Hosick shines leading second-team offense
YSU’s first string struggles; Hosick has big day with backups
By Charles Grove
To be polite, it was a less than desirable day for Youngstown State football team’s first-string offense as the Penguins had their final scrimmage before fall classes begin.
The first-teamers, led by a mixture of quarterbacks Hunter Wells and Ricky Davis, did little more than pick up a handful of first downs and really never threatened the first-string defense all scrimmage.
Part of the defense’s dominance was the aid of it being a no-tackle scrimmage, but nevertheless it was a day of missed receivers, and a lot of work for the punt teams.
“Our first offense didn’t come out and play very well at all,” YSU head coach Bo Pelini said.
It was the second-string offense that stole the show.
Trent Hosick, who has been limited to snaps with the second string recently, played like he wants the coaches to give him another look. Hosick lead his offense to a pair of touchdowns against the second-string defense, and with the one exception of a fumbled pump fake, he consistently picked apart the defense sent out against him.
“I’m picking up things as far as the offense,” Hosick said. “It was just a matter of time before I started figuring out the offense. I came out today and had a productive day. Ultimately it’s about moving the ball downfield and scoring touchdowns and we did that today, the twos did.”
Hosick’s play of the day was a 40-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Parente. Hosick said a bit of misdirection was the source of the big play.
“We had a post on the outside and we had a wheel route coming up underneath it,” Hosick said. “Typically the first look is the post, but the way our defense plays it we throw a lot of stick routes to our tight ends so they thought [Parente] was going out into the flats and he went upfield and was wide open.”
Hosick partially attributed Saturday’s success to a new outgoing personality. Hosick and Pelini had a talk Friday about how he has been carrying himself during practice and the two agreed a more lively presence would help.
“I’ve been kind of consciously holding myself back because I want to win the job, but I don’t want to just act like it’s mine,” Hosick said. “I told Coach Bo, ‘I play the quarterback like a linebacker plays defense.’ I’m a motivator, I get fierce and my guys know that I’ll go to war for them. Coach wants to see who I am, so I came out with a lot of enthusiasm today.”
Wells and Davis weren’t able to get any meaningful drives in order, but when the first string was able to get some yards, it often was on quick slant routes.
“Against our defense that’s how we can get the best man routes possible,” offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery said. “Against ourselves we’ll run a lot of slants, but against other teams with different defenses maybe we won’t.”
The team did get significant special teams time in between quarters and the coaching staff will likely use Saturday’s scrimmage to help determine starting positions on those units. Alvin Bailey and Darien Townsend were electric on punts and kickoff returns.
“We got in a lot of situations special teams-wise and got a lot of live work,” Pelini said. “It’ll be a big evaluation of these guys and see who showed up on special teams. I think we’ll get a lot out of today’s film.”