Published October 29, 2011
1. Western Illinois isn't a good team and the Leathernecks made a lot of mistakes, but this was still a huge win for YSU.
I think most people around the program have seen a big difference in the talent between this year's team and last year's, but the South Dakota State loss three weeks ago left you scratching your head.
Today, you could see hints of what the Penguins could become. They took an overmatched team and just dominated them.
2. Afterward, Eric Wolford talked about how there are some leaders developing on defense that can hold the younger players' "feet to the fire."
There's a lot of young talent on defense and Wolford talked about how sometimes younger players need two or three years to develop a sense of urgency.
"Let's do it now," he said.
3. YSU has lost 11 straight games to UNI but the way the Penguins' offense is playing right now, you have to believe they have a decent chance of pulling the upset next week.
UNI lost to North Dakota State on Saturday and needed the final minutes to pull out a win over YSU last year, so I don't think the Penguins will let that streak bother them too much.
Now UNI QB Tirrell Rennie? He might bother them.
4. With top-ranked Georgia Southern losing and No. 3 ranked North Dakota State owning wins over Minnesota and UNI, I have to believe the Bison will be No. 1 in this week's poll.
5. Former YSU lineman Eric Rodemoyer attended Saturday's game and stood outside the locker room after the victory, exhanging hugs. He looks like he's lost about 75 pounds since last season, when he had to struggle to get up near 300 pounds. If you saw him, you'd never guess he played guard. Former YSU defensive back Brandian Ross was also at Saturday's game. Ross is a practice squad member of the Packers, who have a bye this weekend.
Jordan Thompson fumbles on YSU's first offensive play of the fourth quarter and Western Illiois recovers at the 36. The play probably should have been called dead but that's a quibble at this point.
WIU's drive ends with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Josh Hudson to Terriun Crump, making it 56-14 with 11:08 left.
A good kickoff return was wiped out by Jordan Thompson's 15-yard illegal block penalty, giving YSU its seventh penalty for 90 yards. Wolford isn't happy with the officiating, but, then, what else is new?
Patrick Angle takes over at QB and Thompson immediately gets the 15 yards back on an angry run up the middle. The drive stalls at the 49 and, on fourth and 1, Wolford elects for a punt. Considering the Leathernecks have already fumbled away two punt returns, that's not a bad call.
WIU takes over at its own 12. YSU has backups in at about half the defensive positions right now.
YSU takes over at its own 27, gains 8 yards in three plays and punts.
That's going to do it for me. I'm heading down for interviews.
Big-time win for the Penguins heading into UNI week.
Western Illinois gets the ball first and opts to punt rather than go for it on fourth-and-inches near its own 40. Unbelievable. It's 42-0 and, apparently, they don't think they can get six inches.
YSU come out with its offensive starters and throws on second down, so Wolford isn't worried about running up the score.
Hess finishes a nice drive off with a 28-yard TD pass to true freshman Kintrell Disher, the first TD catch of his career. That kid is going to be really good in a few years.
It's 49-0 YSU with 9:01 left. That pass put Hess over 200 yards and also ties his career (and school) record with four TDs, which has been done 11 other times. I have to think Hess is going to get yanked sooner rather than later.
After YSU got flagged for two penalties on the ensuing kickoff (one for holding, another for a personal foul), WIU starts in YSU territory and drives 46 yards in eight plays, capped by a 5-yard TD run by Nikko Watson. The shutout is gone but the rout is still on, as YSU leads 49-7 with 5:21 left. For good measure, the Penguins got hit with a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty on the extra point.
Looks like Hess's day is over, as Marc Kanetsky takes over at quarterback. YSU has backups in at most positions, except interior line. The Penguins keep it on the ground and after one first down, YSU punts it away, it hits a WIU blocker and John Sasson recovers the ball at the Western Illinois 17.
On third down, Marc Kanetsky hits Kevin Watts on a nice rollout pass to the right corner of the end zone for a 14-yard TD. Kanetsky got a little shaken up on the play but should be OK. That's Kanetsky's first touchdown since 2009, when he connected with now-Bills receiver Donald Jones in the season finale against North Dakota State.
It's 56-7 with 29 seconds left.
1. Jamaine Cook has 114 yards on 16 carries, breaking the school record for consecutive 100-yard games with seven. He tied the record last week.
2. YSU has a 326-120 edge in total yards and a 175-39 edge in rushing yards.
3. Hess needs 25 more yards to record his 11th career 200-yard passing game, and sixth of this season (which would tie Tom Zetts' and Ron Jaworski's school record).
4. I can't imagine Wolford will play his offensive starters that much longer, although I'm sure he wants to get his defensive players as much work as possible with Northern Iowa looming next week.
Western Illinois' drive ends on an interception by DT Aronde Stanton. You know things are going bad when you throw an interception to a defensive tackle. (Nice play, though.)
YSU takes over at the Leathernecks' 32 and promptly scores four plays later on a 4-yard touchdown. It's 35-0 with 12:18 and it's starting to feel like the Valparaiso game.
