YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Bo Pelini will lead Youngstown State onto the Toyota Stadium field in Frisco, Texas Saturday at noon for the FCS National Championship — the Penguins’ seventh title game in program history.
However, former head coach Jim Tressel guided YSU in its first six National Championships, which all came in the 1990s. The Penguins won four titles — ’91, ’93, ’94 and ’97 — while they lost twice (’92 and ’99).
Tressel, now YSU’s president, sat down with WKBN’s Stan Boney and reminisced on the glory days of the ’90s.
Watch the video above for Tressel’s memories and vintage highlights of the past Penguins championship teams. Here are some of the soundbites…
’91 National Championship: 25-17 win vs. Marshall — “The thing we knew for sure is we needed to have the wind in the 4th quarter and see if we could chip away at [the deficit],” Tressel said. “I think it was a great step toward where we are today.”
’93 National Championship: 17-5 win vs. Marshall — “That was the titanic clash of the two mega-programs in 1-AA,” Tressel said. “”As you remember, it was the 4th-and-1 stop that was the difference in the game.”
’94 National Championship: 28-14 win vs. Boise State — “Well [Boise] had the best record. We tied the opening game, Stephen F. Austin, and then we won 14 straight,” Tressel said.
’97 National Championship: 10-9 win vs. McNeese State — “The suffering that had occurred in ’95 and ’96 is really what powered ’97,” Tressel said. “We didn’t have a great team that year, but we got good by the end. …We killed McNeese, 10 to 9. I mean, it was a battle.”
Ahh, the glory years.
In all, Tressel led YSU to a record of 103-30 in the ’90s before he left for Ohio State.
“Well the decade of the ’90s, we had more wins than anyone in the country,” Tressel said. “That was a special group of people.”
YSU’s showdown with James Madison for the FCS National Championship can be seen on ESPN2 at noon on Saturday. Also be sure to check WKBN.com for in-game updates and postgame coverage, and watch WKBN First News at 6 for complete live coverage from Frisco.