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2011 YSU Slate Features All Division I Opponents For Second Straight Year
The Youngstown State football team will play an 11-game slate against all Division I opponents for the second straight season. Head Coach Eric Wolford will lead the Penguins to Michigan State for the season opener in East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 3.
The Penguins play home games against Valparaiso (Sept. 10), Illinois State (Sept. 17), South Dakota State (Oct. 8), Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 22, Western Illinois (Oct. 29) and Missouri State (Nov. 19). Road contests in 2011 are at Michigan State (Sept. 3), at Indiana State (Sept. 24), at Southern Illinois (Oct. 15), at UNI (Nov. 5) and at North Dakota State (Nov. 12).
The schedule features games against three FCS playoff qualifiers (WIU, NDSU and UNI) while the Spartans tied for the Big Ten Conference title, won 11 games and appeared Capital One Bowl.
YSU makes its first trip to Michigan since 1999 when it visits Spartan Stadium for the first time. It marks the fifth time in the last six seasons the Penguins have played a team from the Big Ten Conference. YSU’s last trip to the Great Lakes State was at Western Michigan in September 1999. All-time in games played in Michigan, YSU is 10-12.
Youngstown State welcomes Valpraiso, a member of the Pioneer Football League, to Stambaugh Stadium for the home opener on Sept. 10. It is the first meeting between the two programs on the gridiron. Both are members of the Horizon League for all other sports.
In just the third week of the season, the Penguins open Missouri Valley Football Conference play when they entertain Illinois State on Sept. 17. It is the second earliest conference opener since YSU joined the league in 1997. It marks the 16th straight year the Penguins and Redbirds have played. Illinois State tied the series at 10 wins each last season.
YSU then travels to Indiana State on Sept. 24. The Guins have never lost in Terre Haute, Ind., winning all 10 contests. Youngstown State leads the all-time series 18-2.
Following an off week on Oct. 1, the Penguins return home to face South Dakota State on Oct. 8. It will be the fourth conference clash between the two schools with YSU looking to pick up its first win.
YSU makes its first appearance at Southern Illinois’ new stadium on Oct. 15. In 2010, the Penguins won a thrilling 31-28 contest over the Salukis at Stambaugh Stadium. That victory gave the Guins an 11-10-1 lead in the all-time series.
The Penguins renew acquaintances with Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 22. It will be the fifth meeting between the schools, but first since 1953 at Rayen High School. YSU won all four meetings, three of which came in the early 1950’s and the other came in 1939 - the second year of football in school history.
YSU resumes MVFC play on Oct. 29 versus Western Illinois. The Penguins and Leathernecks have played 26 times with Youngstown State winning 15 times. YSU has won three straight and five of six at home against WIU.
Back-to-back indoor games greet the Penguins in the first two Saturday’s of November. Youngstown State ties to snap its 10-game slide to UNI on Nov. 5. YSU last won at the UNI Dome in 1999 and last won a game in the series back in 2000. It will be the 26th contest in a series that started as recently as 1978.
The final road game of the regular season is at North Dakota State on Nov. 12. YSU won 38-34 at the Fargo Dome in 2009 although the Bison won in Youngstown last year. The Penguins have won three of the five all-time meetings.
The home regular-season finale is set for Nov. 19 versus Missouri State. The Penguins lead the all-time series 11-4, however the Bears have won the last two meetings. At Stambaugh Stadium, YSU has won six of seven contests.
The FCS playoffs are set to begin on Nov. 26 with first-round action. The date for the National Championship Game has yet to be announced by the NCAA.
Also, the addition of South Dakota to the conference in 2012 gives the league 10 teams and future conference schedules will be released soon. School’s will still play eight league games, leaving one MVFC team off each other’s schedules every year.
All regular-season and possible playoff games will be carried live on 570 WKBN, the radio home of the Penguins. Times will be announced for both home and away games in the near future.
By Youngstown State University Sports Information