Will Bardo was 14 of 24 passing for 180 yards and two TD's in his first start.
PDF Game Notes
The University of Dayton puts the longest active winning streak in FCS football on the line Saturday when the Flyers return to Welcome Stadium for the home opener of the 2010 season.
Dayton has won 10 straight contests going back to last year. Ironically, Saturday’s opponent is the last team to defeat Flyers, the Duquesne Dukes. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.
UD won the season opener last week at Robert Morris, 19-13. Redshirt freshman quarterback Will Bardo was 14 of 24 passing for 180 yards and two TD’s in his first collegiate game and the Dayton defense came up with eight sacks in the game.
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. Hujik ranked third in the conference among punt returners with an average of 13.1 yards per return.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers enter 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 DUKES
Duquesne finished the 2010 campaign with a 7-4 record (5-3 NEC). The Dukes return 14 starters from last year’s team, and a total of 30 returning players started at least one game in 2010.
Duquesne dropped its season opener last Saturday at Bucknell, 27-26. Bucknell quarterback Wesley Brandon engineered a 12-play, 82-yard drive for the game-tying score (a one-yard QB sneak) with 57 seconds to go. Alex Eckard added the game-winning PAT.
Bucknell overcame the strong effort of running back Larry McCoy who carried the ball 30 times for 112 yards, the seventh time he ran for 100 yards in his last nine games. The junior ran for 1,291 yards and averaged 5.1 yards a carry as a sophomore.
Duquesne returns all five starters on the offensive line, although one, former right tackle Bryan Layhue, is now the starting tight end. Left tackle Ron Dunn was a Second -Team All-NEC pick in 2010.
Safety Serge Kona led DU in hits (64), tackles for loss (12) and fumbles caused (3) in 2010.
The series between UD and DU is tied 4-4. In last year’s meeting, Duquesne scored with 21 seconds to go to edge the Flyers 35-31 in Pittsburgh. Dayton had scored with 1:24 remaining to take a three-point lead but QB Sean Patterson had a 66-yard scoring drive answer. The football relationship between the two schools dates back to 1920. Duquesne won the first meeting, Dayton the next three contests in 1923, 1924 and, after a 75-year hiatus, 2001. The Dukes evened the record with wins in 2002 and 2008. UD prevailed 24-17 in the last meeting played at Welcome Stadium (in 2009) before Duquesne evened the series again last year. The last four games have been decided by a TD or less.
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 12 and 13 votes respectively in the latest Sports Network and AFCA Coaches Polls.
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 387 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. UD’s 10-game winning streak is the best active streak in FCS football.
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 323 of UD’s 623 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 29 as a head coach.
Rick Chamberlin’s career .829 (29-6) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches. Drake’s Chris Creighton is next among the league’s coaches (.758, 116-37).
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 23 (although 22 were at center and he is now a guard). Right behind is Dan Prindle with 22. Brian Mack has 17, Zach Weber 13, and Tyler Hujik, Devon Langhorst, Matt Pfleger and Kyle Sebetic each have 12.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
Twelve Flyers started for the first time on Saturday 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.
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.
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 Athletic Hall of Fame – Kevin Johns and Steve Keller). Three (Kevin Wilhelm, Kelly Spiker and Brandon Staley) had exactly the same number as new QB Will Bardo -- zero.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN
Backup quarterback Zach Splain came through in the clutch at Robert Morris. With starter Will Bardo cramping up (it was 108 degrees on the turf at Joe Walton Stadium), Splain came in and completed all five of his pass attempts for 32 yards and gained two first downs.
GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Four Flyer receivers combined for 16 of UD’s 19 receptions at RMU. Tyler Hujik led with five catches for 40 yards. Luke Bellman had four for 73 yards (with a TD), Jordan Boykin had four for 65, and Branden Johnson had three for 15.
Dayton leads FCS football in sacks after getting eight in the Robert Morris win. Seven different Flyers got into the sack act, led by DE Devon Langhorst’s 2.5 and backup DT Brannon Dunn’s 2.0. UD also had two QB hurries and forced four holding penalties,
Defensive end Langhorst was a member of the 2010 Third Team Associated Press Championship Subdivision All-American 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. Langhorst had 2.5 sacks at Robert Morris.
