Taylor Harris leads UD in rushing this season.
PDF Game Notes
The University of Dayton football team will make the shortest road trip in its intercollegiate history Saturday. The Flyers will drive 22 miles east to Wilberforce, Ohio to visit the Marauders of Central State University. Game time at McPherson Stadium is 1:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be Dayton’s final non-conference contest of 2011. After having the longest active winning streak in FCS football stopped at 10 in week two, UD bounced back last week against the Marist Red Foxes, winning 24-10 in the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams. The Flyers are currently 2-1 on the season, while CSU is still seeking its first win of the season in three tries.
The Flyers return 11 starters (four offense, six defense, and one specialist) from a team that won a share of the 2010 Pioneer Football League title with a record of 10-1 and was ranked 25th nationally.
Head Coach Rick Chamberlin is back for his fourth season at the helm for the Flyers. He entered the year with the best three-year start in program history (28-6).
Among the Flyers’ 11 returning starters is senior defensive end Devon Langhorst. Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Third Team AP FCS All-America team and was First Team All-Pioneer Football League. He ranked second nationally in sacks with 14 and was second on the team in tackles with 77. Langhorst has been nationally recognized as a Preseason Third Team All-American by College Sporting News and Preseason Honorable Mention All-American by JB Scouting. He had 2.5 sacks at Robert Morris.
Two other Flyer football players received preseason honors. Kick returner Gary Hunter and punt returner Tyler Hujik were named to the College Football Preseason Awards watch list. Hunter led the conference with 28.2 yards per kick return with one return touchdown.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers entered the 2011 season with the second- best winning percentage (.792, 97-24) in FCS football since 2000 AND the most football Academic All-Americans (21) at any level of competition in this century.
SCOUTING THE MARAUDERS
Former NFL All-Pro and Alabama All-America linebacker E.J. Junior is in his third season with Central State. The Marauder offense runs through the quarterback position. Senior Jeffrey Brooks, a four -year starter, is the team leading passer despite being banged up this season. Brooks is 30 of 67 for 329 yards and three TD’s. His backup, sophomore Michael Wilson, is CSU’s leading rusher with 25 carries for 145 yards (5.8 yards a carry). Defensively, freshman strong safety Wayne Matthews leads the team in tackles (23) and solo tackles (15). He also has one of Central State’s two interceptions.
UD leads the series 6-1. After CSU won the first game in 1974, UD has won the last six, including last year’s 45-13 win at Welcome Stadium.
Brian Mack led UD with 84 yards on nine carries with two TD’s. Taylor Harris also scored twice. Devon Langhorst had 10 tackles and a sack in one half of action. CSU quarterback Jeffrey Brooks ran 13 times for 63 yards and completed 19 of 39 passes for 213 yards and two TD’s.
The previous seven meetings of the series have been played at Welcome Stadium. In addition, UD head coach Rick Chamberlin’s first game as a head coach came against Central State, a 31-12 win on August 31, 2008.
COACH TO CURE MD
The UD and CSU staffs are two of more than 400 participating in the American Football Coaches Association’s fourth annual Coach to Cure MD project this week. Coaches across the country will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.”
THE EYES OF THE NATION
After finishing a season nationally ranked (25th in both the Sports Network and AFCA polls) for the first time in school history as a Division I team, UD received 21 votes (48th) in the preseason Sports Network/FCS Poll. The Flyers are receiving one vote each in the latest Sports Network and AFCA Coaches Polls.
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 389 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 Oct. 16, 1976. That is also the all-time FCS record.
THE MAN AT THE TOP
Head coach Rick Chamberlin has guided UD to 28 wins in his first three seasons, going 9-3 in 2008, 9-2 in 2009 and 10-1 last year. That’s the best three-year start by any Flyer football coach. Dayton has won a share of PFL championships in two of his three years, and missed the third by just five points at Jacksonville in the final game of 2008.
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 324 of UD’s 624 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 30 as a head coach.
Rick Chamberlin’s career .811 (30-7) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches. Drake’s Chris Creighton is next among the league’s coaches (.761, 118-37).
LEADING FROM THE FRONT
You will find the Flyers’ 2011 captains in the trenches. Defensive end Devon Langhorst and offensive tackle Dan Prindle are UD’s co-captains this season. Both are redshirt seniors and members of three PFL title teams in their careers.
