Oct. 18, 2006
The University of Dayton football Flyers remain on the road Saturday when they travel to North Carolina to play at Davidson in Pioneer Football League action. Game time is 1:00 p.m. EDT. Dayton brings a 3-3 (0-3 PFL) record to the game, while the Wildcats are also 3-3 (2-1 PFL). Last week, the Flyers lost at Jacksonville 28-21, while Davidson won at Morehead 27-24.
SERIES STUFF Dayton leads the series 4-0, and is 2-0 at Richardson Stadium, including last year's 45-15 decision on October 29.
START ME UP Junior quarterback Rob Florian made his first start Saturday, in place of Kevin Hoyng, who injured his knee against Morehead State. Not only was it his first start, but the first pass he threw in the game (16-yard completion to Carlton McFadgen) was the first of his college career. All Florian did was throw for the second-highest single-game passing total in UD history. His 411 yards (308 in the second half) were second only to Kevin Johns' 414 against San Diego in 1996. Florian led Cincinnati Elder to back-to-back Ohio Division I (big school) state titles in 2002 and 2003.
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 (.803, 57-14) AND has produced the most football Academic All-Americans at any level of competition (12). UP NEXT Dayton is home at Welcome Stadium for the next two weekends, beginning Saturday, October 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT vs. Drake.
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. <P>BAD NEWS BARED UD's three-game losing streak is its longest since 1982. No player on the current team was born the last time the Flyers lost three straight games.
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 336 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 most accomplished 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.
HOYNG REPORT Kevin Hoyng missed the Jacksonville game with a knee injury, and at midweek is questionable for Davidson. Junior Rob Florian started in his place. Hoyng has accounted for more than half of UD's offense this season. He is averaging 274.2 yards a game in total offense, while the team is averaging 396.0. Hoyng is second in the PFL in passing efficiency (151.0) and third in total offense. Through the air, he is 78 of 132 (.591) for 1241 yards and seven TD's. At Wittenberg, he was 20 of 26 passing for 288 yards.
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 4,744 career yards in total offense is second at UD. He needs 394 yards to catch Flyer record holder Kelly Spiker, who had 5,138 yards. Hoyng is also second in career passing at UD with 3,734 yards. Steve Keller is first (3,768).
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE Starting receivers Nick Ruhe, Matt Champa and Carlton McFadgen have caught 81 of UD's 98 passes so far this season. Flanker McFadgen leads with 33 catches for 575 yards (17.4) and three TD's. Split end Ruhe is next with 30 catches for 651 yards (21.7) and three TD's. He leads the PFL in yards per catch and receiving yards a game (108.5). McFadgen is third in yards per game (95.8). Tight end Champa has 18 for 245 yards (13.6) and has two TD's.
CENTURY MARK UD has had six receiving games over 100 yards this season. Nick Ruhe had six catches for 124 yards against Austin Peay, Carlton McFadgen had four for 130 at Butler, and both did it against Morehead (Ruhe 5 for 144 and McFadgen 8 for 107) and Jacksonville (Ruhe 6 for 159 and McFadgen 7 for 136).
MANY HAPPY RETURNS Senior wideout Nick Ruhe is also the PFL's top punt returner. His 12.0 average leads 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 (11.5). He had 14 hits (seven solo, two in the backfield) at Wittenberg, and followed that with 16 (five solo) and a forced fumble in the Austin Peay win. He's had 13 hits the last two games.
SCRAMBLE THE INTERCEPTORS UD has intercepted 11 passes this season. Junior safety Brandon Cramer's and freshman corner Scott Horcher's three interceptions lead the PFL and is tenth nationally in interceptions per game (0.6). 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 that win with an interception with 49 seconds left. At Wittenberg, cornerback Casey Klaus intercepted a pass in the first half, and Cramer clinched that win with a pick on the game's last play. Cramer had two against Austin Peay, including one returned 84 yards for what proved to be the game-winning points with 2:27 left in the game. At Butler, John Hoppe returned an interception 12 yards for a TD.
CRAMER EARNS PFL, NATIONAL HONORS Junior safety Brandon Cramer was the September 25 PFL Defensive Player of the Week and one of I-AA.org's four I-AA Weekly All-Stars after his performance in UD's 28-23 win over APSU. The I-AA.org selection covers all of NCAA Division I-AA, not just the mid-major level. He collected three of APSU's four turnovers, and returned his last pick 84 yards for the game-clinching TD.
