Wells starts, but Pelini mum on QB job

102916...R ISU@YSU 6...Y-town...10-29-16...
YSU's QB #6 Hunter Wells was back under center and directing the YSU offense during 1st half action against ISU...by R. Michael Semple

102916...R ISU@YSU 6...Y-town...10-29-16... YSU's QB #6 Hunter Wells was back under center and directing the YSU offense during 1st half action against ISU...by R. Michael Semple

YOUNGSTOWN — The plot continues to thicken when discussing the quarterback situation for Youngstown State.

Hunter Wells became the fourth different quarterback to play this year as he took every snap during the Penguins’ 13-10 victory over Indiana State. Whether Wells will be the starter again next week against five-time defending national champion North Dakota State is anyone’s guess.

“Right now Hunter’s the guy,” YSU coach Bo Pelini said. “That could change. The way we do it, it’s all in how you practice.”

Wells, a junior who started 18 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons, started because Ricky Davis suffered an undisclosed injury last week. Davis began the season as the starter, and when healthy, was assumed to be the starter. Pelini said he should return to practice Monday, which begs the question: Will he return to the starting role?

Davis, who narrowly beat out Wells for the starting job in fall camp, was inconsistent in six games as a starter, completing 55-of-106 passes (52 percent) for 864 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. He was more effective as a runner, gaining 340 yards on 83 carries (4.1 yards per rush). The Penguins also played redshirt freshman Nathan Mays, but he attempted just 13 passes, completing seven and throwing one interception.

Wells didn’t exactly light it up against the Sycamores, completing 13-of-26 passes for 101 yards and two interceptions in the first quarter. He seemed to settle in after that — going 12-of-20 for 88 yards from the second through fourth quarters.

“Hunter was fine,” Pelini said. “He made those errors. He underthrew the one, where I thought we had Jody (Webb) on a big play. He obviously made a bad decision on the other one. Overall, I thought he did some really good things. You’re going to be a hair rusty, but I thought he played well.”

Wells wasn’t made available for comment following the game. He had a shoulder injury the last few weeks but didn’t show any visible signs of worsening the injury.

MOSS’ BIG DAY: It’s hard to overshadow a man who stands 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, but it did seem as if defensive end Avery Moss went unnoticed early in the season.

That’s changing fast.

The Nebraska transfer overtook the season sack lead from All-American Derek Rivers as Moss added three to his total against the Sycamores. He now has 10.5 on the season, which is 1.5 better than Rivers, YSU’s career leader in the category.

Moss is also third on the team with 36 tackles.

“Avery’s playing great,” Pelini said. “He’s playing at a high level, and right across the board on defense we played well.”

“I’m speechless,” said longtime friend and roommate LeRoy Alexander, a starting safety for the Penguins. “Before the game I told him, ‘Let’s go!” and he came out on fire.

“He’s got a feel for it, and working with Derek has made him better, and vice versa, so they’ve been dominating up front.”

The Penguins tied a season-high with seven sacks against ISU.

COMMENTS