On the rebound? YSU Football still seeking first conference win

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The Penguins will visit Southern Illinois this Saturday, seeking their first league victory of the season.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After two straight losses, the YSU Football Team now finds themselves at the bottom of the conference standings.

The Penguins are off to their worst start to league play in 15 years. But this is a team that remains confident. They say, they’re getting better every week, and were just a few mistakes away from being undefeated.

“I don’t think there’s a heightened sense of urgency as there was before,” Senior Safety Kyle Hegedus said. “Going into league play we were 4-0. We knew we were, we have the hardest conference in I-AA, if not all of college football, So we knew what we were going into. we knew we had to play tough games. and just because we’re 0-2, there’s no panic button. You know, we don’t lack confidence at all. We know what we can do.”

Sophomore Lineman Dan Becker, agrees with that sentiment.

“I wouldn’t say it’s at an all-time high, but we are still very confident as a team,” he said. “The film shows we’re one play away from beating UNI, one stop away from beat South Dakota State. I think our team is super confident. I think we can all have the same mentality that we can play with anybody in this league, anybody in this conference, anybody in the country.”

“I don’t think that confidence is lacking,” said Head Coach Bo Pelini. “I can tell you this, the want-to is not lacking. We’re playing hard. we got to play smarter at times.”

YSU will have to have to play better on the road. The Penguins didn’t win a single league game outside of Stambaugh Stadium last year In fact, their last road win in the conference was at Southern Illinois back in 2017… in the same stadium they’re playing in this Saturday.

“You know last year we had our road woes… we had our woes period,” Pelini added. I don’t think we were as good a football team last year at this point and a lot of it because of injuries and continuity and all that type of thing. This is a new year, different team, and I think we’re heading in a good direction. and I expect us to play well Saturday.”

Six league games remain on YSU’s schedule. That starts this Saturday in Carbondale against a team that’s also looking for its’ first conference win. Kickoff with the Salukis of Southern Illinois at 3 p.m.

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