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FCS Week 12 Game Preview: Youngstown State at Indiana State

FCS Week 12 Game Preview 

Youngstown State 5-5  at Indiana State 3-7

by Matt Anzio

Youngstown State coming off two Conference wins in a row and will head to Indiana State to try to keep the streak alive.

The Penguins will try to get back on track against a Sycamores team that has four straight Conference losses. The YSU defense has been struggling, they gave up 4 passing & 4 rushing TD’s to the South Dakota Coyotes last week. Coyotes Senior QB Austin Simmons had 4 passing & 1 rushing TD himself. The Coyotes also had 2 running backs with 100 plus yards.

On offense they are missing Senior QB Nathan Mayes. They turned to Sophomore QB Joe Craycraft who had a nice day with 246 passing yards. He also added 3 TD’s with no picks in the game. The Penguins failed to get the run game cooking, which seems to be a growing trend in their losses.  Mayes was a big help for the Penguins in the run game, helping to keep defenses honest. Like South Dakota State the loss of their signal caller totally changes the way you defend the YSU Offense. 

Indiana State has not beaten a Conference opponent since 10/12/19 when they beat the at the time winless Western Illinois Leatherneck squad. The 3-7 Sycamores need to limit mistakes and capitalize on the mistakes of the opposing team. This D has been playing good ball with players like Jonas Griffith. Griffith is one of the best linebackers in the FCS and he will need a big game if Indiana State wants to get the win.

On Offense they have some solid pass catchers. Quarterback Kurtis Wilderman has made a connection with Senior draft prospect WR Dante Hendrix, who had 135 yards on only 5 catches last week, yet it did not produce a touchdown. Running back Peterson Kerlegrand the 5’ 9 185 pound Junior lightning bolt is a player that has been active in the running & passing game. Kerlegrand touched the ball 16 times, getting him the ball more could be beneficial. Hendrix and Kerlegrand are both home run hitters that should be 2 pillars for the Young QB Wilderman to lean on.

They need to score more, the defense has been impressive. Keeping them in games & keeping the opponents’ score low. The last couple of weeks against Northern Iowa they lost 17-9 and against Illinois State they lost 23-14. Sycamores D has kept them in games the last few weeks, now it is up to the Offense to not fumble the ball away or squander points. 

Youngstown State will have to find a way to get this run game going again.  They used their big Sophomore power back Braxton Chapman only 13 times, while burner Senior RB  Joe Alessi had a meager 4 carries for 6 yards . They need to support their new man under center in Joe Craycraft with a run game.  When South Dakota jumped out to a big lead, the Penguins abandoned the run. Understandable, so it is inevitable that they limit the Sycamores scoring early. Think that bolds well for YSU because the Sycamores do not score enough.  With that being said, “ I think the Penguins bounce back get the much needed win at Indiana State on Saturday.

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