Sept. 21, 2006
The University of Dayton Flyer football team plays its final non-conference game of the season Saturday when Austin Peay visits Welcome Stadium. Game time at the home of the Flyers is 1:00 p.m. EDT. APSU played the last five seasons in the Pioneer Football League, but is in its first year of transitioning back to the Ohio Valley Conference by beginning to give scholarships to this season's recruiting class.
Dayton comes to the game well-rested after having an open date on the schedule last week. The Flyers are 2-0 after beating Robert Morris 21-14 at home and Wittenberg 35-28 on the road. Austin Peay is 1-2, with a win over Cumberland University sandwiched in between losses to Southeast Missouri and Samford. In their last game on September 14, the Governors lost 17-10 at Samford.
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 6-1. After dropping the first meeting 21-17 in 2001, UD has reeled of six straight wins in the series including last year's 46-0 win in Dayton on September 17. It was the second straight season the Flyers shut out the Govs.
MAKING HISTORY The 2006 campaign is UD coach Mike Kelly's 26th season as Dayton's head coach, the longest tenure of any UD head coach in any sport.
NO ONE'S DOING IT BETTER Since 2000, UD has the best winning percentage in I-AA football (.838, 57-11) AND has produced the most football Academic All-Americans at any level of competition (12).
UP NEXT Dayton opens Pioneer Football League play next Saturday, September 30 at Butler. Game time is 1:00 p.m. EDT. The Flyers' next home game is Saturday, October 7 against Morehead State, also at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
FOR TICKET INFORMATION Contact the UD Ticket Office at 937-229-4433. Football prices are $10 (adults), $5 (youth) and group rates are available. UD students are admitted free with ID.
SELECT COMPANY The University of Dayton was one of six football teams who finished the 2005 season with only one loss. The other teams were Brown, Grambling, Hampton, New Hampshire and San Diego.
KELLY'S HEROES The 2005 Dayton Flyers were just the 18th team in UD history to finish a season with no more than one loss. It is worth noting that 12 of those 18 one-loss-or-better UD teams were also coached by current Dayton head coach Mike Kelly.
DAYTON D UD finished third in NCAA I-AA in scoring defense in 2005, allowing 14.1 points a game. It was the sixth straight year Dayton was ranked in the top ten in points allowed.
KEEPING IT GOING UD has had 29 straight winning seasons, which is the best active streak among NCAA Division I teams. Florida State has also played 29 straight winning seasons. Over the last ten years, UD has averaged 8.6 wins a season. The Flyers have won outright or shared the Pioneer Football League Championship eight times in the 13-year history of the league.
STREAKING UD has not been shut out in 332 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall, 9-0, on October 16, 1976.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY Dayton has just two captains for the first time in ten years, but there's no question they are the two best football players on the team. John Hoppe, a preseason All-American, and Kevin Hoyng, the 2005 White-Allen Flyer Football MVP, will serve as captains this year. Hoppe is only the second two-time captain in school history.
TOTALLY Quarterback Kevin Hoyng set the Dayton single-season record for total offense in a season in 2005 (his first year as a starter). He gained 2,547 yards in ten games, breaking Steve Keller's record of 2,460 yards in 14 games in 1991. Hoyng's 3,903 career yards in total offense is fourth at UD. He needs 72 yards to reach Steve Keller and third on the list. Hoyng is also 349 yards away from Kevin Johns and second place. Kelly Spiker is the Flyer record holder with 5,138 yards.
HOYNG REPORT Kevin Hoyng has accounted for more than half of UD's offense this season. He is averaging 265.0 yards a game in total offense, while the team is averaging 407.0. Hoyng is third in the PFL in total offense per game. Through the air, he is 33 of 48 (.688) for 450 yards and two touchdowns. At Wittenberg, he was 20 of 26 passing for 288 yards. In the Robert Morris win, he completed 13 of 22 passes for 162 yards. In the second half this season, Hoyng is 14 for 17 (.824) for 178 yards.
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE Starting receivers Nick Ruhe, Matt Champa and Carlton McFadgen have all caught nine passes so far this season. Split end Ruhe averages 17.3 yards a catch with a TD. Flanker McFadgen averages 17.0 yards a catch (he had six for 118 yards at Wittenberg). Tight end Champa averages 9.6 yards per and has a TD. McFadgen also has also run the ball three times for 50 yards (16.7 average) and had a 21-yard rushing touchdown. Ruhe is third in the league in receiving yardage a game (78.0) and McFadgen is fourth (76.5).
