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S. Illinois at YSU

Scouting Report:?Week 8

October 20, 2012
By DANA SULONEN , Tribune Chronicle |
QUARTERBACKS YSU — By Kurt Hess’ standards, the last few games have not been up to par. In last week’s loss to Illinois State, the junior passed for 201 yards on 16-of-29 passing and one touchdown. But in the second half, the offense was stagnant, and a lot of times that falls back on the quarterback. Though the Penguins have had two off games, Hess’ numbers are still quality, completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,083 yards and 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. SI — Kory Faulkner had a 49-yard touchdown run last week against UNI and led the Salukis’ running game with 73 yards. However, by no means is Faulkner a dual threat. On the season, he’s only netted 39 yards on the round (gained 142, lost 103). On the season, he’s passed for 1,272 yards, seven TDs and has a 55.5 percent completion ratio. Also, he’s prone to mistakes as he’s thrown eight interceptions. EDGE — YSU RUNNING BACKS YSU — In the first half of last week’s game, Jamaine Cook looked untouchable, rushing for three touchdowns and 151 yards. In the second half, Illinois State limited Cook to 26 yards. Coach Eric Wolford admitted this week he wants to get more of a rotation in at running back to keep Cook’s legs fresher for the end of games. So expect this week to see more of Torrian Pace, and maybe Demond Hymes. SI — The one-two punch for Southern Illinois is Mika’il McCall and Steve Strother. They have both rushed for 387 yards this season, but McCall has scored seven touchdowns. Strother hasn’t visited the end zone yet. EDGE — YSU RECEIVERS YSU — One of the changes on the depth chart this week came as Andrew Williams will be getting the start over Kintrell Disher. Williams was the leading receiver last week for the Penguins, catching three passes for 61 yards, and is now the fourth leading receiver for the Penguins in terms of yardage (169). Hess has been getting a lot of receivers involved this season, as five receivers have more than 100 yards receiving. Tight end Will Shaw is the only one to have more than 200 (238). SI — MyCole Pruitt is the leading receiver for the Salukis with 32 catches for 362 yards and three touchdowns. LaStephen McKinney has 25 catches for 234 yards and David Lewis adds 233 yards on 20 catches. With an ample amount of weapons, the YSU?secondary will have to stay to their assignments. EDGE — Even OFFENSIVE LINE YSU — The line, which had been the most stable part of the Penguins, has looked off the past two weeks. Against Illinois State, Kyle Bryant started in place of Andrew Radakovich at left tackle, as Radakovich was battling a shoulder injury. In that game, Hess was sacked twice, the most he’s been hit this season in a game. Radakovich has been cleared to play this week against the Salukis. The line has admitted that a little bit of over confidence has got in the way of them doing their jobs. Hopefully, that is fixed this week. SI — Eight sacks in seven games is a lot, and that’s what Southern Illinois has allowed this season. Also, the Salukis’ rushing game is only averaging 181.7 yards per game. Compare that to YSU’s 207 yards, that’s a big difference. EDGE — YSU DEFENSIVE LINE YSU — Wolford was very up front this week that the defensive line starting unit was on assignment — and that he would not be making the starting lineup until game time. Opponents are only averaging 113 yards per game rushing, but the biggest lack in the Penguin defense has been the lack of blitzing and getting in opposing quarterbacks’ face. Being able to do that starts with the line. SI — If the Salukis are going to beat the Penguins, it’s going to come from a well played game by the defense. Southern Illinois is only allowing 121.9 yards rushing per game and has sacked opposing quarterbacks 22 times. The Penguin offensive line will have to watch out for left defensive end Ken Boatright, who has four sacks and right defensive end, Eze Obiora, who has five sacks. EDGE — SI LINEBACKERS YSU — This unit for the Penguins hasn’t been lighting up the defensive statistics or the highlights. The leading tackler out of the group is middle linebacker Teven Williams with 30, and outside linebacker Travis Williams has 27. However, this group hasn’t stood out in any game. If this group could start making some big-impact plays, it could be a huge boost for the defense. SI — The Salukis run a four linebacker set, which will be a different look for the Penguins as most teams they have faced this year have used three linebackers. Left inside linebacker Bryan Presume leads the team with 45 tackles, four tackles for loss and one sack. Last week, he also recovered a fumble and returned for a 100-yard touchdown. EDGE — SI SECONDARY YSU —At the beginning of the week, Wolford announced that Jamarious Boatright would be getting the nod over Julius Childs at cornerback. Again this week, the YSU?secondary will face a team that is pass first — making their day long. Wolford keeps preaching that this unit is improved from last year, but until they cut down on the yards allowed per game (currently at 236.3), the defensive woes will continue. SI — The Salukis have picked off opposing quarterbacks six times this year and but are allowing the opposition 211 yards per game in the air. Left cornerback Terrell Wilson leads the unit with 33 tackles and five pass breakups. EDGE — SI SPECIALISTS YSU —The Penguins’ return game has been consistent, but have done nothing that has been game changing. Wolford said this week that the blockers on the return game need to do a better job of creating lanes for Andre Stubbs to get through. It’s those little missed assignments that could change the game. SI — A huge play that led the Salukis to a win over UNI was a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. Also, field-goal kicker Austin Johnson was 2 of 2 against the Panthers. EDGE —SI PREDICTION If there was ever a must win for the Penguins it’s this week. YSU is still in the hunt for the playoffs, even with the two losses, but a third lost could be detrimental for the playoffs. Clearly, the YSU offense is better than Southern Illinois, but the Salukis’ defense has been playing some great ball over the past few weeks, as well as their special teams. If the Youngstown State team of three weeks ago shows up, then the Penguins will snap the two-game losing streak and will be headed back in the right direction. If the Penguins come out without a sense of urgency and let the Salukis dictate the game, then there will be trouble at the Ice Castle. I?don’t see the second scenario happening. Not at home. YSU gets back on pace this week. YSU, 28-20 Twitter: @DanaSulonenTrib


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