ON THE HOP Senior John Hoppe has moved from linebacker to "nickel" for the 2006 season, and for Hoppe, it's been 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 had seven hits (five solo) a pass break up and returned an interception 12 yards for UD's first TD at Butler. Hoppe had ten hits (six solo) against Morehead State. At Jacksonville, he had eight hits (six solo). He is second on the team and third in the PFL in tackles per game (7.9). He also leads UD in tackles in the backfield (5.0), passes broken up (3, tied), fumbles recovered (1, tied) fumbles forced (1, tied) and kicks blocked (1).
DEJA (FILL IN WORD THAT RHYMES WITH "BOO" HERE) Safety Marcus Deja is third on the team in tackles (36). He has two passes broken up and a forced fumble this season.
BIG HOLE TO FILL Cornerback Casey Klaus suffered a career-ending injury just five plays into the Austin Peay game. He fractured the fibula and tibia of his left leg, and after successful surgery to place a rod in the leg, is now recuperating and attending classes back on campus. Freshman Scott Horcher has started into the starting corner spot, and has three interceptions and nine tackles in the last three games.
GAINING GROUND BY COMMITTEE UD has four players who have gained at least 100 yards this season. Tailback Brandon Godsey has 236 yards on 69 carries (3.4 avg.) to lead the team. Quarterback Kevin Hoyng is second (130 yards), followed by tailback Greg Wimberly (123 yards), and fullback Matt Marshall (113 yards).
CARLTON YOUR SCORE MAN Flanker Carlton McFadgen leads the Flyers in scoring (24 points, three receiving TD's, one rushing TD). Tailback Brandon Godsey is next with 20 points. Tailback Greg Wimberly and wideout Nick Ruhe are next with 18 points.
THE SWARTZ Sophomore Matt Swartz has two debuts in the last two games. Against Morehead State, he saw his first college action and punted five times for a 40.2 yard average, and left one inside the 20. At Jacksonville, he continued to punt and also kicked two PAT's in the second half
TOPS IN I-AA NON-SCHOLARSHIP In the 13 years I-AA Non-Scholarship has been an option, UD has the best winning percentage (.800, 124-31) of the 21 schools playing at this level. Duquesne's .747 (109-37) is second, followed by Drake (.675, 98-47-1), Robert Morris (.626, 79-47-1) and Albany (.578, 78-57).
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 .803 percentage (57-14) leads Montana (.802, 73-18), Penn (.797, 51-13), Duquesne (.778, 56-16), and Grambling (.756, 59-19) and Lehigh (.744, 58-20).
PFL POWER The Flyers' 48-11 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. UD is 0-3 in the PFL for the first time this year.
PFL NUMBERS UD leads the Pioneer Football League in punt returns (13.9) and fewest penalties (19), and is second in pass efficiency (138.0), pass offense (275.3), red-zone defense (70.6%) and kickoff coverage (39.9). Brian Kelly leads the PFL in tackles per game (11.5). Brandon Cramer and Scott Horcher are first in interceptions (0.60). Nick Ruhe leads the league in receiving yards per game (108.5) and yards per catch (21.7).
Carlton McFadgen is third in receiving yards a game (95.8) and receptions (5.5). Kevin Hoyng is second in the league in passing efficiency (151.0). Nick Ruhe is also first in punt return average (12.0) and all-purpose yardage (176.7).
NCAA NUMBERS In the latest NCAA Division I-AA statistics, UD is third in passing offense (275.33). Nick Ruhe is third in receiving yards a game (108.5) and all-purpose yards a game (176.67). Linebacker Brian Kelly is fifth in tackles per game (11.5)
RANKING RUN UD is unranked in the latest Sports Network poll and Football Gazette ranking for the first time since the polls began in 2001. Dayton finished the 2005 season ranked #2 in both the Sports Network and Football Gazette NCAA I-AA Mid-Major rankings. The Flyers have been ranked first in the Sports Network poll at least once in every year since the poll began in 2001.
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 180-36-2 (.830) 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 37 of its last 45 home games, and 20 of its last 23 road games.
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.
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 271-55-3, the most successful period in school history. In fact, UD's .828 winning percentage during that time is second in all of college football, behind only Mt. Union's .853.