MANY HAPPY RETURNS Senior wideout Nick Ruhe is also UD's top punt returner. His 10.3 average is third in the PFL. He was all-league as a punt returner in 2005.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE NAME, AND BEING A LEADER Senior linebacker Brian Kelly (no relation) leads the PFL in tackles per game (11.0). He had 14 hits (seven solo, two in the backfield) at Wittenberg.
ON THE HOP Senior John Hoppe has moved from linebacker to "nickel" for the 2006 season, and early returns appear to be business as ususal. Hoppe had nine hits, a forced fumble and pass deflected against RMU, and had eight hits (one in the backfield) and a blocked punt at Wittenberg. He is third in the PFL in tackles per game (8.5).
INVENTING THE WEALE Linebacker Pat Weale led the Flyers with ten tackles and a fumble recovery in the RMU win.
SCRAMBLE THE INTERCEPTORS Defensive end David Walbright pulled in the first pass of his career in the RMU win, and returned it 23 yards. Backup nickel Steve McDonald sealed UD's win with an interception with 49 seconds left. At Wittenberg, cornerback Casey Klaus intercepted a pass in the first half, and safety Brandon Cramer clinched that win with a pick on the game's last play.
HAN OR NAPOLEON? Cornerback Casey Klaus led UD with six solo tackles against Robert Morris, and also broke up two passes.
PFL ALSO STANDS FOR PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS Cornerback Casey Klaus is the active PFL leader in career interceptions (8), passes defended (28), interception yardage (197), interceptions returned for a TD (2) and yardage per interception return (24.6). Nickel John Hope leads in career fumbles forced (4). Safety Brandon Cramer leads in fumble return yardage (165) and fumbles returned for a touchdown (2). Quarterback Kevin Hoyng leads in yards per completion (16.3) and yards per pass attempt (9.6). Nick Ruhe leads in punt returns (43). Josh Heyne leads in kickoffs (127).
GAINING GROUND BY COMMITTEE UD has four players who have gained at least 50 yards this season. Tailback Brandon Godsey has 115 yards on 27 carries (4.3) to lead the team. Quarterback Kevin Hoyng is next with 80 yards, followed by fullback Matt Marshall (58 yards) and flanker Carlton McFadgen (50).
GODSEY TO THE GOAL LINE Tailback Brandon Godsey leads the Flyers in scoring (20) points. No other player has more than six.
NET-NET Dayton punter Derek Hall is only averaging 29.5 yards a punt, but some of that is due to where he has been punting from. Of his eight punts, two have been downed inside the 20, and two more have been fair caught. Flyer foes are only averaging 1.5 yards per punt return.
COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH With the outcomes hanging in the balance in both of Dayton's first two games, the Dayton offense came through when it counted. In the fourth quarter this season, UD has converted six of nine third downs, the only fourth down the Flyers tried and own an almost 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession (9:31 to 5:28).
TOPS IN I-AA NON-SCHOLARSHIP In the 13 years I-AA Non-Scholarship has been an option, UD has the best winning percentage (.815, 123-28) of the 21 schools playing at this level. Duquesne's .746 (106-36) is second, followed by Drake (.665, 94-47-1), Robert Morris (.614, 75-47-1) and Albany (.580, 76-55).
FLYER FOOTBALL'S GOLDEN ERA It might seem a reach to say that the present state of Flyer football should be referred as its "Golden Era," but it's also hard to argue with the numbers. Since going to non-scholarship football in 1977, Dayton is 271-54-3, the most successful period in school history. In fact, UD's .831 winning percentage during that time is second in all of college football, behind only Mt. Union's .853.
BEST OF THE DECADE UD has the best winning percentage in I-AA since the new century began (maybe we should have hyped this note as "Best of the Century"). UD's .836 percentage (56-11) leads Penn (.800, 48-12), Montana (.793, 69-18), Duquesne (.779, 53-15), and Grambling (.770, 57-17) and Lehigh (.770, 57-17).
PFL POWER The Flyers' 48-8 PFL record is the best in the 13-year history of the league. UD's eight league championships equal those won by the rest of the PFL combined.
