Senior Matt Dorenkott returned from an injury to see his first action at Butler.
PDF Game Notes
The University of Dayton football team will be on the road for the fourth time in six weeks Saturday when the Flyers play at Davidson. Game time is 1:00 p.m. ET.
UD, 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Pioneer Football League, is looking to turn things around and a good place to start is the fourth quarter.
The Flyers have out-gained their opponents over the last four games, but Dayton has been outscored 49-15 in the final period. The Flyers have held fourth-quarter leads in two of the losses and have scored once in four red-zone trips in the final 15 minutes.
Davidson comes into the game seeking its first win of 2012. The Wildcats are 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the PFL.
The turnaround UD is seeking will have to come without team co-captain and 2011 MVP Taylor Harris, who is out for the remainder of the season with a neck injury. Harris, a First Team All-PFL performer last year, gained 106 yards in the only game he has been healthy in this year (Robert Morris).
“Taylor is, of course, disappointed,” Dayton head coach Rick Chamberlin said. “Who wouldn’t be? And we are all disappointed for him. But it’s good that this injury was uncovered during when it was because it will not require surgery.”
The three Flyer co-captains are Harris, linebacker Colin Monnier and cornerback Matt Pfleger.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers entered the season with the second-best winning percentage (.780, 103-29) in FCS football since 2000 AND have produced the most football Academic All-Americans (22) at any level of competition in the same time frame. The top five in winning percentage are Montana (.820), Dayton (.780), Harvard (.773), Appalachian State (.745) and San Diego (.684).
UD has not been shut out in an NCAA-record 402 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out UD was Marshall, 9-0, on Oct. 16, 1976.
Dayton leads the series 9-1 and has won the last five contests. Last year in Dayton on Oct. 15, the Flyers shutout Davidson 28-0. The lone Wildcat win in the series came at Richardson Stadium on Oct. 21, 2006 by the score of 37-36.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Davidson junior quarterback Jonathan Carkhuff is one of two Wildcat QB’s to have thrown at least 1,000 passes in his career. On the year, Carkhuff has completed 109 of 186 passes (.586) for 1,045 yards and six TD’s against eight interceptions.
Five different Davidson receivers have caught at least 10 passes, led by wideout Lanny Funsten’s 19 for 240 yards (12.6). Backup running back Spencer Perry has 199 yards in four games, with 123 of it coming last week against Presbyterian.
THE MAN AT THE TOP
Head coach Rick Chamberlin guided UD to 34 wins in his first four seasons, going 9-3, 9-2, 10-1 and 6-5 last year. Dayton won a share of PFL championships in two of his first three years, and missed the third by just five points at Jacksonville in the last game of 2008.
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 329 of UD’s 629 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 35 as a head coach. He has also been a part of 422 of UD’s 1,007 games.
LONG TIME STARTERS
Thirteen Flyers own double-digit start totals. Cornerbacks Matt Pfleger and Kyle Sebetic have started 24 and 22 games, respectively. DT Zach Weber has 19, DT Phil DeBoer, OG Owen Elger, WR Branden Johnson and C Bill Petraiuolo have 16. QB Will Bardo and S Ben Welsh have 15. WR Jordan Boykin and OT Tom Corcoran have 14, LB Colin Monnier has 13 and CB/Flyer Howard Savage has 11.
And at the other end are the Flyers who have made their career starts this year. Seven were in the ISU game: OG Dave Allen, DE Pat Dowd, WR Nik Gillum, WR Gary Hunter, Flyer Joe Janasek, WR Robert Strong and LB Sean Sward. Other newbies this year are DT Tim Alber, TE Jordan Elmore, WR Colin McMannamon, DE Devon Morgan and S Nick Weston. OT Ben Estey and RB Robert Washington are slated to make their first start at Davidson.
