PDF Game Notes
The University of Dayton football team takes to the road Saturday, heading to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins. Game time at D.B. Milne Field is 1 p.m. ET.
The game is a matchup between the two teams who shared the 2010 Pioneer Football League championship. Both UD and JU finished 8-0 last year. The Dolphins were voted this year’s preseason favorite in the PFL.
Both teams bring streaks into Saturday’s contests. Jacksonville (3-2, 2-0) has won 13 straight PFL games. The Flyers (3-2, 1-1) have won their last six road games.
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.
Among the Flyers’ 11 returning starters is senior defensive end Devon Langhorst. Langhorst is a National Football Foundation Campbell Trophy semifinalist. He 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.
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.
Dayton leads the series 3-2, but JU won the last meeting 19-14 on Nov. 22, 2008 at D.B. Milne Field. The winner of the Dayton-Jacksonville game has been the PFL champion in three of the five contests.
In the last game between the two PFL powers, UD led 14-0 before the Dolphins scored all of their points in the game’s final 11:25.
SCOUTING THE DOLPHINS
Jacksonville is led by fifth-year quarterback Josh McGregor, who has re-written the JU record books over his career. A starter since the second game of his freshman year, McGregor has the three best single-season marks at JU in completions, TD passes and yardage. He has more than twice as many TD passes (97) than anyone else to wear a Jacksonville uniform.
Defensively, senior safety Leonard Smith is the reigning PFL Defensive Player of the Week after his 10-tackle, two-fumbles-forced and one-fumble-recovered performance at Marist. He shares team honors with senior defensive tackle Rolando Fines for total tackles this season (32).
Junior Colby Walden leads the PFL in kickoff return average (29.1 yds. per returns).
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 391 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 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 325 of UD’s 625 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 31 as a head coach.
Rick Chamberlin’s career .795 (31-8) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches. Drake’s Chris Creighton is next (.764, 120-37). In PFL games only, Chamberlin is #1 (.846, 22-4) and Jacksonville coach Kerwin Bell is second (.743, 26-9)
LEADING FROM THE FRONT
You will find the Flyers’ 2011 captains in the trenches. DE Devon Langhorst and OT Dan Prindle are UD’s co-captains this season. Both are redshirt seniors and part of three PFL title teams in their careers.
LONG TIME STARTERS
Nine Flyers own double-digit start totals. Justin Griffis leads with 27 (although 22 were at center and he is now a guard). Right behind is Dan Prindle with 26. Brian Mack has 17, Zach Weber, Tyler Hujik, Devon Langhorst, Matt Pfleger each have 16. Eric Robbe has 15 and Kyle Sebetic has 14.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
Redshirt sophomore LB Colin Monnier made his first career start at Central State where he led the team in tackles. 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. OT’s Jamie Mewhinney (Duquesne) and Chris Cortopassi (CSU), DT Brannon Dunn (CSU) and CB Howard Savage (Marist) have also started for the first time this season.
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. Against Butler, he was UD’s top ground gainer with 78 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for two TD’s and was 9-of19 for 78 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 played in all four games. 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 57 of UD’s 69 receptions this season. Luke Bellman leads in catches (20), yards (316) and average per catch (15.8). He had six for 121 in the Marist win. Tyler Hujik has 14 receptions for 69 yards, Jordan Boykin has 13 for 136 yards (10.5 avg.) and Branden Johnson has 10 for 107 (10.7). Oddly, four of UD’s six scoring passes are among the remaining 12 catches (TD’s by Brian Mack, Jordan Elmore, Tyler Schutz and Nik Gillum). Bellman has the other two.
Safety Steve Wirkus is third nationally in FCS football in interceptions (0.80 per game) five 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 leads UD in tackles (37) and solo hits (25) in 2010. He added another INT and shared team honors with eight hits vs. Duquesne. He suffered an ankle injury in the Butler game and is not currently listed on the depth chart.
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 second nationally and tops in the PFL in per game average (3.80).
Defensive end Devon Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Associated Press Championship Subdivision All-American Third 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. Against Butler he was the game’s top tackler (12) and also had 2.5 sacks and two QB hurries. For the season, he leads UD in sacks (5.5), TFL (7.0) and QB hurries (3, tied with Sean Belanger), and is tied for second on the team in tackles (35).
