Youngstown State 2016 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Youngstown State Penguins
Missouri Valley
Youngstown State had to deal with an extremely tough schedule, but they managed to fight through it and come out with a good enough record to make the playoffs. Coach Bo Pelini has quickly turned the Penguins into a consistent contender and it will be interesting to see how they can perform now that they are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
2016 Record: 8-3, 6-2
Coach: Bo Pelini
Big Wins: 9/1 Duquesne (45-10), 10/8 at Illinois State (20-6)
Bad Losses: 10/22 at South Dakota State (10-24), 11/5 at North Dakota State (3-24)
YSU is built around a tough defensive line. Derek Rivers is an absolute beast at the defensive end position. While the opposition concentrates on stopping Rivers, fellow senior end Avery Moss has had a huge year too. Those two are the main reason why nobody in the FCS tallies more sacks than the Penguins. The pass defense has taken a small step back this season, allowing 184.1 yards per game through the air compared to just 116.7 last season. However, the unit is very experienced and will not give up too many big plays. 
As long as Youngstown State can stay in the lead, it is very tough for the opposition to get it back. The Penguins grind out wins with their stellar defense and the Missouri Valley’s best rushing attack. Running back Martin Ruiz is the main rusher, but Jody Webb and touchdown vulture Tevin McCaster have been very productive as well. The problem is when YSU falls behind and they have to go to the air. They lack a big time playmaker at wide receiver and three quarterbacks have seen significant playing time this year. Hunter Wells is the player who will have to lead this team into the playoffs, but do not expect the Penguins to be able to come back from a large deficit when there is no consistency in the passing game.
Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Martin Ruiz, RB, 1,008 yards
Passing: Ricky Davis, QB, 864 yards
Receiving: Darien Townsend, WR, 331 yards
Tackles: Armand Dellovade, LB, 74
Sacks: Avery Moss, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: LeRoy Alexander, S, 3
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 229.4 (12th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 156.3 (107, 10)
Total Offense: 385.7 (52, 6)
Scoring Offense: 21.5 (94, 10)
Rushing Defense: 112.5 (16, 2)
Pass Defense: 184.1 (26, 2)
Total Defense: 296.6 (8, 1)
Scoring Defense: 16.2 (5, 1)
Turnover Margin: -0.40 (80, 8)
Sacks: 3.70 (1, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.90 (59, 5)
Recent Playoff Appearances:
2006    First Round     Defeated James Madison
2006    Quarterfinals   Defeated Illinois State
2006    Semifinals       Lost to Appalachian State
2000    First Round     Lost to Richmond
1999    First Round     Defeated Montana
1999    Quarterfinals   Defeated North Carolina A&T
1999    Semifinals       Defeated Florida A&M
1999    Championship Lost to Georgia Southern
1997    First Round     Defeated Hampton
1997    Quarterfinals   Defeated Villanova
1997    Semifinals       Defeated Eastern Washington
1997    Championship Defeated McNeese State
1994    First Round     Defeated Alcorn State
1994    Quarterfinals   Defeated Eastern Kentucky
1994    Semifinals       Defeated Montana
1994    Championship Defeated Boise State
1993    First Round     Defeated UCF
1993    Quarterfinals   Defeated Georgia Southern
1993    Semifinals       Defeated Idaho
1993    Championship Defeated Marshall
1992    First Round     Defeated Villanova
1992    Quarterfinals   Defeated Citadel
1992    Semifinals       Defeated Northern Iowa
1992    Championship Lost to Marshall
1991    First Round     Defeated Villanova
1991    Quarterfinals   Defeated Nevada
1991    Semifinals       Defeated Samford
1991    Championship Defeated Marshall
1990    First Round     Lost to UCF
1989    First Round     Defeated Eastern Kentucky
1989    Quarterfinals   Lost to Furman
1987    First Round     Lost to Northern Iowa
*all team stats through 11/12