TEAR UP THE TURF, TAYLOR
Redshirt senior co-captain and RB Taylor Harris’s career has ended prematurely due to a neck injury. He was First Team All-PFL and UD’s MVP in 2011. He was named PFL co-Offensive Player of the Week after gaining 106 yards on 19 carries with two TD’s in the Robert Morris win. Harris, who missed six straight quarters with a knee injury, gained six yards in the first quarter, 19 in the second, 30 in the third and 50 in the fourth. He suffered the neck injury on a seemingly routine play late in the Robert Morris game. Last year, Harris gained 899 yards on 132 carries and scored nine touchdowns. He was the second-leading rusher in the PFL, and his 6.8 yards-per-carry led the league. He finishes tied for 25th in career scoring at UD (144 points) and 149 yards short becoming the 22nd member of UD’s 1,500 yard club. His 5.8 career yards-per-carry average is fifth all-time at UD.
WHERE THERE IS A WILL
Will Bardo threw for a career-high 255 yards at Butler, completing 25 of 47 passes. He took over at quarterback for Dayton in as a redshirt freshman in 2011, following two-time PFL Offensive Player of the Year Steve Valentino. A dual threat, he was the top rushing quarterback in the PFL (491 yards, the next closest had 289) and was 10th in the league in rushing. He passed for another 1,206 yards (106 of 229, .463, 13 TD, 6 int) in his first season. Over his last four games, he was 49 of 97 passing (.505) for 583 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. He threw for career-highs in yardage in each of his last two games of 2011. At Valparaiso in week #9, Bardo was 15 of 22 passing for 200 yards and two TD’s, along with running for 58 yards and a TD. He was PFL co-Offensive Player of the Week. Against San Diego in week #10, he was 20 of 40 for 225 yards and three TD’s.
HAND IT TO BRANDEN
Junior Branden Johnson has 28 catches for 270 yards (9.6 avg). The next three Flyer receivers have 28 combined. Johnson was the second-leading Flyer receiver last year (25 catches for a team-high 15.9 yards per catch average). At Illinois State, Johnson caught four passes for 37 yards, including a 17-yard TD. He came back at Duquesne with a then-career-high seven catches for 98 yards. He also had seven catches vs. Jacksonville, for 53 yards. He upped the career high to eight (for 69 yards) at Butler. Last year, Johnson had five catches for a career-high 100 yards at Jacksonville.
SPREAD IT AROUND
Aside from Branden Johnson, the next five Dayton pass catchers have taken turns stepping up. Five of Nik Gillum’s 10 catches this season came in the Jacksonville (for 50 yards). Four of Ross Smith’s nine were in the Robert Morris win (for 54 yards). Eight of Robert Strong’s nine came in two games (four each at Duquesne and Butler). Five of Jordan Boykin’s seven came vs. JU (for 50 yards). Four of Gabe Macis’ five (59 yds) were at Duquesne. Gary Hunter has four receptions over three games played and leads the team in yards per catch (22.8 avg.).
OLD HABITS ARE HARD TO BREAK
Flyer senior Robert Strong moved from defensive back to slot receiver this season, but he was named the winner of the “Hammer Hit” award in the season opener at Illinois State.
Running back Dan Jacob leads the Flyers in rushing this season with 244 yards. He was UD’s offensive player of the week vs. Jacksonville. Will Bardo is second in rushing (169 yards) and has three rushing TD’s. Robert Washington is third on the team in rushing (146 yards) and leads in yards per carry (6.6). He was UD’s offensive POW at Butler.
TO SERVE AND PROTECT
UD returns three starters on the offensive line from a year ago. Center Bill Petraiuolo and OG Owen Elger both started all 11 games in 2011, while OT Tom Corcoran started all nine games he played in last year. Elger (ISU) and Petraiuolo (Duquesne) were UD’s first two offensive players of the week this season.
Senior co-captain and LB Colin Monnier earned UD’s Most Improved Player Award last season. In his first college action after not playing in 2009 or 2010, Monnier played in all 11 games and was second on the team in tackles (64) and tackles for loss (9). He also filled the most stat categories of any Dayton defender with two sacks, two interceptions, two passes broken up, and a QB hurry and a fumble forced. At Illinois State, Monnier was the game’s top tackler. He had 12 hits, including two in the backfield. He also had 11 tackles vs. Jacksonville with two TFL. He is leads the team in hits (44) and tackles behind the line (7.5).