WIU makes a quarterback change, going to Wil Lunt, who started the first game. He made it about three or four plays before getting hurt on a quarterback option run. Josh Hudson came back in and made a terrific throw on the run on second day. Problem was, he was a yard beyond the line of scrimmage. On third-and-15, a long throw goes incomplete.
Another punt for the Leathernecks, who are going to have a LONG ride home.
YSU goes three-and-out and this time WIU doesn't fumble the return, if only because Myers Hendrickson chose not to field it. The ball dies at the 10, which is where the Leathernecks will take over.
It's 35-0 YSU with 6:11 left.
Jeremey Edwards nearly had a pick-six but he held the ball out in celebration as he was going into the touchdown. YSU takes over at the WIU 17. Edwards deserved that one.
Doesn't matter. Hess hits Kevin Watts for a 17-yard TD on the first play. It's 42-0 with 4:55 left and backup QB Marc Kanetsky might need to start warming up in the bullpen.
The Leathernecks have done at least one incredibly stupid thing on every single one of their offensive drives, and this latest one was no different, as a holding penalty wipes out a possible first down in YSU territory and forces WIU to eventually punt from its own 37. YSU takes over at its own 35 after the punt, then goes three-and-out.
WIU takes over at the 29, gets one first down and decides it's seen enough.
We're at halftime. It's 42-0 YSU and it's been just as bad as that score sounds. Complete domination.
Well, things couldn't have started any better for the Penguins. On the first play from scrimmage, Kurt Hess hit a wide (and I mean WIDE) open for a 70-yard touchdown to Christian Bryan, who was 10 feet behind the DBs.
When I said, "How does that happen?" in the press box, one of the guys from Western Illinois said, "It's happened all year." He had a very sad face.
After a decent return, WIU picked up one first down then was forced to punt. YSU starts it second drive at its own 23
The crowd is really small today. I think it's a combination of bad weather, a 1 p.m. start and the fact that YSU is only 4-3. I wasn't expecting a big crowd but I was expecting more than this. If there's 3,000 in the stands, they're lucky.
After a first down, YSU's drive stalls thanks to a 15-yard chop block penalty on TE Carson Sharbaugh. The Penguins punt and WIU's Myers Hendrickson muffs it. YSU's Jordan Thompson forced it and Ali Cheaib recovers at the WIU 18.
Three plays later, Hess keeps it on an option play and scores from 13 yards out. It's 14-0 with 8:55 left and the Penguins could be on their way to a rout. I have to believe the Leathernecks are feeling pretty down right now.
A big QB run by Josh Hudson got the ball to the YSU 43 but the Leathernecks pick up a stupid unnecessary roughness penalty and are forced to punt. YSU takes over at the 31.
The Penguins chose to score on a methodical drive this time, with WIU getting a heavy dose of Jamaine Cook, who caps it with a 2-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left. It's 21-0 and I have a feeling it's only going to get uglier.
The drive went 69 yards in nine plays and I think Cook carried on all but one of them.
WIU again picks up one first down before punting. On the final play of the quarter, Hess hit Jelani Berassa for a 69-yard pass touchdown pass. I'm not sure who was more wide open -- Berassa or Bryan on the first touchdown.
Regardless, it's 28-0 and there's no way YSU is blowing this game. Western Illinois has absolutely no answer for anything YSU's offense is doing.
1. The last time YSU had a home conference game, it faced a beatable South Dakota State and played its worst game of the Wolford era.
I can't imagine that happening again today -- Western Illinois is coming off a loss to previously winless Missouri State -- but, then, I was stunned by the SDSU loss, too.
This is a game YSU should win by at least two touchdowns.
2. Former Browns interim head coach Terry Robiskie is apparently here today. Two of his sons, offensive lineman Andrew and wide receiver Kyle, play for Western Illinois.
Another one of his sons, Brian, is a wide receiver for the Browns who also played at Ohio State.
Terry has coached the wide receivers for the Falcons for the past four years. Atlanta has a bye this weekend.
3. This is the start of the most crucial stretch of the Penguins' season.
Their final four games are all conference games, with this game and the Missouri State finale sandwiched around two brutal road games against the No. 2- (UNI) and No. 3- (North Dakota State) ranked teams in the country.
To me, YSU will go as its secondary goes. It was the team's biggest weakness entering the season and still is.
4. After watching last week's game against St. Francis, I'm pleased to report that the Red Flash have been replaced by Albany on the schedule. I'm not as pleased to report that Valparaiso is still on the schedule.
Albany is 5-2 and 4-0 in the the Northeast Conference this year and should be competitive. (The NEC is also home to St. Francis and Central Connecticut State, which played YSU last year.)
YSU's 2012 FBS game is against Pitt and I have to think the Penguins will feel as good going into that game as they have since they started playing BCS teams in 2005.
YSU goes back to Michigan State in 2013 and then plays Illinois in 2014.