It was a tale of two halves for quarterback Kurt Hess. The two interceptions he threw during the game, both in the second half, were forced. He had other options on both picks. Also, he mishandled a snap that resulted in a Southern Illinois touchdown.
RUNNING BACKS: C
Cook was having his way in the first half, rushing for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Then he was shut down in the second half and finished the game with 97 yards. The coaching staff tried to work in other backs, but nothing was doing the trick.
The receivers played a fine game, with no obvious drops or missed routes. Christian Bryant was busy with four catches for 35 yards and Andrew Williams led the Penguins with six catches for 64 yards. However, there was nothing about their play that stood out on Saturday.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Hess suffered a sack in the first half that he's still hurting from. It was the hardest hit I've seen in a game of any level in a very long time. The bad snap that resulted in the touchdown obviously started with the center, who at the time was Stephen Page.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A
This is the only unit that I felt came to play with full force. Aronde Stanton was a beast, registering 10 tackles and a sack. He seemed to be involved in every run stoppage. Nick DeKraker added two sacks. In all, the line only allowed 71 yards rushing.
Travis Williams led all defensive players with 13 tackles. There were a few missed assignments in the middle, but YSU as a whole was able to force the Salukis to the outside. In terms of yardage, this was probably the best game the defense has had all season.
By far it wasn't their worst game of the year, but there were still missed assignments the the Penguins just can't seem to pick up on passing plays. There was a nice stand the secondary made at the end of the half, batting down three straight pass plays.
After the second straight game in which the Penguins blew a lead and didn't score at all in the second half, the coaching staff has to figure out what adjustments need to be made. Teams are adjusting to YSU. YSU isn't adjusting to anyone. That's a big problem.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
A blocked punt that turned into a field goal and a stupid roughing the kicker penalty on YSU led directly to 10 points for Southern Illinois. Also, almost every punt Andre Stubbs received he seemed to mishandle. This by far was the worst unit of the night.