Junior cornerback/dime back Howard Savage has been known for the quality of his hits over the first two years of his career, but now it is also the quantity that he can be happy with. Savage had four weekly “Hammer Hit” awards as a freshman and sophomore. He has one this season. He is third for UD in tackles (33), second in pass breakups (4), and leads in interceptions (2). He had 10 tackles (six solo) and a pass break up at ISU. He had seven more hits and his first career interception at Duquesne. In the RMU win, he had nine tackles, an interception and three PBU’s. He is tied for first in the PFL with two interceptions.
Flyer cornerbacks Matt Pfleger and Kyle Sebetic have a combined 46 starts between them. Pfleger has 24. He is a three-year starter at cornerback for the Flyers, after beginning his career as a wide receiver. Last year he had 43 hits (seventh on the team), three interceptions (second) and six passes batted away (tied for first) with one fumble recovery and one fumble forced. He had an interception vs. RMU. Sebetic has 22, In 2011, he had 31 solo tackles in nine games, and 40 total in 2011. This season, Sebetic has 24 tackles (3rd on the team), with 19 solos (leads UD) and five passes broken up (also leads team). At Illinois State, Sebetic had 10 tackles (seven solo) and two passes broken up. At Duquesne, he added nine hits (eight solo) and batted three passes away. Sebetic is tied for second in the PFL in passes defensed. Sebetic missed the last two games with an injury.
Here’s the good news: safety Ben Welsh has started every game he has played at a defensive position at UD. Here’s the bad news: Welsh is a redshirt senior, and that total is just 15 games. A starter for the first five games of 2009, injuries (sprained knee, torn achilles and torn pectoral muscle) have limited him to be able to play in four of the last 28 games UD has played (and all of them came last year). In the four starts last year, he had 24 tackles, one interception, two pass break ups, one fumble forced, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick. Welsh is back in the starting lineup at safety, with 17 hits this season. He also has three TFL and a sack. He earned the Hammer Hit of the Week award two straight weeks (RMU & JU).
Senior Joe Janasek plays the hybrid safety/linebacker position known in the Dayton defensive schemes known as “Flyer.” A first-year starter, Janasek is second on the team in tackles (37) and second in TFL (4.5). He also shares team honors with Austen Alber in QB hurries (2)
DEAL WITH DUNN
Senior DT Brannon Dunn was second on the team and fifth in the PFL in sacks (8) despite only starting seven games in 2011. He had a defensive lineman’s “helmet trick” at Jacksonville, getting a sack, forcing a fumble and recovering the fumble on the same play. Dunn forced three fumbles last season. At Illinois State, Dunn carried the ball for the first time in his career when he made the most of an errant punt snap and ran three yards for a first down on the game’s first possession. Dunn came down with appendicitis on the Duquesne trip, and had his appendix removed during the game at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is expected to be out at least one more week.
Dayton has 11 sacks as a team this season, and nine different Flyer defenders have been credited with them. Pat Dowd leads the team with three sacks. UD’s 2.2 sacks per game are third in the PFL. Dayton was third in FCS football in sacks (and first in the PFL) in 2011, averaging 3.7 sacks a game. Eleven different Flyers got into the sack act in 2011.
PUTTING THE SPECIAL IN SPECIAL TEAMS
Dayton players were named PFL Special Teams Player of the Week two of the first three weeks of the year. Gary Hunter for his 77-yard punt return at Illinois State and punter Kyle Pignatiello for Robert Morris.
Kyle Pignatiello was named PFL Special Teams Player of the Week after the Robert Morris win. He punted eight times for a 39.8 yard-per-punt average in the game. Three of his punts were over 40 yards and four of them were inside the 20. For the year, Pignatiello is averaging 37.8 yards a punt in 37 kicks. Thirteen of his punts have been inside the 20 (with only two touchbacks), and eight have been fair caught. Pignatiello averaged 41.0 yards on seven punts against Jacksonville, with a career-long 56.
