Sep 14, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Youngstown State Penguins quarterback Kurt Hess (12) is sacked for a loss by Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) during the second half in a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 55-17.Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Season Preview: Youngstown State Penguins

It seems that the scheduling got mixed up and Dayton went up BEFORE this one; but that’s ok. 

In their first meeting ever with the Youngstown State Penguins, the Dukes were handily defeated by the high-major team 59-17. YSU put together an 8-4 campaign last year that ended in disappointment with three consecutive losses and tied for second in the league – a league that included the eventual FCS Champion North Dakota State.

This year, Youngstown State has been picked to finish fourth in the MVFC.

Duquesne and YSU both start out with stretch games – in the case of the Penguins, that takes the form of Big 10 opponent Illinois. The difference is that this game will also be a stretch for the Dukes.


The Offense

Last year, the Dukes were great at shutting down just about every running back that played against them, but they’ll need to watch out for YSU’s Ruiz. An All-MVFC Honorable Mention last year, he holds the freshman record for attempts, yards, and rushing touchdowns.

This isn’t the only dangerous element – four of the Penguins’ top five receiving targets return for this year. YSU’s Kurt Hess liked to spread the ball around. Four players had 300 yards or more, and five had 20 receptions or more.

This is a balanced offense in yardage. They tend to like to rush more than pass, but they’re capable of doing what isa needed to get you.

Key Departures:

QB Kurt Hess – with Hess’s graduation, Dante Nania, a local product of Hempfield HS, will take the reins.

Marcel Caver, 2nd leading receiver in yards


The Defense

Last year, despite the lopsided score, the Duquesne offense had a little life. Buechel put up a decent line and arguable outplayed YSU’s Hess. The difference was the running game, which got zero traction against the tough YSU front seven. Of course, the Dukes were playing from behind much of the latter half of the game, which contributed to that poor stat line as well.

However, this could be a different YSU defense.

They’ve lost several of their most productive players, including two of their three sack leaders. Combine this with what on paper is a Duquesne offensive line and a more experienced Dillon Buechel, and the Dukes are set for a much better matchup this season.

Key Departures:

Several statistical leaders are gone.

Tevin Williams, DL – the leader in total tackles.

Kyle Sirl, LB – the leader in tackles for a loss

Dale Petermine, DB – the leader in interceptions.

Tags: Duquesne Dukes Football Penguins Youngstown

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