PFL NUMBERS UD leads the Pioneer Football League in punt returns (14.8), opponent first downs (35), opponent fourth-down conversions (0) and kickoff coverage (41.6), and is third in scoring offense (28.0), passing offense (225.0), total offense (407.0) and sacks allowed (4). Brian Kelly leads the PFL in tackles per game (11.0) and Casey Klaus leads in passes defended (2.0). Klaus, David Walbright and Steve McDonald are all tied for third in interceptions (0.5). Hoppe is tied for third in fumbles forced (0.5). Chance Walton is tied for third in fumbles recovered (0.5) and is second among PFL defensive backs in tackles (6.5). Kevin Hoyng is third in the league in total offense (265.0, which is also seventh in NCAA I-AA), passing yards (225.0) and passing efficiency (157.1). Nick Ruhe is third in punt returns (10.2).
WELCOME MAT The UD Flyers moved to Welcome Stadium in 1974. The word "Welcome" implies hospitality, but Dayton has been anything but hospitable to its opponents at home. UD is 179-35-2 (.833) at home. The "Welcome" in Welcome Stadium is not a greeting, but honors the late Percival Welcome, longtime Director of Athletics for the Dayton Public Schools. UD has won 36 of its last 43 home games, and 20 of its last 21 road games (last six straight). Going into the Austin Peay game, the Flyers have a five-game winning streak.
GRAB A PAINT BRUSH The University of Dayton, Dayton Public Schools and the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority have signed a letter of agreement to work together to renovate Welcome Stadium. Thanks to the agreement, the Port Authority was able to acquire $1 million from the State of Ohio in this fiscal year. Safety improvements, painting and new seating occurred in the program's first phase, with a new FieldTurf playing surface and a new press box to follow.
RANKING RUN UD is ranked #4 in the latest Sports Network poll and #6 in the Football Gazette ranking. Dayton finished the 2005 season ranked #2 in both the Sports Network and Football Gazette NCAA I-AA Mid-Major rankings. UD spent six straight weeks earlier during the 2005 season at #1. The Flyers have been ranked first in the Sports Network poll at least once in every year since the poll began in 2001. UD has been ranked either first or second in the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major poll for 60 of a possible 72 weeks the Sports Network poll has been in existence (including #1 32 times).
CAN'T SPELL DAYTON WITHOUT THE D UD finished the 2006 season ranked fifth in NCAA Division I-AA in scoring defense (14.1 points a game). It was the sixth straight season the Flyers have been ranked in the top ten of scoring defense. Dayton was also ranked in scoring offense (3rd, 40.30), total offense (4th, 470.70), rushing offense (6th, 259.40) and passing efficiency (8th, 163.13).
GOTTA PLAY SMART The University of Dayton placed a league-best 11 players on the 2005 Academic All-Pioneer Football League team. Since the league's origin in 1993, over a quarter (124 of 460) of the PFL All-Academic selections have been Dayton Flyers. UD also had 60 players on the PFL Academic Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or better). That was 26 better than the next-best school.
HITTING THE BOOKS The Dayton football program has produced 12 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americas since the 2000 season. That's most at any level of college football. Safety Brandon Cramer was named a Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America in 2005. In the history of the Academic All-America program, UD has had 44 football Academic All-Americans. Among schools currently playing Division I football, only Nebraska (80) and Notre Dame (45) have had more. UD has had at least one football player named Academic All-American in 14 of the last 15 years. UD had five players named to the 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team, the most of any school in the district for the fifth straight year. Twelve Flyers were nominated for Academic All-America in each of the last three years (2003, 2004 and 2005).
ARTHUR ASHE SCHOLAR Fullback Matt Marshall was one of three Arthur Ashe Scholars in 2005-06, the most in UD history.
THE CREAM DOES RISE TO THE TOP UD's 2006 roster includes a number of what some might call "over-achievers." Forty-three current Flyers were in the National Honor Society, and 100 were team captains in some sport. Twenty-four captained two different teams, and 13 were three-sport captains.
