Sept. 16, 2005
The University of Dayton football team remains home Saturday when the Austin Peay Governors visit Welcome Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. EDT game. Dayton is 2-0 and ranked #1 in the Sports Network's NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major poll, while APSU is 1-1 on the year. The Flyers have been ranked at #1 at some point in every season since the Sports Network poll started in 2001. UD is ranked in the top three in all three mid-major polls. In addition to the Sports Network, the Football Gazette rates Dayton second, and Dopke.com has them third.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Hoyng has been named the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week in the first two weeks of the year, marking the first time a player has earned that honor back-to-back to start the season. Hoyng is second in I-AA in total offense (353.0 yards a game, just one yard behind Erik Meyer of Eastern Washington.
The University of Dayton is celebrating three significant milestones in the 2005 football season. Mike Kelly is coaching his 25th season as the Flyers' head coach, the 50th presentation of the Lt. Andy Zulli Memorial Trophy will occur on Senior Day, and the entire season will mark 100 years of varsity football at the University of Dayton.
Last year, Dayton finished the 2004 football season 7-3. UD was ranked fifth in the nation in the final Football Gazette ranking, and sixth in the Sports Network NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major poll. The Flyers' three losses were to two of the five teams ranked ahead of them (#2 Drake and #3 San Diego) and to Ivy League powerhouse Yale. All three losses were by a touchdown or less, and two ended with UD getting the ball into the red zone as time expired.
Dayton's 28 straight winning seasons is the best active streak among NCAA Division I teams. The Flyers share that honor with Florida State. Over the last ten years, UD has averaged 8.6 wins a season. UD also brings into the year its NCAA-leading streak of 323 games without being shutout. The Flyers have won outright or shared the Pioneer Football League Championship eight times in the 12-year history of the league.
*UD led all NCAA divisions in total defense last year. Dayton allowed just 263.1 yards a game in 2004. UD was also third in scoring defense, marking the fifth straight year the Flyers were in the top ten in Division I-AA in points allowed. Dayton is currently eighth in scoring defense.
*UD has not been shut out in 322 straight games, the best such string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall, 9-0, on October 16, 1976.
*Dayton goes on the road to play its only night game of 2005 next Saturday, when the Flyers play at Morehead State. Game time is 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Series Stuff...Dayton leads the series 5-1. After dropping the first meeting 21-17 in 2001, UD has reeled of five straight wins in the series including last year's 40-0 win in Clarksville, Tennessee on September 25. The "Pride of Dayton" marching band made the trip to Austin Peay and out of that trip came a new Flyer football tradition. As a "thank-you" to the band for their enthusiastic support, coach Mike Kelly took the team over to the band after the game while they played the alma mater. Now, after every Flyer win that the Pride is at, the team joins the band for the alma mater.
Coach Mike Kelly...Is in his 25th year as a head coach (all at Dayton), and has 224 wins. His 25 seasons as UD's head coach are the longest tenure in school history (College Football Hall of Famer Harry Baujan coached for 24 years at UD before becoming Director of Athletics). Kelly's .828 winning percentage (224-46-1) is the best among active NCAA Division I-AA coaches (minimum five years head coach).
More Mike Kelly...Only three other active coaches at the Division I level--Florida State's Bobby Bowden (351), Penn State's Joe Paterno (343) and Albany's Bob Ford (205)--entered the 2005 season with more than 200 wins.
Even More Mike ...Mike Kelly was the Football Gazette NCAA Division I-AA Non-Scholarship and Pioneer Football League Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2001, the PFL Coach of the Year in 2000, and the Football Gazette's Coach of the Year in 2002. UD's win over Evansville in 1996 gave him 150 career wins, making him one of only four to reach 150 in his 16th season. The other three are certain College Football Hall of Famers -- Barry Switzer (2001 inductee), Tom Osborne (1998) and Joe Paterno (not in yet, but do you want to bet against him?). Kelly is UD's winningest football coach, having surpassed 1990 College Football Hall of Famer Harry Baujan back in 1993.
