Wednesday, October 26, 2016
By Greg Gulas
As far as Youngstown offensive guard Gavin Wiggins is concerned, last Saturday’s 24-10 loss at South Dakota State is ancient history.
Defensive tackle Cody Squiric fully agrees.
“It was a tough loss and no one thought that they played well, but we’ve learned from the tape and we’re going to come out stronger this week, starting in practice as we prepare for Indiana State,” Wiggins said. “It’s just the little things in practice, like technique and footwork. Everything else is fine. That’s what we’re getting away from during the week.”
The one thing that got away from the Penguin defense last Saturday was Brady Mengarelli, whose 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter marked the first rushing touchdown that YSU had allowed all season.
The Penguins (5-2, 3-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference) were the last Division I team — either FBS or FCS — to be able to make that claim.
“By correcting those things, I definitely think we have a better opportunity to hold them [Indiana State] to less than 24 points,” Squiric said. “We didn’t give up a single rushing touchdown [going into last Saturday’s game], so I’d love to have that one back.
Squiric also added that the corrections change from week to week.
“It depends on the team. Each week the little things become different, depending on what team and the style of offense that they run,” Squiric said.
After looking at the film, YSU head coach Bo Pelini said his squad didn’t play well enough to win.
“We didn’t play our best in any phase, but I thought we probably played well enough defensively to win the game,” he said. “We made some critical errors on special teams and offensively we didn’t play well.”
He also reiterated what both Wiggins and Squric had touched on earlier in the press conference.
“Little things are big things and I’ve been saying that all along. You have to guard against that,” Pelini said. “You have to have the attentiveness, discipline and accountability to take care of those things because that’s what’s going to make the difference.”
He also said that there are a number of things that he and the staff are looking at on the offensive side of the ball.
“We’re looking at everything and we’ll get it fixed, I promise you that,” Pelini said. “Like I said, every position is up for grabs. We need to play better and we’re going to find a way to do that. That means personnel, that means scheme and that means we gotta help them more as a staff. There’s a lot of things involved in that. There’s a lot of football left to be played. I know what needs to be fixed, how we need to play and the adjustments that need to be made. We just have to fix it.”
Saturday’s game against Indiana State (4-4, 2-3) will mark the school’s 76th Homecoming contest, but just the second time that Indiana State has been an opponent.
It’s also the 35th Homecoming game at the Ice Castle. The only other time these two foes have met on Homecoming came back in 2000 with the Penguins posting a 42-7 win over the Sycamores.
The game also marks the 26th meeting overall between these two schools with YSU holding a commanding 20-5 advantage.
Indiana State, however, has won the last two meetings by identical 27-24 scores, winning each game on final-play field goals including the 2014 contest that needed an overtime session.