For the first time since 2013, the Youngstown State Penguins under head coach Doug Phillips would head to East Lansing and Spartan Stadium to take on the Michigan State Spartans and head coach Mel Tucker.
The first meeting between the two was back in 2011 with familiar faces in Kirk Cousins and Le’Veon Bell beating Kurt Hess and the Penguins 28-6.
In 2013, Michigan State came on top again with a 55-17 victory where Connor Cook threw for four touchdowns and the rushing game by Nick Hill with over 80-yards and a touchdown.
YSU Falls To Michigan State 42-14
Both teams came into the game with a win in week one of college football, and the FCS was looking to upset the FBS again. Youngstown State has never beaten a power of five opponents in the FBS and competing against the Spartans would get the eyes of NFL Scouts.
We’ve seen it already, so there could be a possibility for it to happen here. The Penguins would have to use all their might, especially on the receiving end as wideout Kentucky Transfer Bryce Oliver missed the trip due to COVID concerns. Unfortunately for the Penguins, the first half didn’t go exactly their way.
On Michigan State’s first drive, the Spartans ran a flea flicker from Kenneth Walker III back to Payton Thorne who found Jayden Reed for a 75-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage.
After the Penguins stalled on their first offensive possession, the Spartans came right back with Payton Thorne on the quarterback option taking it in 10-yards outputting the Spartans up by 14.
After a slow start on offense. Youngstown State got the ball rolling a bit after the Penguin’s defense blocked a punt. Christian Turner got the ball in his hand and turned it up taking it to the 16. That drive didn’t last long as quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw’s pass was picked in the endzone, one-handed at the beginning of the second.
The second quarter was once again the Michigan State show with Thorne again finding Reed for an 85-yard touchdown. Thorne went back to the air later, this time going to Elijah Collins for a 20-yard touchdown making it 28-0.
After scoring 28 points, however, it started to slow down for the Spartans. YSU got the momentum rolling with little yardage from Jaleel McLaughlin which then led to a Crenshaw six-yard touchdown run cutting it down to a 21 point lead.
At this point, the Youngstown State defense stepped up stopping the Spartans on a few possessions.
Being down 35-7 in the third, the Penguins looked like that they may have had a comeback in them as Turner, one of the last players from the 2017 team bounced it out to the left side and went 26-yards making it 35-14.
Michigan State scored once more in the third quarter when Thorne found Jalen Nailor 16 yards out.
Both the Spartans and the Penguins would send in their backups on both sides of the ball. Michigan State brought in backup Anthony Russo into the game along with Walker III and Donovan Eaglin.
On Youngstown State’s side of the offense, Joe Craycraft came in on his 23rd birthday to give the Penguins a decent drive down the field with both London Pearson and Austintown Fitch Graduate Randy Smith in the backfield getting touches.
The drive stalled with the last play being an incompletion with Michigan State, going three and 0 in the All-Time series against the Penguins with the final score of 42-14.
Michigan State Stats
Payton Thorne: 15/21 280 yards and 4 touchdowns; three rushes for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Anthony Russo: 5/7 for 43 yards. 0 touchdowns 0 interceptions
Jordan Simmons: 16 carries for 121 yards
Kenneth Walker III: seven rushing attempts for 57 yards and one touchdown.
Donovan Eaglin: six carries for 33 yards
Elijah Collins: three rushes for 32 yards; one reception for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Receiving stats for MSU
Jayden Reed: four receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
Jalen Nailor: four receptions for 39 yards
YOUNGSTOWN STATE STATS
Demeatric Crenshaw: 10-23, 81 yards, and one interception. Rushed for 69 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Joe Craycraft: 6-9 for 56 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.
Jaleel McLaughlin: 13 carries for 34 yards; one reception for 30 yards
Christian Turner: five carries for 48 yards and one touchdown.
London Pearson: seven carries for 12 yards.
Luke Hensley: four receptions for 35 yards
C.J. Charleston: three receptions for 18 yards
Andrew Olgetree: two receptions for 13 yards.
Tre Radford: one reception for 12 yards.
Randy Smith: one reception for six yards.
Samuel St. Surin: one reception for six yards.
Youngstown State (1-1) has a bye week and will return to action on September 25th at noon where they host the Western Illinois Leathernecks (0-2). The game will be televised on ESPN PLUS or Listen Live on 570WKBN.
Michigan State (2-0) takes on the Miami Hurricanes (1-1) who, just like the cat at the stadium, survived against Appalachian State (1-1). The game will be televised at noon on ABC.