YSU offense ready for another high-scoring season, but overconfidence is a concern
By Joe Scalzo
Two years ago, Youngstown State offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery was worried about not-so-minor things such as “Who is going to play quarterback” and “Who’s going to play the other positions?”
Last year, his questions centered around the starting wide receivers and backup linemen.
This year? His main concern is complacency.
“We can’t be complacent,” Montgomery said. “It doesn’t matter who we play, we cannot just roll the football out there and think we’re going to be successful.”
Like getting poor gas mileage out of your Ferrari or worrying about higher capital gains taxes, this is a good problem to have.
The Penguins led the Missouri Valley in scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense, passing efficiency, first downs, third-down conversions and time of possession and was second in passing offense. For the year, YSU set 19 school records — all on offense.
With 11 starters back, including first-team all-conference quarterback Kurt Hess, and several talented underclassmen battling for playing time, YSU could be even better this fall.
“I know one thing — I’ve never thrown this much at an offense at any time in my career,” Montgomery said. “We’ve gotten about everything we can possibly get in.
“I like where we’re at offensively as far as retention. We’ve had very few mental busts throughout spring practice and that’s a correlation to what those guys have done in the offseason.”
YSU’s offense has dominated its young defense at times this spring — particularly when Hess is playing — and that will likely continue in tonight’s Red-White game. When asked if he planned to take it easy on new defensive coordinator Joe Tresey, Montgomery laughed and said, “I don’t know about that.”
Tresey, meanwhile, said facing such a talented offense has made his unit better.
“I don’t think there’s any question it helps us develop as players,” he said. “Those guys are really good and I’m happy we have those guys on our team.”