Injury update: Sophomore WR Andre Stubbs tweaked his hamstring earlier this week and missed Thursday’s practice but was back in pads Saturday, albeit with a black (no-contact) jersey. Sophomore RB Demond Hymes had a strong practice but injured his left hamstring late in the session. Sophomore WR Michael Wheary also got shook up on one play but appeared to be OK. “We got out of here pretty healthy for the most part, so that’s obviously a good thing,” YSU coach Eric Wolford said.
Great outdoors: YSU got decent weather for the first time in two weeks, allowing the Penguins to practice outside for the second straight session. “We like playing on this field,” Wolford said. “The indoor [WATTS] is obviously great but you’ve got those [tight] corners and sidelines. Outdoors, the film is better for us and it’s more of a game-day atmosphere.” Cornerback Dale Peterman agreed. “It’s a great indoor [facility] but sometimes it gets a little stuffy in there. Out here, you get used to the wind and the cold weather.”
Getting heated: Saturday’s temperatures weren’t the only thing that heated up. There was a small scuffle late in practice that resulted in senior TE Carson Sharbaugh leaving the field after getting hit in an, ahem, sensitive area. Sophomore LB Terry Johnson was the most agitated, taking an uppercut swing at a YSU offensive player at one point. (It didn’t do any damage.) “Fighting, I addressed it after practice,” Wolford said. “We used to get in fights all the time at practice. It’s part of things getting emotional and heated. We talk about keeping those things on the field. It’s part of this game. It’s a physical football game. You don’t ever want to carry it off the field.”
Familiar faces: Several former YSU players attended practice, including NFL hopefuls Lamar Mady (OG), Will Shaw (TE) and Aronde Stanton (DT). Other spectators included Bobby Coates (who was a lineman on Wolford’s first team, in 2010) and Obinna Ekweremuba (a starting defensive end in 2011). Also, Pitt safety Ray Vinopal had the day off from the Panthers’ spring practice and used it to watch his former Cardinal Mooney teammates from the Stambaugh Stadium stands. When a YSU fan asked him, “How did you feel when we shocked the [heck] out of you last year?” Vinopal laughed and said, “Pretty much the way you just said.”