Youngstown State head football coach Eric Wolford hopes his team learns from their mistakes against Michigan State and can correct them down the road.
“We’re going to have big games coming down the pipe,” Wolford said. “And when we’re in that arena and when we’re in a game when the game’s on the line or you’re in a big game and you can’t make a mistake, we got to play at a higher level. And you have to be able to handle the moment better than we did when the pressure’s on.”
The Penguins feel they have moved on and will not let it effect their attitude moving forward.
“I’ve always had the mindset that you can never be too high, you can never be too low,” YSU junior linebacker Teven Williams said. “We’re definitely not low. We just got the mindset, everybody has the mindset that we’re coming in to work and prepare in order to win this week.”
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Next up is Duquesne, who comes in 1-1 on the season. It is the last non-conference game for YSU, who is looking to get back on track before entering Missouri Valley Football Conference play.
“You definitely want to go into conference… we got a tough conferece, so you definitely want to go into conference rolling, ” said Williams. “So that’s what we prepare for and plan on doing.”
Wolford added, “we need to play well Saturday, I think, to get a little bit of confidence back. So that’s going to be important for us to get off to a hot start.”
The Penguins may get a boost, with injured running backs Demond Hymes and Adaris Bellamy practicing fully Monday. Wolford will continue to evaluate their progress throughout the week and decide on Saturday’s starter around Thursday. In Hymes and Bellamy’s absence, freshman Martin Ruiz has stepped up, scoring both of YSU’s touchdowns Saturday against Michigan State. And that performance certainly caught the attention of his head coach.
“He didn’t flinch,” Wolford said. “You can look into a guys eyes and know if they’re scared. And he wasn’t intimidated what so ever. And he’s just going to get better and better.”
And with Torrian Pace and Jody Webb also in the mix for carries, Wolford joked, “Maybe we’ll put five running backs out there at one time and figure out who has the ball.”
Youngstown State hosts Duquesne Saturday afternoon, with kick-off set for 4 p.m.