GREAT GRAD RATES UD'S 96 score in the latest GSR (Graduation Success Rate) is the eighth-best in NCAA Division I football. Central Connecticut and Davidson were atop the rankings with 100, followed by Navy, William & Mary, and Georgetown (98), Furman and Richmond (97) and Boston College, The Citadel and UD were next at 96.
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-Americans 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 from the University of Dayton in 2005-06, the most in UD history.
GODSEY A DRADDY SEMIFINALIST Senior tailback Brandon Godsey has been named one of 148 semifinalists for the Draddy Trophy, the National Football Foundation's top award that is considered the "Academic Heisman." The senior Pre-Med major is one of four semifinalists from the PFL (Davidson's Kyle Kinsell is also one). Up to 15 finalists will be named on October 26.
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 #6 -- JACKSONVILLE 28, DAYTON 21 One-near record performance trumped another at Jacksonville, as the JU Dolphins celebrated homecoming by turning aside a hard-fought comeback by the University of Dayton and beating the Flyers 28-21. Jacksonville's near-record performance was by a veteran. Redshirt senior tailback Jerry Brant carried the ball 35 times for 224 yards, one yard shy of the Jacksonville single game rushing record. Dayton's near-record effort came from a virtual newcomer. Not only was junior quarterback Rob Florian making his first start in place of Kevin Hoyng, who was out with a knee injury, Florian came into the game without having thrown a collegiate pass. Florian fell three yards short of the Dayton record for passing yardage in a game, completing 20 of 47 yards for 411 yards. After going five for 16 for 103 yards in the first half, Florian was 15 of 31 for 308 in the second. Jacksonville took a 7-0 lead on a Brant 11-yard run in its first possession of the game, and made it look easy, going 82 yards in seven plays. But the Dayton defense bowed its collective back and kept the Dolphins out of the end zone the rest of the half despite two JU red zone penetrations. Jacksonville took the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards to go up 14-0 when quarterback Chris Horton hit tight end Charles Lusk on a two-yard score. Dayton got on the board with 3:27 left in the third quarter when Ben Shappie scored on a four-yard run after a 68-yard drive. Jacksonville answered in a big hurry, going 80 yards in just three plays. Horton connected with Nate Conner for a 47-yard touchdown to make the score 21-7 with 2:03 left in the third. UD then drove 81 yards in seven plays (Matt Champa catching a nine-yard pass from Florian) to make it Jacksonville 21, Dayton 14 heading into the fourth quarter. A Scott Horcher interception gave the Flyers the ball at their own 45, and after two long pass completions, Shappie pounded it in from the three, and Matt Swartz's PAT tied the score at 21 with 10:43 left. The two teams traded a pair of punts, and after the Flyers had to punt from their own end zone, Jacksonville had the ball on the Dayton 35. JU drove to the Flyer 11-yard line, but the Dayton D held and dodged a bullet when the Dolphins missed a field goal. Unfortunately for Dayton, the next bullet came from the blind side on a blitz the very next play. Jacksonville's Mirco Zanella came from Florian's blind side, sacking him and knocking the ball loose at the 12. The ball rolled to the seven and Zanella picked it up and took it in to put Jacksonville back up 28-21. On the next possession, Florian threw a jump ball under pressure that was picked off, but the Flyer defense forced a three-and-out. But UD also had to use all three of its time outs in the process, and after a punt to the Dayton three, the Flyers literally and figuratively, had their backs against the wall. A third-down completion to Shappie, a fourth-down completion to Carlton McFadgen and a pass interference at the goal line gave UD one more play from the Jacksonville 35, but Florian's Hail Mary was intercepted to end the game. Dayton's "Good Hands People" of McFadgen, Nick Ruhe and Champa were at the other end of 17 of Florian's 20 aerials. McFadgen had seven for 136 yards, Ruhe had six for 159 and Champa had four for 87. Defensively, linebacker Brian Kelly had a game-high 13 tackles (six solo). Nickel John Hoppe had eight hits (six solo) and safety Brandon Cramer was in on six tackles (five solo) and had two pass break ups.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK vs. MOREHEAD STATE OFFENSE-Carlton McFadgen, Senior FL from Clayton, OH DEFENSE--Brian Kelly, Senior LB from Cincinnati, OH SCOUT-Will Falk, Sophomore LB from Salt Lake City, UT SCOUT-Zach Whitten, Sophomore OT from Toledo, OH