Penguins drubbed by SIU

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The month of October went from scary to downright frightening for the Youngstown State football team.

The 18th-ranked Penguins lost their third straight in a shocking rout by unranked Southern Illinois, who scored early and often in a 35-10 drubbing at Saluki Stadium on Saturday.

YSU, now 4-3 and 0-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, is quickly falling out of playoff contention after a rousing 4-0 start.

The Penguins started the game off strong, stopping Southern Illinois (3-4, 1-2) on its first series and piecing together a long drive to the Salukis’ 13-yard line. They settled for a 37-yard field goal by Colt McFadden and a 3-0 lead. Not much went right from that point.

SIU rattled off 28 consecutive points as an offense that had struggled all season looked to be in perfect harmony against a struggling YSU defense. The Salukis showed balance as they took a 7-0 lead on a 7-yard run. They followed that with a 53-yard touchdown pass, a 3-yard TD run and then a 73-yard TD pass for a 28-3 lead. The Penguins put together a late first-half scoring drive as quarterback Nathan Mays hit Ryan Emans on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Whatever momentum that was gained from the TD quickly evaporated. Mays was harassed all game, with the Penguins yielding nine sacks and running for a paltry 30 yards on 33 carries (a 0.9-yard average per rush). YSU, which has not won a road game within the conference since 2017, turned the ball over on downs on its first possession of the second half. The Salukis then scored on a back-breaking fourth-and-3 play as wildcat quarterback Javon Williams Jr. hit a wide-open Jacob Garrett on a 41-yard TD pass.

The Penguins end the month with a home matchup against Western Illinois at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26.


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