YSU’s Pelini preps for home opener

YSU Head Football Coach Bo Pelini

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) –  The 17th-ranked Youngstown State football team plays its home opener on Saturday night against Robert Morris. Kickoff for the contest is set for 7 p.m. at Stambaugh Stadium. The game is available on WKBN 570 AM, iHeartRadio, ESPN3, the Watch ESPN App and MyYTV (tape delay).

YSU (0-1) is coming off of a 45-37 loss in its season opener last Saturday at Pittsburgh. The high-scoring contest featured six touchdown plays of more than 41 yards, with five scores of at least 55 yards. The Penguins took the early lead before Pitt built a 17-3 advantage late in the second quarter. LeRoy Alexander returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 17-13 before the Panthers’ Avonte Maddox answered with an 89-yard kickoff return to make the score 24-13 at halftime.

YSU scored 24 points in the second half to keep the contest close. The Guins trailed 31-16 late in the third quarter before Jody Webb scored on a 27-yard run to make it a 31-23 game after three. Pitt added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but each time YSU responded. Hunter Wells hit Andre Stubbs on a 77-yard touchdown pass, and Webb scored on a 75-yard jaunt to make the contest 45-37 with 4:24 remaining. YSU had one last possession but was halted at the Pitt 44 with just over two minutes remaining.

Robert Morris (0-1) dropped its home opener losing 27-24 to Dayton. The Colonials jumped out to a 10-0 lead at halftime before the Flyers scored 17 unanswered third-quarter points. In the fourth, Mathew Barr’s one-yard run tied the game and with 12:53 left and Cole Blake returned a blocked punt 26 yards for a score to put RMU in front 24-17. But Dayton scored 10 points in the final 6:15 as William Will’s 37-yard field goal was the game-winner with 2:32 remaining.

This is the first-ever meeting between YSU and Robert Morris, a member of the Northeast Conference.

The Penguins have had a great run off success in home openers the past 19 years. The Penguins have won 19 straight home openers dating back to the 1995 campaign. In those 19 contests, YSU has outscored its opponents by an impressive 737-210 margin.

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