By Brian Yauger
The Youngstown State University football program was selected to participate in the 2019 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff, the first game of the 2019 FCS season.
The Penguins are scheduled to take on the Samford University Bulldogs. Samford recently took the Florida State University Seminoles to the brink, with the Seminoles escaping with a 36-26 win.
“Taking part in the 2019 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff is a special honor and something we are looking forward to next fall,” Youngstown State Athletic Director Ron Strollo said. “Everyone throughout the country watches the opening game of the season, and it will be fun for our program to take center stage nationally along with Samford.”
For the third straight season, the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. will host the FCS Kickoff. It currently hosts the FCS Camellia Bowl and the Faulkner University Eagles, a school that’s a part of the NAIA.
The game will be broadcast on a to be determined ESPN network, giving the YSU program national exposure. Along with that, it is a recruiting boost.
“Our football program is excited to take part in the 2019 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff,” YSU Head Coach Bo Pelini said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase Youngstown State football on a national stage, and we look forward to playing Samford in our 2019 opener at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.”
Being selected for the FCS Kickoff is an honor for both teams. Every team that had participated has been a nationally-ranked team, and both teams involved are typically playoff contenders.
The two teams have met four previous times, twice in the regular season and twice in the postseason. This is the first meeting between the two teams that will not be in Youngstown. Samford and YSU have previously met in 1991, 1993, 2002 and 2016. YSU is 4-0 in those matchups.
They had a 10-0 victory on Dec. 14, 1991 in the FCS Semifinals, a 24-7 win on Oct. 23, 1993, a 37-29 win on Nov. 23, 2002 and most recently, a 38-24 win on Nov. 26, 2016 in the first round of the playoffs.
The date of the game has yet to officially be set, but will likely be around the first week of the fall semester. FBSchedules.com reports that the game will take place Aug. 24.
YSU still has four open slots on their schedule for the 2019 season.