Coaching Experience...The Flyers are fortunate to have an experienced coaching staff with three of the coaches at UD for at least 25 seasons: Mike Kelly, Head Coach (Manchester '70), 25th season as head coach, 29th at UD Dave Whilding, Off. Coordinator/Quarterbacks (Earlham '71), 28th at UD Rick Chamberlin, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers (Dayton '80), 26th at UD
PFL Power...The Flyers' 45-8 PFL record is the best in the 12-year history of the league. UD's eight league championships are more than the rest of the PFL combined.
Tops In I-AA Non-Scholarship...In the 12 years I-AA Non-Scholarship has been an option, UD has the best winning percentage (.803, 106-26) of the 22 schools playing at this level.
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 177-33-1 (.841) 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 31 of its last 37 home games, and 16 of its last 17 road games.
Ranking Run...Dayton is ranked #1 this week in the Sports Network poll. 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 47 of a possible 56 weeks the Sports Network poll has been in existence. The Flyers have been #1 half of the time (28 of 56 weeks). UD is also third in this week's Football Gazette rankings (behind Duquesne) and third by Dopke.com (behind San Diego and Duquesne).
Can't Spell Dayton Without The D...UD is ranked in the top ten of NCAA Division I-AA in pass defense (6th, 67.5 yards a game), scoring defense (8th, 11.5 points a game) and total defense (8th, 225.0 yards a game) after two weeks into the 2005 season. The Flyers have been in the top ten in scoring defense in each of the last five years.
What DO They Talk About At Halftime?...UD has allowed only 105 yards in the second half so far in 2005, compared to 345 in the first half. Just 41 yards have come in the fourth quarter.
PFL Numbers...UD is first or second in every important statistical category in the Pioneer Football League except rushing defense, punt returns and turnover margin after two weeks. UD leads in total offense (542.00), passing efficiency (195.55), rushing offense (255.0), passing offense (287.0), pass defense (67.5), pass efficiency defense (79.34), net punting (37.0) and kickoff returns (30.5).
2005 Co-Captains Are...John Hoppe at linebacker (a Sports Network pre-season All-American), Steve Verhoff at tailback and Ryan Winner at offensive tackle (also a Sports Network pre-season All-American).
Who Needs Starters?...In the five straight years, UD has finished in the top ten in Division I-AA in scoring defense. In those five years, coach Mike Kelly had the luxury of having a majority of his starters back the next season only once. UD returned six starters in 2002. In the other seasons Dayton had five back twice (2003 and 2000), four back once (2004) and three back once (2001). If history means anything, having three starters back will not be a problem for the Dayton defense in 2005.
QB Kevin...Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Hoyng has started two games in his UD career, and those starts have resulted in the second- and third-best total offense efforts in UD football history (378 yards vs. Wittenberg and 328 vs. Tiffin, respectively) behind Kevin Johns' school-record 418 yards at San Diego in 1996. Hoyng is second in NCAA Division I-AA in total offense (353.0 yards a game, just one yard behind Eastern Washington's Erik Meyers) and second in I-AA passing efficiency (196.41, barely keeping Northern Iowa's Eric Sanders and his freakish 310.32 ranking within sight). Hoyng has completed 27 of 41 passes (.659) for 567 yards and three TD's. He has also led Dayton in rushing both games, and has 139 yards rushing (5.3 yards per carry) with two rushing touchdowns. Hoyng alternated with the now-graduated Brandon Staley last year, and was UD's second-leading rusher (322 yards, 68 attempts, 4.7 avg., 3 TD's). He also completed 53.1% of his passes (34 of 64) for 504 yards, three touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Player Of The Week(s)...Kevin Hoyng has opened the season with two straight PFL Offensive Player of the Week Awards. Back-to-back Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week Awards to the same player has occurred 12 times since the PFL began operation in 1993, but it has never happened to start a season. If you are wondering if anyone has earned the award three straight times, then you do not remember Butler's Arnold Mickens, who won it five straight weeks during the 1994 season. Hoyng joins Kelly Spiker (September 25 and October 2, 2000) and Kevin Johns (November 16, 1996 and September 6, 1997) as the only Flyers to take the PFL Offensive Player of the Week twice in a row.