LONG TIME STARTERS
Eight Dayton players own double-digit start streaks. Justin Griffis leads with 25 (although 22 were at center and he is now a guard). Right behind is Dan Prindle with 24. Brian Mack has 17, Zach Weber 15, and Tyler Hujik, Devon Langhorst, Matt Pfleger and Kyle Sebetic each have 14.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
Twelve Flyers started for the first time at Robert Morris. They were QB Will Bardo, RB Taylor Harris, WR Jordan Boykin, FL Branden Johnson, OT Tom Corcoran, C Bill Petraiuolo, DT Phil DeBoer, DE Anthony Sadler, LB Sean Belanger, and Flyer Andre Crawford. As redshirt freshmen, Bardo and Johnson also saw their first Flyer action at Robert Morris. Offensive tackle Jamie Mewhinney had his first start against Duquesne.
FIRST TIME QB
Redshirt freshman Will Bardo took over at quarterback for Dayton at Robert Morris, following two-time PFL Offensive Player of the Year Steve Valentino. This was the first game that Bardo played in (that counts, at least) since he led Ft. Thomas Highlands High School to the 2009 Kentucky 5A Championship. In his debut, Bardo was 14 of 24 for 180 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Against Duquesne, he was just 13 of 31 for 124 yards, but ran for 95 yards.
NOT HIS FIRST RODEO
Having an inexperienced quarterback step into the starting lineup is nothing new for Dayton offensive coordinator Dave Whilding. Of the 17 new starting quarterbacks in Whilding’s 31 years of coaching the position, 11 took over with less than 20 career passes to their credit (including Steve Valentino and two QB’s now in the UD Hall of Fame – Kevin Johns and Steve Keller). Three (Kevin Wilhelm, Kelly Spiker and Brandon Staley) had the same number as new QB Will Bardo -- zero.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN
Backup quarterback Zach Splain has come through in both of Dayton’s wins. With starter Will Bardo cramping up in the heat at Robert Morris, Splain came in and completed all five of his pass attempts for 32 yards and gained two first downs. Against Marist, Splain entered the game late in the first half and guided UD to four scoring drives in the next five possessions. He was 11 of 18 for 161 yards and two TD’s.
GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Four Flyer receivers have combined for 43 of UD’s 51 receptions this season. Luke Bellman leads in catches (13), yards (253) and average per catch (18.1). He had six for 121 in the Marist win. Tyler Hujik has 13 receptions for 74 yards, Jordan Boykin has nine for 110 yards (12.2 avg.) and Branden Johnson has seven for 59. Oddly, three of UD’s scoring passes are among the remaining eight catches (TD’s by Brian Mack, Jordan Elmore and Tyler Schutz).
Safety Steve Wirkus leads FCS football in interceptions (1.33 per game) three weeks into the season. He was named PFL Defensive Player of the Week after getting two interceptions, two pass break ups and six tackles (4 solo) in the Marist win. Against Robert Morris in Week One, he was CollegeSportsMadness.com’s PFL Player of the Week after leading UD with nine tackles (7 solo), getting the interception that set up Dayton’s go-ahead touchdown and diving to bat away a pass at the goal line. He added another INT and shared team honors with eight hits vs. Duquesne.
Dayton had eight sacks in the RMU win. Seven different Flyers got into the sack act. UD also had two QB hurries and forced four holding penalties at RMU. UD is fourth nationally in per game average (4.33).
Defensive end Devon Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Third Team Associated Press Championship Subdivision All-American team and was First Team All-PFL. He was second nationally in sacks with 14 and was second on the team in tackles with 77. Langhorst has been nationally recognized as a Preseason Third Team All-American by College Sporting News. Langhorst had 2.5 sacks at RMU. He is also UD’s 2011 nominee for the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
DEAL WITH DUNN
Redshirt sophomore DT Brannon Dunn leads UD, is second in the PFL and is tied for eighth nationally in sack per game (1.33).
Sophomore cornerback Howard Savage led UD with two “Hammer Hit of the Week” awards to his credit last season. Fittingly, he got the first one of 2011 at Robert Morris. He led UD in tackles (8, tied with four other Flyers) and passes broken up (3) against Duquesne and started for the first time against Marist.
BEN, WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN?
It took almost two years, but senior safety Ben Welsh returned to Flyer football in a big way in the Marist win, leading the team in tackles (9) and coming up with the game’s pivotal play. After UD scored to take a 7-3 lead, Welsh stole the ball out of the Marist receiver’s hands, giving UD a short field and setting up Dayton’s second touchdown of the day. Welsh started the first five games of 2009, but suffered a knee injury that cost him the rest of the year. Last season, a torn achilles suffered in the off-season kept him on the sidelines all year. And then a bicep injury in the first scrimmage of the 2011 preseason prevented his return to action until the Marist win.
UD returns its entire stable of top running backs from 2010 -- seniors Taylor Harris, Dan Jacob and Brian Mack. They combined for 946 yards and 22 TD’s between them last year with a 4.7 yards per carry average. Harris is currently listed as the starter but all three have started in the past.
