NCAA FB

Confident Youngstown St stuns Pittburgh 31-17

Share This Story

   
 

PITTSBURGH (AP)

Eric Wolford's rebuilding project at Youngstown State is guided by 16 fundamentals the Football Championship Series program needs to follow if it wants to return to its former glory.

Among them: expect to win.

Don't worry coach, the Penguins appear to have that one down pat.

Kurt Hess passed for 154 yards and two touchdowns, Andre Stubbs caught one score and ran for another and the Penguins stunned Pittsburgh 31-17 on Saturday night for their first ever victory against a Bowl Championship Series program.

''In our locker room we believed we could do it,'' Hess said. ''We believe in each other. It's easily the biggest win of our careers.''

This wasn't a last-second stunner. The Penguins never trailed, controlling the ball and the tempo with a spread offense that kept the Panthers off balance during a soggy night at Heinz Field.

Youngstown State converted 11 of 16 third downs, never turned it over and held the ball for more than 35 minutes.

''It was a great gameplan,'' Hess said.

One that frustrated the Panthers from the start.

Though first-year coach Paul Chryst was brought in to provide the kind of eye-popping numbers he helped produce while calling plays at Wisconsin, he was concerned about a defense that featured seven new starters.

Pitt certainly looked inexperienced while dealing with Youngstown State's tricky offense. One play the Penguins would line up with five wide receivers, the next Hess would hand it off to tailbacks Jamaine Cook or Andrew Stubbs, or keep it himself.

''Youngstown State's offense did a good job of staying ahead of us,'' Chryst said. ''They executed well. They've got a good football team and they played that way. They beat us tonight.''

The Panthers could never seem to make a big play when they needed one. Four of Youngstown State's five scoring drives lasted at least 10 plays.

It was the shortest one, however, that stunned the Panthers.

Leading by four points early in the second half, the Penguins faced a 4th-and-1 at the Pitt 23. Though a field goal would have put Youngstown State up a touchdown, Wolford kept the offense on the field.

The play is called ''Penguin,'' one the coaching staff devised in the middle of the week just for that specific situation. Hess took the snap and pitched the ball to Cook. Instead of bulling for the first down, however, Cook pulled up and threw a wobbly pass to a wide open Will Shaw. The tight end walked into the end zone to put Youngstown State up 21-10.

The Panthers never recovered.

Tino Sunseri threw for 239 yards and a score for Pitt, but the Panthers had no answer for the Penguins while losing to an FCS program for the first time.

''I don't want to take anything away from their victory, but that's not the real Pitt out there,'' said Panthers defensive back Andrew Taglianetti.

Pitt hired Chryst in January hoping the former Wisconsin offensive coordinator could bring a sense of calm to a program that went through three coaches in 15 months.

While the straight-talking Chryst has won over the locker room, winning his first game will take a while longer.

The Panthers certainly looked inexperienced as the Penguins put together a series of clock-chewing, game-shortening drives.

Youngstown State scored the first two times it had the ball en route to a 14-10 halftime lead, putting together scoring drives of 79 and 92 yards.

Then the Penguins got bold.

Pitt tried to answer Youngstown State's score with a gamble of its own midway through the third quarter. Only Isaac Bennett stutter-stepped and never came close on fourth-and-1 from the Penguins' 21.

''They thought they would just run on us and score whenever they wanted to,'' Youngstown State defensive lineman Aronde Stanton said. ''We came out with the mentality we were going to stop them no matter what they did, create turnovers and we did that.''

Hess responded by guiding another lengthy drive, capped by a 13-yard burst by Stubbs that gave Youngstown State a 28-10 lead

''That was a championship drive,'' Hess said.

Though the Panthers pulled within 28-17 on a 35-yard strike from Sunseri to Joshua Brinson, they would get no closer. Youngstown State added a late field goal for the final margin as the Chryst era began with a thud.

Chryst suspended six players before kickoff for disciplinary reasons, including freshman running back Rushel Shell, the leading rusher in Pennsylvania high school history.

Senior running back Ray Graham returned from a torn ACL in his right knee that cut short his 2011 season to rush for 71 yards on 14 carries, but his fumble in the first quarter cut short a Pitt drive and gave the Penguins all the spark they would need.

Tagged: Pittsburgh, Kurt Hess, Jamaine Cook, Andre Stubbs

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash