YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University’s football team will look to go 3-0 this Saturday for the first time since 2012.
The team plays host to Duquesne, a program it has never lost to before, but it’s also a team that’s a reigning conference champion and was a playoff team last year.
That’s something that the Penguins are well aware of.
“Yeah, it’s definitely some tension there,” says YSU senior linebacker Cash Mitchell. “But we want to get back to playoffs.”
“We’ve always felt like we’re one of the top teams in the country, coming out of a conference that’s as tough as ours,” says YSU senior quarterback Nathan Mays. “And we know that we beat up on each other and sometimes get overlooked for the playoffs going in. And with their slightly easier schedule, they’ve been able to have some pretty good seasons and make it into the playoffs, not necessarily saying that they’re better or worse than us, but we feel like we’re a better team coming in, in prior years and this year, so it’d be nice to go out an prove what we can do to them.”
What the Penguins have already proven is that they can run the ball. Right now, Youngstown State ranks number one in the country among FCS schools in rushing offense with over 365 yards per game.
“To be a great football team and to be a championship football team, you have to execute on offense, and that starts with the run game,” says YSU Head Coach Bo Pelini. “And we’ve been able to run the football the first couple of weeks. We’ve put a lot of yards up. I think we’ve shown people we can throw the football when we need to, but when you’re running the ball as effectively as we have, you’d be crazy not to stick with it.”
Youngstown State and Duquesne kickoff at 2 p.m. Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium.