YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Any coach will tell there are no moral victories, but the YSU football team gained confidence during Sunday’s loss at North Dakota State.
Watch the video above to hear from the Penguins Tuesday press conference:
“You never want to lose a game, obviously. Nobody wants to go into a game and lose, but we have to look at the positives,” says Penguins junior tight end Josh Burgett. “We’re a really young team. We got a brand new coaching staff. And what I saw from that game is that we didn’t give up. We kept fighting. We stuck together. That’s really big. That’s a lot of the progress I wanted to see, and the coaching staff wanted to see.”
“Just getting our feet wet and knowing that we can compete with the best in the country is just a good sign going forward,” says Penguin’s junior defensive end James Jackson. “That gives us a lot of confidence that if we can fix the minor things, we can be a great team in the future.”
“We’re not there. We’re not close to where we need to be but to be able to see the character of our young men in battle, in that situation, I’m proud of them. I am,” says YSU head coach Doug Phillips. “I’m not happy with the result. We never will be. We want to win games. We want to build this to be a championship program, but I can be proud of the effort and the play hard that they demonstrated on Sunday. Now, the key for us is can we do that consistently.”
The next step in that process will come Saturday afternoon when the Penguins officially open the doors and welcome Northern Iowa to Stambaugh Stadium.
The university says they will safely allow 3,600 fans through the gates, and there are still tickets available. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m.