TEAR UP THE TURF, TAYLOR
Taylor Harris’ 83-yard touchdown run against Duquesne was the third-longest in Dayton history, and the longest at Welcome Stadium. Leroy Ka-Ne (the Hawai’ian Hyphen) holds the record of 94 yards vs. Scranton in 1949 at Baujan Field, and J.P. Ragon scampered 85 yards at Morehead State in 1997. Harris carried the ball seven times for 110 yards against Duquesne, and leads UD in rushing with 124 net yards (7.8 yards per carry). He was second in the PFL in scoring last year with 13 touchdowns. Harris leads UD in rushing in 2011 with 178 yards gained on 30 carries (5.9 per carry average).
SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
Sophomore Gary Hunter led the PFL and was ranked eighth in FCS football in kickoff return average as a freshman in 2010. Hunter averaged 28.2 yards a return. He had what is believed to be the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a freshman in the history of University of Dayton football. Early records are incomplete, but no Flyer freshman has returned a kickoff for a TD in the modern era of UD football. After playing corner last year, Hunter has moved to the offensive side of the ball and is a wide receiver. After missing the Duquesne game, he had two kickoff returns for a 25.0 average in the Marist win.
Senior Nate Miller is handling placekicking and punting chores for the Flyers in 2011. In the RMU win, he was perfect from the turf (2-2 FG, 1-1 PAT) and averaged 38.3 yards a punt. He kicked two field goals and averaged 41.6 yards per punt (with three inside the 20) against Duquesne.
DOING GOOD WORK
Redshirt senior offensive tackle Dan Prindle was a member of the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Honorees were selected based on their contributions to their community and campus. Prindle has volunteered at Children’s Medical Center, St. Vincent DePaul and the Bombeck Center on campus. In addition, he was a part of Christmas on Campus, YMCA Summer Camp and has also helped with the Special Olympics. This summer he was a camp counselor at UD’s engineering camp for gifted students. He is also an executive officer of Dayton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has served as a representative at the NCAA’s APPLE Conference which concentrates on improving substance abuse prevention programming and policies in athletics departments. Prindle was UD’s Offensive Player of the Week in the Marist win.
Seven current members of the Flyer football team have had relatives who also played for UD, including four players whose fathers played -- Austen Alber (Tim, 1986-88), Alex Johnston (Jim, 1973-75), Matt Dorenkott (Brian, 1976-78) and Kyle Pignatiello (Mike, 1980-82).
PFL MEANS PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS
So far in 2011, UD leads in scoring defense (15.0) pass efficiency defense (108.20) and sacks allowed (0.67)
SHUTTING OUT DISTRACTIONS
Two PFL teams’ last shutout was by the Dayton defense. One is Davidson, who UD beat 17-0 on in 2009 (16 games ago). The other is San Diego (124 games ago, 41-0 in 1999).
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 14 members of the club, heading into the 2011 season. Yale (864), Penn (813), Harvard (812), Princeton (785), Fordham (748), Dartmouth (651), Lafayette (650), Delaware (649), Lehigh (639), Dayton (622) Cornell (620), North Dakota State (613) Northern Iowa (610), North Dakota (604) and Colgate (603). Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (103, nine fewer than Northern Iowa’s 112). UD moved into the Top 10 in 2010.
The Flyers’ 77-19 PFL record is the best in the history of the league. UD has won 11 league championships (including ties) in the 18 years the PFL has existed. The rest of the league has 13 combined.
COMPLETIONS FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS CHARITY INITIATIVE
After picking up “Loose Change” for Catholic Social Services in 2008, scoring “Touchdowns for Tots” in 2009, and taking down “Sacks For Groceries” in 2010, the University of Dayton has a new charity of choice this season. It is “Completions For Cystic Fibrosis.” For every pass completion during the 2011 season, PNC Bank will make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
TUESDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
For the fifth straight year, the Flyers sponsored “Tuesday Night Lights,” the free program where pee wee football teams take the field for a practice with the University of Dayton football team. Every Tuesday from Sept. 6 to Oct. 25, teams that sign up in advance get a pre-practice talk from Flyer head coach Rick Chamberlin, take the field to warm up with the UD football team, and observe practice until they go home at 8:30 p.m.
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 200-41-2 (.827). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools. Dayton has won seven of its last eight games at Welcome Stadium.