Great Week To Be A Flyer...Each of UD's fall "ball" sports had a conference player of the week during the week ending September 5. Kevin Hoyng was named PFL Offensive Player of the Week. Volleyball player Faye Barhorst was Player of the Week in the Atlantic 10, as was men's soccer player Lubomir Bogdanov. Women's soccer player Reba Sedlacek was A-10 Co-Player of the Week. For good measure, freshman Amy Kempf was A-10 Rookie of the Week in cross country.
God's Children...Residents of the German farming communities north of Dayton like to refer to their region as "God's Country." While that might not be original, it is heartfelt and the best way to guide yourself from small town to small town is to spot a church steeple on the horizon and head for it. Coming from this area is one thing that Flyer quarterback Kevin Hoyng and Flyer volleyball player Faye Barhorst have in common. Barhorst is from Ft. Loramie (roughly an hour north of Dayton), while Hoyng grew up a little north and west of that. The other things they have in common is that they both were named conference players of the week in their first two weeks of the 2005 season.
Very, Very Verhoff...In the backfield, the Flyers return their top rusher for the first time since Jermaine Bailey came back for his senior season in 2002. Starting tailback Steve Verhoff, a 2005 captain, was UD's leading rusher and second-leading receiver last season. He gained 612 yards (3.8 yards per carry) in 10 starts, with four rushing touchdowns. He also caught 18 passes out of the backfield for 115 yards (6.4 avg.). He was named Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-America, First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District, and First Team Academic All-Pioneer Football League. Verhoff had 44 yards on ten carries at Tiffin.
Wrobo-Receiver...Senior wideout Ryan Wrobleski is off to a great start in 2005, with six catches for 170 yards (including a 50-yard TD) at Tiffin, and seven more receptions for 94 yards in the Wittenberg win. He's even UD's second-leading rusher (75 yards) even though he only has two carries, one being a 61-yard TD run versus Wittenberg. His 46 catches last season more than doubled the number of receptions he had in 2003 in 11 games (19). The Detroit Central Catholic product had 46 of UD's 104 receptions (44.2%), 840 of UD's 1,520 receiving yards (55.3%) and six of the Flyers' nine aerial touchdowns (66.7%) last year. Although he played for the team least likely to throw the ball in the pass-happy Pioneer Football League, Wrobleski was second in the PFL in receiving yards (84.0, just 0.6 behind Austin Peay's Pat Curran) and fourth in receptions per game (4.60). If Wrobleski can approach his 2004 numbers, he has a shot at Pat Hugar's UD record for receiving yardage in a career (1,878 yards). Wrobleski needs 61 yards to pass Al Laubenthal and move into the top five place on the Flyer career yardage list. Wrobleski enters the Austin Peay game with 1,503 yards.
#1 Is #2...Detroit native Ryan Wrobleski changed his number last season to #1, imitating the University of Michigan tradition of putting the team's top reciever in the #1 jersey. After two weeks, Wrobleski is sixth in NCAA Division I-AA in receiving yardage (132.2 yards a game).
Happy Jack...Jack O'Dell is what could be called a first-strike weapon in the Dayton offense. Literally. Against Wittenberg, he caught a 65-yard TD pass on Dayton's first play from scrimmage. O'Dell has touched the ball six times in 2005 (three pass receptions, and three kickoff returns) and is averaging 35.8 yards a touch. O'Dell's three catches have resulted in a 41.7 yards-per-catch average, and his 30.0 yard kickoff return average is 10th in Division I-AA and first in the PFL.
The Winner Is...Offensive tackle Ryan Winner, a 2005 captain, is back for his third year in the starting lineup. He has started the last 23 games at left tackle for UD. The largest Flyer (6-foot-6, 294 pounds) has been a mainstay on a line that has bulldozed the way for 76 rushing touchdowns the last two seasons and two games, compared to 17 for Flyer foes. He was First Team All-Pioneer Football League and selected an Honorable Mention All-American by the Football Gazette. He's also received some 2005 preseason accolades. The Sports Network picked him to be on its preseason All-America team, and I-AA.org Magazine chose Winner to be its preseason PFL Lineman of the Year.
