YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The number-one-ranked FCS team in the country will be in town this weekend.
South Dakota State, the undefeated defending national champions, will take on Youngstown State University at Stambaugh Stadium.
Watch the video above to hear from the team as they get ready for a pivotal game against the Jackrabbits.
“It’s a huge opportunity. We know what’s at stake,” said Penguins defensive end Dylan Wudke. “A win here is crucial for what we want in the future, so we got to seize the opportunity, seize the moment.”
“Walking into this week, I think it’s more than ever to ‘leave no doubt.’ The number one team in FCS, won 23 straight, you know. They got to come into our house this week when the Penguins are rolling right now,” said YSU quarterback Mitch Davidson. “We’re excited to have this opportunity, for sure, and we’re going to put some pressure on them because there are no easy victories in the Missouri Valley, so they got to come to our house and play us.”
Right now, the Penguins remain tied for fourth place in the conference standings at (6-3/4-2) but could finish anywhere between second and eighth, depending on how the last two weeks play out.
Some projections have up to seven teams from the MVFC making the playoffs this year, which would be a conference record. Seven wins did not get the Penguins in last year. Only three league teams made the final cut.
“Guess what? There are teams that have more losses in the Missouri Valley than us, and they’re still ranked ahead of us. So obviously we don’t get that type of respect, which we don’t expect,” said YSU head coach Doug Phillips. “You got to be able to beat ranked teams. So six wins, seven wins, it better be against good opponents. And right now, we’re still digging from the hole we put ourselves in. What I would like to see is them put it all together on this given Saturday, knowing what’s on the line. And when we say leave, no doubt… guess what, we get an opportunity on Saturday to leave no doubt.”
The Penguins and Jackrabbits will kick off this Saturday at noon at Stambaugh Stadium.