Dayton has won five straight road games, and nine of its last ten. The last loss was at Duquesne, 35-31, on Sept. 11, 2010.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Steve Wirkus; Once: Brannon Dunn, Owen Elger, Taylor Harris, Devon Langhorst, Nate Miller, Dan Prindle, Tyler Shutz
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Once: Joe Blume, Kevin Cripe. Anthony Davis, Grant Georgic, Mitch Sanders, Ross Smith, Mitch Yinger, Tommy Zervas
LAST TIME OUT--DAYTON 24, MARIST 10
The University of Dayton football team took control in the second half to defeat the Marist Red Foxes 24-10 Saturday at Welcome Stadium in the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams. After Marist scored with 22 seconds to go in the first half to make the halftime score 14-10, Dayton scored 10 unanswered points and outgained Marist 191-74 in the second half.
With Marist holding a 3-0 lead late in the first half, Flyer coach Rick Chamberlin opted for a change at quarterback, inserting redshirt sophomore Zach Splain in relief of redshirt freshman Will Bardo. Splain hit senior wide receiver Tyler Schutz on a slant for the touchdown pass that gave Dayton a 7-3 lead. The reception was Schutz’s first reception of the year, his first career TD and also Splain’s first touchdown pass in a Flyer uniform.
Two plays later, UD safety Ben Welsh reached in and pulled the ball out of Marist receiver Amani Martin’s hands, technically causing and recovering the fumble that gave the Flyers the ball at the Marist 30. Six plays later, Splain found another receiver hauling in his first career TD. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Elmore’s first career catch was a 15-yard score that put Dayton up 14-3 with 1:13 left in the half. But Marist came back with a TD drive of its own, making the halftime score Dayton 14, Marist 10.
After Steve Wirkus made his second interception of the day, Dayton scored 10 points on its next two possessions to go up 24-10.
Marist threatened to work its way back into the game, penetrating to the Flyer 18-yard line, but on 4th-and-4 Wirkus made another big play, breaking up a pass to Leneghan and giving the ball back to UD with one second left in the third quarter.
The fourth period was all Dayton, as the Flyers had the ball for 11:24 of the final 15 minutes of the game, out-gaining the Red Foxes 70-14.
Splain was 11 of 18 passing for 161 yards and two TD’s. Bardo opened the game eight of 14 for 72 yards and an interception, giving the two Dayton quarterbacks a 19-for-32 day, with 233 yards passing. Bellman caught six passes for 121 yards. Tyler Hujik also caught six, for 36 yards.
Marist was held to just 41 yards net rushing. Senior safety Ben Welch, playing in his first game in nearly two years due to injuries, led UD with nine tackles (six solo) and a pass break up to go with his big play to cause and recover a fumble. Wirkus had the two interceptions (to give him four on the year), two more critical pass deflections and six hits. The Flyers came into the game tied for first in FCS football in sacks (5.5 per game) and added two more – one each by Phil DeBoer and Zach Weber.
Any list of the best coaches in college football history has to include the University of Dayton’s Mike Kelly. And now it does.
Kelly was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame July 16 at the 2011 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in South Bend, Ind. The Enshrinement Show was co-hosted by former Flyer quarterback Jon Gruden.
Kelly’s 27-year record of 246-54-1 is the best by far at UD (nearly twice as many wins as fellow NFF Hall of Fame member Harry Baujan’s 124), and his .819 winning percentage is fourth-best among college coaches with 25 or more years experience.
Kelly was a seven-time national coach of the year, six-time PFL coach of the year, and guided his teams to three national championships (1989, 2002, 2007). Forty-eight of UD’s 50 Academic All-Americans played for Kelly, as did a total of 84 First Team All-Americans. Seventy of his former players went into coaching, including 16 at the collegiate level.
The Mike Kelly Coaching Endowment Fund was established this summer with a $1 million commitment from the family of a UD football alumnus.
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 (now there are four) to have two alumni coach Super Bowl winners. The others are San Jose State, with grads Bill Walsh (XIV, XIX, XXIII) and Dick Vermeil (XXXIV), Arkansas with grads Jimmy Johnson (XXVII, XXVIII) and Barry Switzer (XXX), and Eastern Illinois with Mike Shanahan (XXXII, XXXIII) and Sean Payton (XLIV).
At the time of their wins, Gruden was the second-youngest coach to win a Super Bowl and Noll is 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 are the late Len Fontes (New York Giants, Super Bowl XXI), Jon’s father Jim Gruden (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowls XXII & XXIV), current Saints QB coach Joe Lombardi (XLIV), John McVay (49ers, XVI, XIX, XXII, & XXIV), current Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore (Steelers, XIII & XIV, Colts XLI) and George Perles (Steelers, IX, X, XII & XIV). McVay was the Flyers’ head coach from 1965-72, and Fontes, Jim Gruden, Moore and Perles were on his staff. 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-Patterson Air Force Base.
UD gets back into Pioneer Football League action for the rest of the season. Dayton returns home to meet Butler at 1 p.m. ET.