LANGHORST IS CAMPBELL TROPHY SEMINIFINALIST
Devon Langhorst was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy, which is the major award of the NFF’s Scholar-Athlete Award program. Langhorst is one of just 127 college football players selected. UD has had at least a semifinalist for six straight years. Among Division I schools, the Flyers are one of 12 institutions with a semifinalist in the last six years. The others are Austin Peay, Bucknell, Columbia, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Dakota State, Texas, Wisconsin and Youngstown State.
ALWAYS AROUND THE BALL
That’s a great way to describe the play of redshirt sophomore linebacker Colin Monnier. Despite starting only two games, he leads UD in tackles (35) and has had at least five hits in every game.
DEAL WITH DUNN
Redshirt sophomore DT Brannon Dunn is second on the team in sacks (4.5) despite only starting one game this season.
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. He leads UD in pass breakups (5).
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. In three games, he has 19 hits (10 solo) and at least one stat to his credit that does not involve rushing the passer.
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 at 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 has two 100-yard rushing games in four games this season (110 yards against Duquesne, and 101 at Central State). He leads UD in rushing with 324 net yards (5.9 yards per carry) and has scored a third of UD’s touchdowns this season (4). He was second in the PFL in scoring last year with 13 touchdowns.
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 when he had an 82-yard scamper against Valparaiso. 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. He is fifth in the PFL in kick return average (23.4) even though he has just two 30+ yard returns in 2011.
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.
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. He leads UD in scoring (28 pts.) and averages 35.7 yards per punt.
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 (16.2) and pass efficiency defense (114.63). Steve Wirkus leads in interceptions (0.80).
SHUTTING OUT DISTRACTIONS
Two PFL teams’ last shutout was by the Dayton defense. One is Davidson, who UD beat 17-0 in 2009 (18 games ago). The other is San Diego (126 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’ 77-20 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 200-42-2 (.824). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
Dayton has won six straight road games, and 10 of its last 11. The last loss was at Duquesne, 35-31, on Sept. 11, 2010.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Bill Petraiuolo, Steve Wirkus; Once: Pat Dowd, Brannon Dunn, Owen Elger, Taylor Harris, Devon Langhorst, Nate Miller, Colin Monnier, Dan Prindle, Eric Robbe, Tyler Shutz, Chase Walton
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Anthony Davis, Once: Austen Alber, Jack Beebe, Joe Blume, Miles Clark, Kevin Cripe. Dylan Dearwester, Grant Georgic, Tim Pallay, Mitch Sanders, Ross Smith, Mitch Yinger, Tommy Zervas
LAST TIME OUT--BUTLER 29, DAYTON 27
The Butler Bulldogs scored the first 10 points of the game, and the last six, and it was just enough as Butler edged the University of Dayton Flyers 29-27 Saturday at Welcome Stadium. Flyer defensive end Pat Dowd blocked a Butler punt and returned it 58 yards to put UD ahead 27-23 with 12:59 left in the game, but Butler’s David Lang answered with a pair of 35-yard field goals with 7:52 and 1:31 left to win the game for the visitors.
Butler outgained Dayton on the day 401-240. Dayton converted just 2-9 on third down compared to 6-18 by Butler. The Bulldogs also went two-for-two on fourth down.
Running back Trae Heeter was the offensive star for the ‘Dogs. He carried the ball 25 times for 142 yards and caught five passes for 61 yards. Quarterback Andrew Huck was 28 of 45 for 255 yards and three TD’s.
For Dayton, Will Bardo gained 78 yards on the ground and completed nine of 18 passes for 78 yards with two TD’s.
Defensively for UD, defensive end Devon Langhorst led all tacklers with 12 hits, 2.5 sacks, three tackles in the backfield and two quarterback hurries. DB’s Steve Wirkus added 10 tackles (7 solo). Eric Robbe and Howard Savage each had nine hits and two passes broken up.
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 is back home to take on Davidson Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
<i>Photos currently of USA FOTO<i/>