YSU NOTEBOOK From Stambaugh Stadium
Disappointing crowd: For the final home game of the season, the crowd was disappointing as just 12,632 tickets were sold. The disappointing part is that probably less than 10,000 of those ticket holders showed up for the game. It was by far the smallest crowd at Stambaugh Stadium in at least several seasons.
Offensive output: YSU's 609 yards of total offense was the third-best effort by the Penguins in the school's history. The record was set in 1974 (637 yards) against Wayne State. The Stambaugh Stadium record was set in 1990 (618 yards) against Bloomsburg State. The team's 364 rushing yards was the fourth time this season the Penguins have rushed for more than 300 yards in a game. The high was 451 against Clarion.
Elon's future: Elon University has been an independent team since moving up to Division I-AA in 1997. But beginning in 2002 the Phoenix will begin play in the Big South Conference. This conference, which Elon has been a member for everything but football, will start football next fall. Four teams, Elon, Charleston Southern, Liberty and Gardner-Webb, are the current members for football. Coastal Carolina, which will begin football in 2002, will join the league in 2003. The league will then search for a sixth member, which is required for an automatic bid into the I-AA playoffs.
Defensive stats: Sophomore defensive end Brandon Byers led the Penguins in tackles against Elon. He had eight stops, two solos. The Penguins had only five tackles for losses, two by redshirt freshman defensive end Matt Briggs. Senior LeVar Greene, already ranked among the nations leaders in interceptions, picked off his seventh of the year and also picked up his third fumble recovery. He also had a pass deflection, which was his 15th of the year. The only quarterback sack was recorded by Bruce Hightower, while Anthony Barone also had an interception.
Next up: The Penguins will finish the regular season next Saturday against Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. at 7 p.m. The contest will probably be televised over WFMJ-TV, Channel 21, but the official word is not expected to come before Monday.
-- Pete Mollica