For the last few games, at least, there's a marked imbalance in the performance by our local champions. The defense has performed very well while the offense has been sub par. There were signs of that trend beginning to end last Saturday and more positive progress on Saturday.
They started fast and closed out the game. Only the most irrational of fans would be unsatisfied with the outcome.
On the second and third possessions of the game for YSU the defense managed turnovers. First a fumble recovery then an interception. That provided the opportunity for a 17 - 0 lead. The rest of the half was mostly uneventful, save for a bad interception by Stick.
Given a 17 point advantage the defense could play as fast and as free as it wanted. They gave up enough yardage on one drive for a field goal to be completed, but should hardly be a source for criticism.
Give up field goals...or one and get touchdowns on offense. That's a recipe any team should be pleased about.
The asterisk being that Youngstown's offense has struggled against the other top teams in the conference. Only managing a field goal is well below their low trend. Even with the injuries to a second potential all - American, the defense continues to peak. If the offense can just repeat what it did on Saturday or even what it managed to do the week before against UNI, since the scoreboard showed the same number at the end of each game, then things should continue to go well.
I like the style points that come with winning in the first quarter. Getting take aways and cashing in on the extra possessions. Winning games in a winning way. Two more games til the playoffs. Two more chances to lock up a top seed in the playoffs. The most crucial game to obtaining it may be the one between Northern Iowa & South Dakota State. NDSU needs to finish strong though. Indiana State & South Dakota may end up being the two easiest games of the year but there are no gimme's.
They'll have two more games for the replacements and all the youngsters to show what they've got before the latest playoff push begins. Getting back to the main point, NDSU again showed that it's a top team in the division. Again showed that the talent and the coaching amongst the best in the country. Against a top defense they scored 24 and against an inconsistent offense they allowed only three. All in all, another great win for the home team!