Safety Steve Wirkus was named 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.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Nate Miller handled placekicking and punting chores for the Flyers in the RMU win. He was perfect from the turf (2-2 FG, 1-1 PAT) and averaged 38.3 yards a punt. He was averaging over 40 yards a boot until the most critical punt of the day. With UD leading by six with 2:47 to play, he hung up a 27-yarder that was fair-caught at the 18, giving UD 82 yards to work with in protecting the lead on RMU’s final possession of the game.
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).
THE RED WALL (AND OTHER NATIONAL RANKINGS)
After one week in 2011, the Flyers lead FCS football in sacks (8.0). Dayton was second in 2010 in sacks per game (3.6) and rushing defense (78.4). In other national rankings, UD was sixth in scoring (35.5), seventh in team kickoff return average (24.1) and eighth in turnover margin (1.0). Individually, Devon Langhorst was second in sacks (1.3) and tied for eighth in tackles for loss (1.7). Gary Hunter was eighth in kickoff return average (28.2). Tyler Hujik was 11th in punt return average (13.1). Taylor Harris was 12th in scoring (8.7).
PFL MEANS PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS
Last season 2010, UD led the PFL in rushing defense (78.4), KO returns (24.1), sacks (3.6), sacks allowed (1.5) and 4th down conversions (78.9%, 15-19). UD was also second in scoring offense (35.5), total offense (380.5), total defense (314.3), first downs (20.6), opponent 3rd down conversions (36.0%, 58-161), red zone offense (85.2%, 46-54) and turnover margin (+1.0).
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’ 76-19 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 199-40-2 (.830). 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 straight 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
Week One: Owen Elger, Tyler Shutz, Steve Wirkus
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Joe Blume, Ross Smith
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.
LAST TIME OUT--DAYTON 19, ROBERT MORRIS 13
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.—The University of Dayton football team extended its winning streak to 10 games over two seasons as the Flyers pulled out a hard-fought 19-13 win at Robert Morris Saturday in the season opener for both teams. That streak is the longest active streak in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision after FCS defending champion Eastern Washington fell at Washington 30-27 in its opener.
Dayton’s defense made the difference Saturday, forcing two turnovers and sacking Robert Morris quarterback Jeff Sinclair eight times. Seven different Flyers were in on the sacks, led by Devon Langhorst’s 2.5
UD scored first on a seven-yard pass from Will Bardo to Brian Mack gave UD an early 6-0 lead. A 5-yard run by Sinclair gave the Colonials a 7-6 lead in the second quarter, but the Flyers responded with 13 straight points. A 27-yard pass from Bardo to Luke Bellman late in the second quarter gave Dayton a 13-7 halftime lead. Two field goals from Nate Miller gave the Flyers a 19-7 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Robert Morris’ only other score came on a 1-yard run by Jamar Cromwell with 5:54 to play. With Bardo cramping on the sidelines, backup QB Zach Splain came in and moved the ball into Robert Morris territory, burning up three minutes and two of the Colonials’ timeouts. Miller lifted a punt that RMU’s Anthony Miller was forced to fair catch at his own 18.
After a completion and a Dayton penalty gave Robert Morris the ball at the 28, linebacker Bryan Bailin batted away a pass, defensive tackle Brannon Dunn had his second sack of the day, and two downfield incomplete passes later the Flyers had the ball with 1:50 left. UD needed three plays to run out the clock and take its ninth straight win over Robert Morris, the defending Northeast Conference champion who played in the FCS playoffs last year.
Bardo, a redshirt freshman playing in his first game, let alone his first start, was 14 of 24 for 180 yards and two TD’s. If Bardo got the win as the starter, Splain came in to get the save, completing all five of his passes for 32 yards. Tyler Hujik caught five passes for 40 yards to lead UD in receptions. Bellman had four for 73 yards and the TD, Jordan Boykin added four for 65 and Branden Johnson had three for 15.
Safety Steve Wirkus led the Dayton defensive effort with nine hits, including seven solo tackles. His acrobatic interception late in the first half set up UD’s go-ahead touchdown, and he also batted down a pass at the goal line that prevented Robert Morris from scoring on its final possession of the third quarter.
But the tone was set by the front seven. Facing an offensive line that returned four starters from last year’s playoff team, the Flyers had the eight sacks, two QB hurries and forced four holding penalties.
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 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.
The Flyers begin the defense of their 2010 Pioneer Football League title when they open PFL play at home against Marist. Game time at Welcome Stadium is 1 p.m. ET. Duquesne opens at home against Valparaiso.