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
Junior Gary Hunter gained 140 yards in all-purpose yardage in the season opener at Illinois State, with a 77-yard punt return and a 47-yard pass reception taking up the bulk of it. The 140 all-purpose yards were more than half of UD’s 275 in the game. He was named PFL Special Teams Player of the Week. Hunter was fifth in the PFL in kickoff returns last year (21.5 yards per return). He led the PFL and was ranked eighth in FCS football in kickoff return average (28.2) as a freshman in 2010. After playing corner as a freshman, Hunter moved to the offensive side of the ball and is a starting wide receiver. He is currently out with an injury.
HUNTER THE HISTORY MAKER
Gary Hunter is believed to be only the second Flyer football player to have three special teams touchdowns in his career (available statistics are incomplete prior to 1950). Kelvin Kirk (the original Mr. Irrelevant) had three from 1974-77. Hunter had what is believed to be the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a freshman in the history of University of Dayton football when he had an 82-yard scamper against Valparaiso. He has returned a kickoff for a TD in both of his first two seasons at Dayton. The 77-yard punt return was the longest at Dayton since Ryan Wrobleski returned one 86 yards vs. Valparaiso in 2005.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Colin Monnier, Kyle Pignatiello; Once: Austin Alber, Pat Dowd, Owen Elger, Taylor Harris, Gary Hunter, Dan Jacob, Bill Petraiuolo, Pat Sankovic, Howard Savage, Kyle Sebetic, Robert Washington
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Chris Hagan, Chuck Zavarella, Tommy Zervas; Once: Miles Ashelman, Ryan Aske, Joe Blume, Luke Bonifas, Nick Kaczkowski, Ricky Lawniczak, Michael Scott, Cameron Stubbs, Owen Williams, (Note Zervas won four scout team awards in 2011)
PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Gary Hunter (Special Teams, 9/1), Taylor Harris (Offensive, 9/15), Howard Savage (Defensive 9/15), Kyle Pignatiello (Special Teams, 9/15)
LET’S TALK CAMPBELL TROPHY
Dayton has had at least a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy, the major award of the NFF’s Scholar-Athlete Award program (the academic Heisman if you will) for seven straight years. UD has had at least a semifinalist for seven straight years. Devon Langhorst was selected last year. Brandon Wingeier made the cut in 2010, Sean Heenan did in 2009 and Bart Bergfeld was also named in 2008. Brandon Cramer was a finalist in 2007, and Brandon Godsey was a semifinalist in 2006. Dayton is the only PFL team to even have three in the last three seasons (Drake has two). Among Division I schools, the Flyers are one of 10 institutions with a semifinalist in the last seven years. The others are Austin Peay, Bucknell, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Dakota State, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The Flyers became the 11th NCAA FCS team (and the first west of the Alleghenies) to win at least 600 games in its football history when UD beat Davidson on October 18, 2008. Here are the 15 members of the club, heading into the 2012 season. Yale (869), Harvard (821), Penn (818), Princeton (786), Fordham (749), Delaware (656), Dartmouth (656), Lafayette (654), Lehigh (650), Dayton (628), North Dakota State (627), Cornell (625), Northern Iowa (620), Colgate (608) and Holy Cross (604). Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (104, nine fewer than Northern Iowa’s 113). UD moved into the Top 10 in 2010. The Flyers’ .641 all-time winning percentage is fourth among the “600 club” and eighth all-time. The top ten going into 2012 consists of Grambling (.706), Yale (.705), Harvard (.676), Florida A&M (.667), Princeton (.663), Tennessee State (.654), Georgia Southern (.645), Dayton (.641), Appalachian State (.640) and Penn (.634).
The Pioneer Football League is entering its 20th season. The original (and now the only) Division I strictly need-based football league began with charter members Butler, Dayton, Drake, Evansville, San Diego and Valparaiso. Current members Butler, Campbell, Davidson, Dayton, Drake, Jacksonville, Marist, Morehead State, San Diego, and Valparaiso will be joined in 2013 by Mercer and Stetson. The Flyers’ 79-25 PFL record is the best in the history of the league. Dayton has won 10 (shared or outright) league championships.