Comeback Kid...Offensive guard Ross Mroczek came back after off-season knee surgery (he missed the last three games of 2004 after a severe knee injury) to be named UD's Offensive Player of the Week in the season-opening 38-0 win at Tiffin. Even with the injury, Mroczek was named UD's Most Improved Player in 2004.
You Know You Have Arrived When...Senior All-American tackle and captain Ryan Winner's family owns and operates a regionally-famous butcher shop, but he isn't the member of the Dayton offensive line who has a sandwich named after him. That honor goes to senior tackle Dan Fedyk, for whom the "Fedyk Dog" is named at Pug's Dog House near UD's campus. For the record, it's a hot dog with mustard, onions, chili, cheese and cole slaw.
Full-Speed Fullback...Fullback Matt Marshall has only five carries in 2005, but his average yards per carry of 7.4 is indicative of what he brings to the UD backfield. The speedy Marshall led UD running backs last year with a 7.2 yards per carry average (35 rushes for 251 yards).
Goal-Line Thunder...Starting fullback Matt Mong (the "Thunder" of UD's Thunder and Lightning fullback tandem) scored three TD's in the season-opening win at Tiffin. Mong scored five rushing touchdowns the entire 2004 year.
Perfection Thy Name Is Dence...Backup quarterback Robert Dence has completed all three of his college passes. One of the best athletes on the team, Dence is also one of the outside men in kickoff coverage for the Flyers.
Hoppily Stopping The Ballcarrier...The Dayton defense, led be senior linebacker John Hoppe, held Tiffin to just 87 yards in total offense, and to 56 yards rushing in 34 carries (1.6 avg.). The Dayton defense held Tiffin to minus-three yards in the third quarter. Hoppe led UD with 11 tackles (six solo), including two hits in the backfield. He also blocked a punt. For the year, Hoppe leads the Flyers in tackles (23), solo hits (9) and tackles in the backfield (3). Hoppe's 11.5 tackles a game leads the PFL (tied with Davidson's Zach Long).
Dirty Dozen...Senior DE Scott Wintering and sophomore safety Brandon Cramer are second on the team with 12 tackles each.
Our Man Hall...Sophomore punter Derek Hall's first two punts of the year were kicked out of bounds inside the ten-yard-line. For the season, he is averaging 42.2 yards a punt, with three of his five boots winding up inside the 20.
The Cream Does Rise To The Top...UD's 2005 football roster includes a number of what some might call "over-achievers." A total of 53 current Flyers were in the National Honor Society, and 92 were team captains in some sport.
Hitting The Books...The University of Dayton had two football CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in 2004, matching the most from one school for the fourth straight year. UD had eight players named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, which doubled any other team in the district (Kentucky had four). UD has had 43 football Academic All-Americans. Among schools currently playing Division I football, only Nebraska (80) and Notre Dame (44) have had more. UD has had at least one football player named Academic All-American in 13 of the last 14 years. Twelve Flyers were nominated for Academic All-America in each of the last two years (2003 and 2004).
Gotta Play Smart...The University of Dayton placed a league-best 10 players on the 2004 Academic All-Pioneer Football League team. Since the league's origin in 1993, over a quarter (113 of 410) of the PFL All-Academic selections have been Dayton Flyers. UD also had 46 players on the PFL Academic Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or better).
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 UD assistants.
