‘No game in this conference is easy’: YSU prepares for winless Western Illinois


The Penguins will kickoff with the Leathernecks at 8 p.m. Saturday in Macomb

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After a week off, the Youngstown State University football team will go back to work this weekend.

The Penguins will take on Western Illinois, the only team in the conference without a win this season.

Watch the video above to hear from the Penguins.

Head Coach Doug Phillips was quick to point out Tuesday, though, there are no easy games in this league.

“Realistically, we’re 1-4, so I can quickly diminish that,” said Phillips.

“He (Coach Phillips) has emphasized that all of their games have been pretty close to start out,” said YSU sophomore lineman Derek Hite. “So we are definitely approaching it like we have any other week. It’s not going to be easy. I mean, no game in this conference is easy, obviously. Everybody knows that. We’re going to have to have a great week of practice, preparation, and go in there and approach it just we did it against South Dakota.”

“If we ever want to be a playoff-contending, championship-contending program, you’ve got to play your best football at the end of the season,” said Phillips. “We are realistic with them, and we let them know, we’re nowhere where we need to be, but we’re making those improvements each and every day, and this is just another step to see it.”

Youngstown State has had tremendous success against Western Illinois in recent years. The Penguins have won 11 of the last 14 meetings, and the last time they played, YSU scored 59 points against the Leathernecks at Stambaugh Stadium in 2019.

Saturday also will mark the first night game for the Penguins this season. Kickoff is slated for at 8 p.m. in Macomb.

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