Wings cement Davis’ special bond


QB’s protectors are rewarded

By Charles Grove

cgrove@vindy.com

youngstown

The bond shared between a quarterback and his offensive line is always a special one. The one between Youngstown State quarterback Ricky Davis and his offensive line is no exception.

The line has done a solid job of protecting Davis so far this year, even though Davis often decides to leave the protection of the pocket in search of yards.

YSU’s offensive line has given up only six sacks for 26 yards. On the flip side, the YSU defense has sacked quarterbacks 19 times for 127 yards.

“I was proud of the offensive line,” Davis said about last week’s 20-6 win at Illinois State. “I’m taking them out to eat and I’m paying for all of them. They’re pretty excited about that, the quarterback taking them out to eat.”

Davis and six of the offensive lineman dined at Buffalo Wild Wings in Boardman on Thursday. The lineman reportedly downed 140 wings, the solace for Davis being that it was at least wing night so the wings weren’t full price.

The offensive line has the task of trying to slow down Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult who has 13 tackles for loss this year and 7.5 sacks. That’s better than YSU’s defensive end duo of Derek Rivers (seven sacks) and Avery Moss (five sacks).

But Davis’ trust in his offensive line means he’s not sweating Schult.

“I have a lot of faith in the offensive line that I can focus on the secondary if we’re dropping back to pass,” Davis said. “I can stay poised in the pocket and trust that my offensive line will get it done and I have faith that they will.”

The line also has done a solid job of moving the offense forward in addition to limiting losses. The Penguins are averaging 5.3 yards per carry and the Penguins are averaging 452.2 yards per game.

“[I like] how well-rounded we are,” Davis said. “If we struggle running the ball, we can throw and if we struggle throwing the ball, we can run. The offensive line has been very consistent. We’re moving the ball and getting it done.”

Even though the offense has been sputtering at times like it did during the first half of the Illinois State game, Davis said the offense has been receiving a lot of confidence due to how well the defense has been picking them up when need be.

“It’s nice knowing that if we go three and out we have the confidence that we’ll be right back out there as soon as possible. [The defense] was so excited for us to score those points in the fourth quarter [at Illinois State] and we were excited for them because they were dominant as always.”

Long Flowing locks

If you’ve noticed Davis’ hair poking farther out of the back of his helmet week by week, you’re not alone. Davis said the hair won’t be cut until the end of the season.

“I’ll cut it right after the season,” Davis said. “I’m afraid to cut it midway. People ask me that all the time. Coach [Bo] Pelini hates it, everyone hates it, my dad hates it, it’s gotten to the point where I hate it. I can’t wait to cut it.”

Pelini had a friendly warning for Davis if it gets too long.

“Look at my hair and look at his hair, you think I would like it?” Pelini said jokingly. “If it gets too long I’ll just get some hedge clippers and I’ll take care of it myself.”

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