Youngstown State Gets Demolished by the Defending National Champions

No. 1 South Dakota State flexed their muscles on No. 22 Youngstown State 34-0 in what was a good old fashioned butt kicking.

Youngstown State defender attempts to tackle a South Dakota State offensive player
Source: Youngstown State Athletics - Robert Hayes

Youngstown, OH. — YSU studied SDSU on film all week and tried to formulate a game plan that would be successful against SDSU, but nothing would come into fruition Saturday as SDSU literally waddled all over the Penguins 34-0.

“They kicked our butts in every phase, it starts with coaching you know and always take that one hard, if you want to point fingers you can point them at me,” said Doug Phillips in his postgame presser.

YSU falls to 6-4 on the year and 4-3 in MVFC play while SDSU improves to 10-0 and 7-0 in MVFC play. Additionally, SDSU extends its win streak to 24 and is looking to add to that next week vs Missouri State. YSU goes back to the drawing board and needs some things to go their way in order to make the FCS playoffs.

SDSU’s first possession ran close to eight minutes off the clock, but YSU’s defense didn’t break and found a way to hold the Jackrabbits to a field goal. That would be the only points in the first quarter, 3-0 SDSU entering the second quarter.

The Jacks continued to shutdown YSU’s offense in the second quarter and it was only a matter of time until SDSU found the endzone. With 8:29 remaining in the second quarter, Gronowski threw a touchdown pass to Griffin Wilde which made the score 10-0.

Following the touchdown, Mitch Davidson’s pass was intercepted by Tucker Large to put the Jacks in excellent field position. SDSU’s offense capitalized when Gronoswki connected with Jadon Janke to make the score 17-0, 6:07 remaining before the break.

YSU’s offense appeared to have something brewing when they drove into SDSU territory and was in a great position to score, but Andrew Lastovka’s field goal attempt was blocked with 44 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Jackrabbits took advantage of the block and increased their lead to 20 before the half.

On the first play in the third quarter, Gronowski found Janke for a 56-yard touchdown to produce a 27-0 lead.

SDSU continued to dominate YSU’s offense and would hold the Penguins to 160 yards through the air and 47 yards on the ground. Numbers much more important than any stat is the scoreboard; the Jackrabbits didn’t let YSU score at all.

SDSU finished off this butt kicking by handing it off to Davis for a one-yard touchdown run, 34-0 final.

Mark Gronowski feasted on YSU’s secondary, going 19/28 for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jadon Janke stole the show in the WR room: 7 receptions for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Davis punished YSU’s front seven, carrying the ball 19 times which was good for 130 yards and a touchdown.

YSU moves on and will face Murray State in the season finale. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m.

Notes — YSU is now in the same position they were in last year and their team motto of “Leave No Doubt,” was not fulfilled throughout the duration of the regular season. This was a disappointing result and it speaks volumes to how far SDSU has come as a program. Every aspect of the game was dominated by SDSU and this result is honestly something that should’ve been expected heading into this anticipated matchup. There is nothing to say from the perspective of a YSU fan that is positive and beneficial to the current team. SDSU knows how to win games and it takes a long time to build a program up from nothing. YSU fans need to be patient with Doug Phillips and trust the plan that he has laid out for this program. I know getting beat down like that sucks and the game should’ve been closer, but it’s time consuming to earn the number 1 spot. YSU getting a playoff bid would aid the program and the direction it’s heading. Doug Phillips mentioned all week about how those extra playoff games help you grow. Hopefully, a couple games will lean in YSU’s favor and they get an opportunity to play playoff football!