Week#1...Dayton 38, Tiffin 0...Matt Mong had three touchdown runs and Kevin Hoyng passed and ran for scores to lead Dayton to a 38-0 win over Tiffin. The game marked the first game of Flyer head coach Mike Kelly's 25th season at the helm of the Dayton football program. Mong scored on three of his seven carries, with TD runs of 7, 2 and 1 yard. Hoyng scored on a 1-yard run in the first and threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Ryan Wrobleski in the second. In his first career start, Hoyng ran for a team-leading 57 yards on seven carries and completed 12 of 19 passes for 271 yards with an interception for Dayton. Wrobleski caught six passes for 170 yards. Ten UD players ran the ball, and seven different players caught passes. The Flyers outgained the Dragons 530 yards to 87 and had 25 first downs to just seven for Tiffin. Dayton averaged nearly 5 yards per rush, gaining 252 yards on 51 attempts, while holding Tiffin to 56 yards in 34 carries. The Dayton defense held Tiffin to minus-three yards in the third quarter. Linebacker John Hoppe led UD with 11 tackles (six solo), including two hits in the backfield. He also blocked a punt. Safety Brandon Cramer added seven hits. All three of nickelback Steve McDonald's tackles were behind the line of scrimmage. Twenty-one Flyer defenders made plays in the game. Dayton's special teams had a productive, if mostly brief, day. Kicker Josh Heyne nailed all five PAT's and hit a 43-yard field goal on the last play of the first half (his first attempt of 47 yards was blocked). Of his seven kickoffs, three were touchbacks and two others resulted in a tackle inside the Tiffin 20-yard-line. Punter Derek Hall put his only punt of the day out-of-bounds inside the Tiffin 20 (a 34-yard punt). Jack O'Dell returned the Flyers' only kickoff 37 yards.
Week #2 -- Dayton 41, Wittenberg 23...Behind 296 yards passing and two touchdowns from redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Hoyng, the University of Dayton football team defeated Wittenberg University, 41-23, at Welcome Stadium. Hoying was 15-for-22 passing as top-ranked UD won its home opener for fifth-straight year and for the 21st time in the last 22 years. Even before the crowd of 4,175 could be seated, the Flyers and Tigers had already put 13 combined points on the board. Wittenberg scored on its first play from scrimmage, a 96-yard-run by Tristan Murray. The Tigers could not convert the extra point and led 6-0. Murray was Wittenberg's main offensive threat, running for 239 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. However, the Tigers could enjoy their lead just shortly. On UD's first play from scrimmage, sophomore wide receiver Jack O'Dell caught a career-long touchdown pass for 65-yards, making the score 7-6. Both scores came in the first 30 seconds of the ball game. The seesaw battle continued and Murray scored again for the Tigers to cap a 12-play, 81-yard drive to start the second quarter. UD and Wittenberg traded touchdowns again until halftime. Tailback Tim Watson scored his first career TD for the Flyers to knot the score at 13-13. Wittenberg's Derrick Braziel ended the wild first half with a nine-yard touchdown run with 3:02 remaining and the Tigers took the 20-13 advantage to the break. The Flyers came back to outscore the Tigers 28-3 in the second half. Dayton scored the first two times it had the ball in the second half. UD tied it after taking the second-half kickoff Ryan Wrobleski running for a 61-yard TD just 57 seconds into the third quarter. Four minutes later, the Flyers found the end zone again as Hoyng ran 19 yards to cap a five-play, 67-yard drive. A Wittenberg 24-yard field goal from Mark Porter with 1:32 remaining in the third quarter made the score 27-23, but UD tacked on two more TD's for insurance in the fourth quarter. Matt Champa caught a two-yard pass from Hoyng and Matt Marshall carried from 12 yards out. The Flyer win overcame a tremendous individual effort by Murray, who gained 239 yards on 25 carries with two TD's. Murray's 239 net yards are the most against UD since the Flyers moved to non-scholarship football in 1977. After surrendering 276 yards in the first half, the Dayton defense allowed just 87 more yards in the second half, including just five yards in the fourth quarter. Conversely, the Flyer offense gained 342 of it 554 yards in total offense after intermission. For the game, Wrobleski caught seven passes for 94 yards. He also carried the ball twice for 75 yards and a TD. Jack O'Dell caught two passes for a 113 yards and a TD. Sophomore punter Derek Hall punted four times, averaged 44 yards and put two of his punts inside the 20-yard line. Defensively, John Hoppe led the Flyers for the second straight game with 12 tackles. He was in on a half a sack and had 1.5 tackles for a loss. Scott Wintering had a sack for a 10-yard loss to go along with seven tackles.
Up Next...Dayton then goes on the road to play in its only night game of 2005, taking on Morehead State at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 24. UD then comes back home to play Jacksonville on October 1 at 12 noon EDT. That is the game that the University is celebrating its 100th years of football. UD (then known as St. Mary's Institute) played its first varsity game of football on November 4, 1905.