Defense sharp: Youngstown State’s defense held the edge in Saturday’s scrimmage, holding the offense on five straight third downs before giving up a 70-yard TD to Ryan Moore. The defense allowed just three first downs in the next four series and stopped the offense in seven of 10 red zone attempts. Safety Jameel Smith made one of the morning’s biggest plays, with a strip of Moore. “We stress turnovers every day,” Smith said. “On that play, I was just thinking, ‘Get him down.’ Once I made contact and knew I secured the tackle, I felt like I could get the ball out, so I went for it.”
The real deal: Several potential starters missed Saturday’s scrimmage, including CB Julius Childs, LB Travis Williams and DT Steve Zaborsky. Linebacker Antoine Cox had a team-best seven tackles and LB Jaylin Kelly had six. Outside of the spring game, YSU’s defense has played well so far in the spring and the summer under new coordinator Jamie Bryant. YSU coach Eric Wolford has repeatedly said the defense was hampered by a vanilla scheme in the spring game. “Like I said before, don’t be misled by the spring game,” Wolford said. “Coach Bryant will have those guys ready to play.” Added Smith, “That was a totally different team [in the spring game]. That wasn’t Youngstown State defense at all.”
This and that: Senior kicker/punter Joey Cejudo crushed a high spiraling 55-yard punt out of his own end zone in his first attempt. He will replace all-conference punter Nick Liste (graduated) this fall. ... Preseason all-conference KR/WR Andre Stubbs sat out most of practice after getting hit on the sidelines by DT Octavius Brown at the end of a run. Brown was flagged for a late hit, prompting defensive line coach Tom Sims to scream, “Your [butt] ain’t worth 15 yards!” ... Freshman safety Kevin Wilson wore a long sleeve shirt under his pads. “[I wear sleeves] every day,” said the Lakeland, Fla., native. “It ain’t hot. At all.” ... Freshman RB Ryan Moore has a tattoo of I Corinthians 9:24 on his left arm: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” “It’s my life verse,” he said.