By Marc Weems
After a quality win over the University of South Dakota last week, Youngstown State University took a step back with a 43-17 loss to Indiana State University.
“We are a bad football team,” YSU Head Coach Bo Pelini said. “Anybody is a bad football team when you take the field like we did today. I’m trying to get our guys enthused and juiced up. It was like there wasn’t an ounce of enthusiasm. I wish I had an answer for you.”
YSU (3-5, 2-3 Missouri Valley Football Conference) came out with a quality plan of attack. The Penguins first drive of the game was a beauty as they marched down on an eight-play, 97-yard drive capped off by a Jeremiah Braswell 25-yard receiving touchdown from Montgomery VanGorder.
Indiana State (4-4, 2-3) would get a Jerry Nunez 41-yard field goal to make the score 7-3. After that, YSU added their own field goal off the foot of Grant Gonya from 33 yards out to make it 10-3. Everything went wrong after that field goal.
The Sycamores found ways to break down the Penguins defense all day long. Even on drives that ended with field goals were still long, good drives.
“The result of the game is what happens when you come out and you don’t have juice,” defensive tackle Savon Smith said. “We didn’t play like we are able to. We played as individuals and we weren’t ready to play. That’s obviously not going to do it. That’s not going to win us anything. That doesn’t make us a great or even good team.”
Smith was one of few bright spots on defense as he had 1.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Armand Dellovade became the 13th player in school history to record 300 career tackles.
For the Sycamores, there wasn’t a thing they couldn’t do. When they wanted to run, they ran. When they wanted to pass, they passed. As a result, Ryan Boyle had a great day at quarterback. He went 17-for-28 for 325 and three touchdowns without an interception. He also ran for 68 yards.
With Ja’Quan Keys out for the season, Titus McCoy had 57 yards and a touchdown on the day.
“Never in my life have I ever been this disgusted in my coaching career,” Pelini said. “I don’t know how guys can take the field with no enthusiasm. It’s way too many guys. It’s like they don’t even like to play the sport. You can’t this poorly like that … It was totally different than last week. You saw what happened last week and this week I’m running and screaming for the crowd and they look at me like a crazy man.”
With the defense not so good this week, the offense did nothing to help them out. Outside of Tevin McCaster’s 165 yards and one touchdown, the offense was putrid.
It got a little life late in the third quarter when VanGorder was replaced with Nathan Mays at quarterback.
“We stunk on offense and in the second half, we stunk on defense. We played like we didn’t want to play,” Pelini said. “Yeah, it falls on me. We have three games to try and get it fixed. I’m going to find some guys that want to compete and play hard. That was a disgusting performance and obviously I’m at the head of it.”
Despite being down 16-10 at halftime, Pelini said he felt like they were dominating the game. He was also adamant that he will put the guys on the field that want to play.
“I didn’t feel an ounce of enthusiasm. How you put in the amount of work you put and then, I don’t know,” Pelini said obviously frustrated. “You gotta have some frickin’ pride. It was a collection of garbage on offense.”
YSU faces another daunting task as they travel to Fargo, North Dakota, to face North Dakota State University on Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m.