After Saturday’s 23-21 loss to Butler, questions were raised about the current state of the Youngstown State football team.

Senior defensive tackle Savon Smith said players were either late or missing meetings leading up the game during the postgame press conference. On Tuesday, YSU head coach Bo Pelini said players needed to miss workouts due to required classes.

“The issue comes, and I’m trying to figure it out, is we have a lot of class conflicts,” Pelini said. “Guys gotta take certain classes and it’s offered one time a day, one time a year. We’re looking at having a really early practice on Wednesday so we don’t lose so many guys.”

Scheduling conflicts aside, Pelini and the Penguins have a few other questions that could be answered in the near future.

McNutt’s waiting

YSU co-defensive coordinator Richard McNutt is still on administrative leave following the university’s internal investigation.

But an end could be in sight. Pelini said “everything’s concluded” regarding the investigation, but was not able to comment further.

Kicking Competition

YSU starting kicker Zak Kennedy might not be starting for long. Pelini said Kennedy, who missed two field goals on Saturday, could be replaced.

“The guy who kicks best during the week is gonna be the guy we put out there,” Pelini said. “The second one was a little bit longer. The first one, for a fourth-year starter, should have been a layup. But it was a team loss.”

Freshman Grant Gonya is second on the depth chart. Gonya, a Hudson graduate, owns state records with 44 career field goals and made 17 consecutive field goals as a junior.

Mays Returning?

Nathan Mays appeared third on the Penguins’ depth chart after recovering from an injury. He’s listed behind Montgomery VanGorder and Joe Craycraft and didn’t dress against Butler.

Pelini said Mays has been making progress over the past couple weeks and could return, but is considered “50/50.” Pelini said the team will have a better idea after a week of practice.

— Dan Hiner, The Vindicator

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