WELCOME BACK: Senior captain Jelani Berassa made his first catch since Nov. 19, 2011, when he made seven grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown. Berassa was one of the Penguins top wide receivers before he tore his ACL prior to the 2012 season. He made 37 receptions for 552 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. His eight TDs were the most for a receiver.
Berassa, who suffered a hip injury recently that slowed his recovery, made one catch for 12 yards in limited playing time against Morehead State.
"It was good to get him in there," he said. "It's been a while since he's had some live game action, so it was good to see him actually get hit and get tackled and get his confidence up. On Monday at practice, he was running a lot better than he was prior to the first game against Dayton."
COMING INTO HIS OWN: Junior linebacker Travis Williams is finally starting to understand how to play linebacker. That may sound a little odd, but the Miami Hurricane transfer who was ranked the No. 15 linebacker coming out of high school has worked hard to shake his old habits.
He was mainly used as a pass rusher during his high school years, and he played in coverage and came off the edge as a rusher in his first two with the Penguins, so staying in a linebacker stance (with his knees bent and shoulders square to the line of scrimmage) is something that doesn't come natural to the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Williams. Now that he's also used to help stop the run game, he must adapt to other changes.
"I'm getting the hang of it," said Williams, who leads YSU in tackles (12), tackles for loss (2.5) and is tied in sacks (1) and quarterback hurries (2). "I'm playing with my knees bent a lot more and with more flexibility. This year I'm seeing the play before it happens and just shooting to the ball."
BIG GAIN: The record-setting performance of the offense, which accumulated 718 total yards, broke the mark of 657 set in a 2011 game against Valparaiso. In that 77-13 victory over Valpo, the Penguins scored the most points in team history.
GETTIN' LOOSE: There were a number of players who enjoyed big days against Morehead State, but running back Jody Webb may have been the most impressive. The redshirt freshman from Toledo Whitmer High School transferred from the University of Toledo before the season and showed off a vast array of skills against the Eagles, rushing for a team-high 122 yards and three touchdowns. His last TD was of the jaw-dropping variety as the 5-9, 170-pound Webb juked out two defenders in the open field and ran past two others on his way to a 34-yard touchdown.
"Sometimes you don't even have to block for him," Wolford said of Webb. "We like guys like that. He's a pretty special guy, too."
Fellow freshman Martin Ruiz also impressed, running for 117 yards on just six carries (a 19.5 average). He scored twice.