SUPER STAT When Jon Gruden coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl championship in 2003, he became the second UD grad to coach a Super Bowl winner. Former UD co-captain and 1993 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls (IX, X, XII, & XIV) as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Noll started at center and linebacker for the Flyers and graduated from the University in 1953. Gruden played quarterback at Dayton and earned his degree in 1986. UD became only the third school to have two alumni coach Super Bowl winners. The others San Jose State, with grads Bill Walsh (XIV, XIX, XXIII) and Dick Vermeil (XXXIV), and Arkansas with grads Jimmy Johnson (XXVII, XXVIII) and Barry Switzer (XXX). Gruden is the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl, and Noll is the fourth youngest. As a matter of fact, UD has ties to 18 Super Bowl rings. In addition to Noll's four and Gruden's one, five former members of Dayton coaching staff own a total of 13 Super Bowl rings between them. They are the late Len Fontes (New York Giants, Super Bowl XXI), Jon's father Jim Gruden (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowls XXII & XXIV), John McVay (49ers, XVI, XIX, XXII, & XXIV), Tom Moore (Pittsburgh Steelers, XIII & XIV) and George Perles (Steelers, IX, X, XII & XIV). McVay was the Flyers' head coach from 1965-72. The other four were assistants.
GAME #2 -- DAYTON 35, WITTENBERG 28 Brandon Godsey's fourth-quarter two-yard run proved to be the game-winner as Dayton downed Wittenberg on the road on September 9. After holding Wittenberg on downs to open the game, UD drove into Wittenberg territory, only to lose a fumble after a long pass. The Dayton defense held again, and the Flyers opened the scoring when John Hoppe blocked a punt and Chance Walton broke two tackles and returned it 32 yards for a score. Two plays later, Wittenberg quarterback Aaron Huffman broke free for a 69-yard TD run to tie the game 7-7. UD answered with an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ended with it regaining the lead when Godsey took it in from 18 yards out. The Flyers kept the 14-7 advantage as the second quarter began, and after a Brandon Cramer interception, UD looked to add to its lead with another drive deep into Tiger territory. But another fumble after a catch gave the ball back to Wittenberg on its own 11-yard line. That gave new life to Wittenberg, and the Tigers went 89 yards in 15 plays to tie the score 14-all when Huffman hit Ryan McCoart on a 12-yard scoring pass. Dayton responded just before halftime by getting the ball with 1:25 left in the second quarter and going 83 yards in eight plays. UD finished the drive when quarterback Kevin Hoyng looked the defenders left and then came back to hit tight end Matt Champa all alone in the right corner of the end zone. In the drive, Hoyng accounted for all the yardage. He was five of seven passing for 79 yards, and stopped the clock with a four-yard scramble on the third play of the possession. The Flyers took the second half kickoff and made the score 28-14 after Hoyng's 35-yard TD pass to Nick Ruhe in the back of the end zone capped a five-play, 70-yard drive. But the after an exchange of punts, the resilient Tigers pulled even within their next two possessions on runs of 51 and 6 yards by Tristan Murray, who finished with 104 yards on 24 carries. After Murray's second touchdown run, the Flyers (2-0) took the kickoff and drove 69 yards in eight plays. Carlton McFadgen had a 27-yard rush and Kevin Hoyng completed a 16-yard pass to Nick Ruhe during the drive, which ended with Godsey's second score of the day. The Tigers never threatened again. They had to punt on their next possession and UD kept the ball for the next 5:53, keeping the ball by converting three third-down conversions. After a Dayton pooch punt that rolled until there was less than a second left, Huffman's long pass down the middle was intercepted by Casey Klaus. Hoyng completed 20-of-26 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns without an interception and also ran for 59 yards on 11 carries. He spread his completions among six receivers. Carlton McFadgen led with six catches for 118 yards, followed closely by Champa (five for 44) and Ruhe (four for 79). Godsey led UD in rushing, gaining 69 yards on 14 rushes. Linebacker Brian Kelly led the Dayton defense with 14 tackles, including seven solo and two in the backfield. Walton added 12 from his cornerback position. Dayton gained 509 yards in total offense, and averaged 7.5 yards per play. Dayton never trailed in the game, and extended the nation's longest games-without-being-shutout streak to 332 games.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK vs. WITTENBERG OFFENSE-Kevin Hoyng, Junior QB from Coldwater, OH DEFENSE--Chance Walton, Senior CB from Hilliard, OH SPECIAL TEAMS--John Hoppe, Senior Nickel from Northbrook, IL SCOUT-Will Brady, Junior TE from Bloomington, IL SCOUT-Isiah Morgan, Sophomore DB from Indianapolis, IN