvin Bailey joined the program in the spring of 2016 from Florida. Junior college transfers who came to YSU last summer are Stefan Derrick, Donald Mesier, Trent Hosick, Billy Nicoe Hurst and Damoun Patterson. Hosick came to YSU as a quarterback.

TE's Play Big Role
    YSU has three senior tight ends in Kevin Rader, Shane Kuhn and Anthony Parente in addition to Chris Durkin, a fourth-year junior in transfer.
    In total, the group has combined to play 111 games the past three years. In fact all three seniors have played in every game since the start of the 2015 season. Kuhn has missed one game since 2014 while Parente has not played in two. Rader played defensive end in 2014.

Numbers of Note
• Turnover Margin: Since 1996, the Penguins are 133-35 when they win or tie in the turnover margin. When committing more turnovers, YSU is just 25-66.
Since 1990 YSU is:
• 160-20-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points in a game.
• 135-16 when rushing for 200-plus yards.
• 156-26 when scoring 28-or-more points.
• 85-9-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game.
• 186-15 when leading entering the fourth.
• 86-3-2 when holding opponents to 10 points-or-less in a game.

Up Next:
    The Penguins are on the road against Southern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 11. Kickoff for the contest is set for 2 p.m. Eastern time/1 p.m. Central time.
    YSU's final home game of the season is set for No. 18 against Missouri State. Kickoff for the contest is set for noon at Stambaugh Stadium.