The UD Flyers moved to Welcome Stadium in 1974. The word “Welcome” implies hospitality, but UD has been anything but hospitable to its opponents at home, where it is 202-43-2 (.822). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
Seven current members of the Flyer football team have had relatives who also played for UD, including three players whose fathers played -- Austen Alber (Tim, 1986-88), Matt Dorenkott (Brian, 1976-78) and Kyle Pignatiello (Mike, 1980-82).
LAST TIME OUT -- BUTLER 21, DAYTON 11
Dayton dropped its second conference game in as many weeks in a 21-11 loss at Butler last Saturday. UD outgained BU 387-337 in total yards but the rushing attack of the Bulldogs and four Flyer turnovers proved to be the difference.
Dayton was paced by a career-high passing performance by sophomore quarterback Will Bardo. He finished 25-of-47 for 255 yards including eight throws to Branden Johnson for 69 yards.
The UD rushing attack gained 132 yards on the afternoon. Robert Washington finished with 63 yards and one touchdown on the ground on 12 carries. Dan Jacob added 47 yards on 13 rushes.
BU rode the shoulders of PFL leading rusher Trae Heeter for 159 yards on 23 carries including touchdown runs on 41 and 78 yards in the second half. Overall, Butler rushed for 167 yards while passing for 170.
Dayton had an impressive start to the game as it forced a three-and-out on defense and then engineered a 15-play, 88-yard drive when it took over the ball on offense.
Key in the drive was a 27-yard pass from Bardo to Nik Gillum that moved the ball to midfield. Bardo was 5-for-6 passing with four of the five passes resulting in a first down. UD gained 63 of 88 yards through the air to build a 3-0 Flyer advantage on a 19-yard field goal by Pat Sankovic at the 6:47 mark of the first quarter.
Butler responded quickly with a 5-play, 75-yard drive ending with a 28-yard touchdown strike from Matt Lancaster to Brian Knight on a pass down the right sideline as BU took a 7-3 lead with 4:51 left in the first quarter.
After a slow start to the second quarter, Dayton regained the ball with 5:01 left and moved the ball 68 yards on 12 plays. Bardo tallied 42 yards passing while Jacob added 26 yards on the ground to set up a 34-yard field goal attempt with 49 seconds left in the half. The kick was blocked by Butler and returned 53 yards to the 23-yard line. However, BU was kept off the board following a bad shotgun snap and a sack.
Overall in the first half, Dayton out gained Butler in overall yardage (228-138), offensive plays (41-27) and first downs (13-8) but trailed 7-3. Bardo had 144 yards passing to four different Flyer receivers while Jacob paced the rushing attack with 52 yards.
Heeter, the leading rusher in the PFL, was held to just 18 yards on seven rushes in the first half. He tallied 141 yards on the ground in the second half including a 41-yard touchdown run at the 2:42 mark in the third quarter. Heeter then put the game out of reach for Dayton with a 78-yard sprint down the left sideline with 2:19 remaining.
Dayton’s lone score of the second half was a 13-yard touchdown run around the right side to begin the fourth quarter. The play ended a seven-play, 67-yard drive that elapsed 2:40. UD also converted on the two-point play as Bardo scampered through the left side.
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 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 (now there are four) to have two alumni coach Super Bowl winners. The others are San Jose State (Bill Walsh and Dick Vermeil), Arkansas (Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer), and Eastern Illinois (Mike Shanahan and Sean Payton).
At the time of their wins, Gruden was the second-youngest coach to win a Super Bowl and Noll was the fifth-youngest. As a matter of fact, UD has ties to 19 Super Bowl rings. In addition to Noll’s four and Gruden’s one, six former members of Dayton coaching staffs own a total of 14 Super Bowl rings between them. They include current Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi (XLIV). Lombardi, an Air Force Academy grad and the grandson of Vince Lombardi, began his coaching career at Dayton. He coached for three seasons on Mike Kelly’s staff while stationed at Wright-Pat AFB.
UD returns home for just its third home game of the season, hosting Morehead State at 1:00 p.m. ET. Davidson will play Jacksonville at home.