Football takes on Youngstown State University Penguins

Christopher Bean, Assistant Sports Editor

Western Illinois’s football team travels to Youngstown this weekend to take on the Youngstown State University Penguins (4-3, 0-3). The Leathernecks are also winless in the Missouri Valley Conference; however, they are still looking for their first win on the year and come into this weekend at 0-7 overall.

The key to Western’s season and the biggest reason as to why they don’t have a win up to this point is inconsistency and mistakes. Last week, the Purple and Gold turned the ball over five times against Illinois State: including one fumble on the opening drive, two muffed punts and two interceptions (one of those coming on the opponents two-yard line). They also had four more penalties and 23 more penalty yards than ISU. However, their were positives for Western. The Leathernecks did outgained the Redbirds by 96-yards, and also held James Robinson to 68 yards, who is argubly the best running back in the country. Head coach Jared Elliot is proud of his team but understands that the only thing that matters is winning.

“They have an undeniable will to win even though we haven’t. Our guys understand there are no moral victories. We expected to win that game,” Elliot said.

Since Youngstown State opened the year off at 4-0 and ranked as high as 17th in the FCS, they have struggled in the Missouri Valley losing all three of their games. Including last weeks 35-10 loss to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“I’m extremely proud of this team, and I’d take these guys into battle anywhere. As hurtful as it is right now, with where we are, it’s a breath of fresh air to be around a bunch of guys that care about each other as much as they do.” Elliot said.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday.