Monday Blues: Penguins moving on from a rough Saturday
Sometimes, Mondays are just the worst.
It’s the start of a new workweek, school begins after a two-day weekend, and it’s worse if it was a bad Saturday and/or Sunday.
For the Youngstown State University football team, that’s what it was after a 55-17 shellacking at Michigan State University on Saturday.
“The only way you can get rid of that ill feeling after losing is to go out and practice well, so that you can have confidence,” head coach Eric Wolford said. “That’s the only way you can get rid of that feeling. No one likes to walk around campus on Monday when you lost a football game or haven’t played well.
“That’s just the nature of our sport. You have to wait seven days to renew, but at the same time you can’t think you’re just going to show up next Saturday and win. You have to work and feel good about your game plan.”
Wolford added that he liked what he saw out of his players on Monday as they prepare for Duquesne University.
The Penguins (2-1) had a chance to make Saturday interesting during the second quarter, trailing 21-10.
After recovering a fumble, scoring a touchdown and stopping the Spartans’ offense, freshman tailback Martin Ruiz lost a fumble.
MSU then scored on the very next play, ultimately ending any momentum YSU gained.
“Overall, myself included, we’re just disappointed in the way we performed,” junior linebacker Teven Williams said. “We know we’re a lot better than what we displayed. Now’s just about turning the page and preparing for our next opponent.”
YSU and Duquesne (1-1) will meet for the first time ever.
The Dukes are also the first Pennsylvania team to visit Stambaugh Stadium since 2007.
Duquesne began this season with a 35-24 victory over the University at Albany before falling to the University of Dayton, 23-20, on Sept. 7.
The Dukes did not play last week.
For the Penguins, their biggest success — on offense at least — has come from the running game.
YSU has rushed for 782 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.
At MSU, Ruiz rushed and caught a touchdown.
“Martin Ruiz showed that he belonged on the field,” Wolford said. “He wasn’t intimidated [and] played well other than the botched pitch. He didn’t flinch. I mean you can look in a guy’s eyes and know when he’s scared, and he was not intimidated whatsoever. He’s just going to get better and better.”
On the season, senior Adaris Bellamy leads with 203 rushing yards, and all came against Dayton on Aug. 29.
He’s missed the last two games due to an injury.
Ruiz is second with 198 yards but leads in rushing touchdowns with four.
Another freshman, Jordy Webb, has 121 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior Torrian Pace has 100 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore Demond Hymes has been sidelined all year with an injury but has been practicing.
The Warren native had 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns a season ago.
“It’s great to know that we have a bunch of different backs,” senior center Chris Elkins said. “They’re all talented, and they all can do different things. We’re a running team, and everything we do comes off of running the ball.”
Kickoff is 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The game can also be heard on 570 WKBN and iHeartRadio.com.
Fans can watch the replay on MyYTV later in the evening.
“I’ve always had the mindset that you can never be too high, and you can never be too low,” Williams said. “We’re definitely not lower. Everybody’s got the mindset that we’re coming in to work. That’s sort of where we are.”