CEDAR FALLS – In the spring, Northern Iowa shutout Youngstown State for a 21-0 victory in Youngstown, Ohio.
It was the first games for Penguin head coach Doug Phillips and his staff.
In the months since UNI and YSU faced, the Penguins have made a few changes.
The biggest change has come at quarterback where Demeatric Crenshaw, a redshirt freshman has taken over for senior Joe Craycraft. Craycraft started three games last spring, including the one against the Panthers.
“It is interesting to see how they developed last year, the coaches’ first year in Covid versus what they’ve become this year,” UNI head coach Mark Farley said. “The young quarterback is the difference as far as putting up points for them.”
YSU is 1-2 opening with a win over Incarnate Word before losing to Michigan State in week two. Last week, the Penguins jumped out to a 35-14 halftime lead only to be outscored 24-0 by Western Illinois in the second half.
Crenshaw has been a spark for the team. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound signal caller has rushed 58 times for 285 yards and five scores, while he has completed 32 of 57 passes for 269 yards.
Crenshaw compliments running back Jaleel McLaughlin who is averaging 137.3 yards per game on the ground.
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“They have been putting up some serious points on everybody,” Farley said. “Offensively, as you read the numbers the quarterback and tailback are doing an outstanding job of putting up big numbers in the rushing game.”
Defensively, YSU has struggled allowing 40.3 points per game. Opponents have averaged 495 yards a game against them, including 334.3 through the air.
“Defensively they are very fast,” Farley said. “They will challenge your and can run with you. They are aggressive with their play and secondary will challenge you in coverage.”
KABOOM, OH BABY!: After 29 years of calling UNI football, men’s basketball and baseball, long-time play-by-play radio man Gary Rima announced his retirement Thursday following the 2021-21 men’s basketball season.
“As the voice of the Panthers for nearly 30 years, Gary is synonymous with some of the greatest highlights in UNI Panther history,” said Director of Athletics David Harris. “His excitement and energy for our coaches and student-athletes is clear and game days won’t be the same without him on the air.”
In a statement from Rima said, “I have had the opportunity to broadcast some of the biggest games in UNI sports history. The 2005 UNI football national championship game vs Appalachian State, the 2010 UNI men’s basketball win over Kansas, and UNI baseball’s only appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament. UNI athletics has also taken me to arenas, stadiums, cities, states, and countries I never thought I’d see and I am grateful for all of that.”