Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meet WVU’s opponent: Youngstown State Penguins

Saturday brings the second game of the season to Morgantown and the Mountaineers face off against their second non-conference opponent, the Youngstown State Penguins.The Penguins are coming to Morgantown after a 45-10 victory over Duquense last Saturday. Now, the Penguins head to Morgantown in an attempt to battle a Big 12 team with a very dominant defense.

Last week, the Mountaineers took down their first of three non-conference opponents in a 26-11 victory over the SEC’s Missouri Tigers. This week, the Youngstown State Penguins will travel to Morgantown for their attempt at battle. The Penguins are led by Bo Pelini, who is coaching the Penguins after a residency as Nebraska’s head coach from 2008-14. Pelini is known for having been a bit of a hot head during his Nebraska days, and was occasionally the cause of some controversy while coaching the Big 10 school.

Now, the Penguins are in their second season under Coach Pelini and look to improve on the 2015 season. Last year, the Penguins finished their first year under their new coach with a 5-6 record. The Penguins are in the Missouri Valley Conference of the FCS. West Virginia will be the only Power 5 school the Penguins face this season.

In last week’s season opener, the Penguins held their opponent to just 10 points, while the Penguins offense tallied 610 total yards in the game. The Penguins are also bringing a junior quarterback who will be making his second career start in Morgantown. Junior Ricky Davis for the Penguins went 12-16 for 187 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback also ran for 74 yards in the game, making him someone the Mountaineers defense will have to keep a close eye on.

The Penguins are coming into town Saturday with an offense capable of moving the ball and scoring. The Mountaineer defense will need to be on quarterback Davis as he not only passes but is a mobile quarterback on the field. While last week the Mountaineers were faced with a very fast, uptempo offense, the Penguins will bring just the opposite. The YSU offense tends to play a much slower game, especially when comparing it to that of Missouri’s offense.

The Penguins defense limited Duquense to 222 yards during the game, with 122 of those yards coming in the first half. The Penguins also limited their turnovers to just one during the entire game. The Penguins and Coach Pelini will look to come into Morgantown eyeing an upset, but judging by the dominating defensive plays the Mountaineers showed off against Missouri, it may be a tall task.

According to ESPN’s match-up predictor, the Mountaineers have 95% chance of beating the Penguins Saturday. When Coach Pelini and his Penguins make the 2.5 hour trip to Morgantown, they will be hoping to pull off the upset. But as the Mountaineers and their fans know, and as evidenced by last week’s game versus Missouri, this Mountaineer team has a strong presence, both offensively and defensively. It will be tough for the Penguins to come into Morgantown and leave with a “W,” especially with the Mountaineers defense playing like they did in the season opener.




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