PDF Game Notes
The top scoring defense in the Pioneer Football League will take on the PFL’s top scoring offense on its home turf Saturday when the University of Dayton football team visits Morehead State in Morehead, Ky. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.
Dayton allows just 16.4 points a game, while MSU scores at a 37.0 points per game clip. The Flyers enter the game 4-3, and 2-2 in the PFL, while Morehead is 2-5 and 1-3.
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.
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.
This season Langhorst leads the team in hits (48), sacks (8.5), QB hurries (8) and TFL (12).
Taylor Harris has three 100 games already this season. It’s been eight years since a Flyer runner has done that. His 148 yards at Jacksonville is the most for UD in eight years as well.
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 11-5 and has won the last two encounters. Last year, the Flyers won 34-28 at home on Sept. 18 after leading 24-0 at halftime. UD has won six of the eight games at Jayne Stadium.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
For the fourth straight week, the Dayton defense will face one of the top 15 passers in FCS football, and in terms of yardage, this week’s foe is the best of the bunch. Junior QB Zach Lewis is fifth in yards per game (308.0).
MSU is second in FCS passing, averaging 358.0 yards a game, and also leads the PFL in total offense (481.3), scoring (37.0), first downs (25.7) and time of possession (31:28).
The Eagle defense leads the league in opponent third-down percentage (26.3%, 25-95) and interceptions (10, tied with Dayton and Butler).
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 393 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 JU in the last game of 2008.
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 326 of UD’s 626 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 32 as a head coach.
Rick Chamberlin’s career .780 (32-9) winning percentage is the best among PFL coaches. Drake’s Chris Creighton is next (.761, 121-38). In PFL games only, Chamberlin is #1 (.821, 23-5) and Jacksonville coach Kerwin Bell is second (.757, 28-9).
LEADING FROM THE FRONT
You will find the Flyer 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 29 (although 22 were at center and he is now a guard). Right behind is Dan Prindle with 28. Tyler Hujik, Devon Langhorst and Matt Pfleger each have 18. Brian Mack, Zach Weber and Eric Robbe all have 17 and Kyle Sebetic has 15.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
UD has had two players lead the team in tackles in their first career start, both on the road. RS soph LB Colin Monnier did at CSU where he had eight. True freshman CB Matt Bianco had eight (all solo) at Jacksonville. Twelve Flyers started for the first time at RMU. 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), CB Howard Savage (Marist) and safety Nick Weston (Davidson) have also started for the first time this year.
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. A dual threat, he is the only PFL quarterback with at least 200 rushing yards this season (328) and is 10th in rushing in the league.
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 six games. 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.
Dayton leads FCS football in sacks, averaging 4.3 sacks a game. UD had nine sacks (and seven QB hurries) in the Davidson win, and eight sacks at Robert Morris. Eleven different Flyers have gotten into the sack act in 2011, led by Devon Langhorst’s 8.5. UD also has 20 QB hurries, led by eight from Langhorst.
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 was nationally recognized as a Preseason Third Team All-American by College Sporting News. 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 total tackles (48), sacks (8.5), TFL (12.0) and QB hurries (8). He is currently tied for fifth in sacks at the FCS level. Langhorst also has a fumble recovery and a forced fumble this season.
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.
Safety Steve Wirkus is tied for third nationally in FCS football in interceptions (0.80 per game) six 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 is tied for second at 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.
Three Flyer defenders -- safety Eric Robbe and linebackers Bryan Bailin and Colin Monnier -- are tied for second on the team in tackles (38). Robbe leads the team in pass breakups (6), and is second in solo hits (21). Bailin and Monnier each have interceptions. Monnier also has five tackles in the backfield.
DEAL WITH DUNN
Redshirt sophomore DT Brannon Dunn is second on the team and sixth in the PFL in sacks (7) despite only starting three games this season. He had a defensive lineman’s “helmet trick” at Jacksonville, getting a sack, forcing a fumble and recovering the fumble on the same play. Dunn also leads the team and is second in the PFL in forced fumbles (3).
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 is second for UD in pass breakups (5). Savage missed the Jacksonville game with an injury.
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 four games, he has 24 hits (13 solo) and also at least one stat to his credit in every category except a QB hurry. Welch missed the Davidson game with an injury and is currently not on the depth chart.
GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Four Flyer receivers have combined for 69 of UD’s 85 receptions this season. Luke Bellman leads in catches (24), yards (365), yards per catch (15.2) and TD’s (3). He had six for 121 in the Marist win. Branden Johnson has 16 for 222 (13.9 avg.), Tyler Hujik has 16 receptions for 79 yards, and Jordan Boykin has 13 for 136 yards (10.5 avg.). Johnson had five for 100 at Jacksonville. Oddly, five of UD’s eight scoring passes are among the remaining 16 catches (TD’s by Brian Mack, Jordan Elmore, Tyler Schutz, Nik Gillum and Taylor Harris).
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.
BEEN A WHILE
Taylor Harris has three100-yard rushing games in six games this season (110 yards against Duquesne, 101 at Central State and 148 at Jacksonville). The 148 yards were the most in a single game for a Flyer since Cliff Sachini had 150 against Butler in 2003. Sachini is also the last Flyer runner to have at least three 100 yard games in a season. Sachini had five in 2003. Harris leads UD in rushing with 565 net yards (6.9 yards per carry) and has scored five more TD’s than other UD player (8). He was second in the PFL in scoring last year with 13 touchdowns. This year he is first in the PFL in per carry average (6.9), fourth in rushing (80.7) and tied for fourth in scoring (6.9).
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.
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 sixth in the PFL in kick return average (21.1) even though he has just two 30+ yard returns in 2011.
Dayton’s game with Davidson had a rare event occur, or rather not occur. Davidson never kicked off in the game. UD won the toss and chose the wind, DC took the ball in the second half and was shutout.
Senior Nate Miller is handling placekicking and punting chores for the Flyers in 2011. He is second for UD in scoring (40 pts) and averages 37.3 yards per punt. He averaged 44.6 yards a punt with two inside the 20 in the Davidson win.
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).
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’ 78-21 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 201-42-2 (.824). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Taylor Harris, Devon Langhorst, Bill Petraiuolo, Tyler Shutz, Steve Wirkus; Once: Will Bardo, Pat Dowd, Brannon Dunn, Owen Elger, Gary Hunter, Nate Miller, Colin Monnier, Dan Prindle, Eric Robbe, Chase Walton, Ben Welsh
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Four times: Anthony Davis, Two times: Ross Smith, Tommy Zervas; Once: Austen Alber, Ryan Aske, Jack Beebe, Joe Blume, Miles Clark, Kevin Cripe. Dylan Dearwester, Grant Georgic, Soern Osborne, Tim Pallay, Mitch Sanders, Mitch Yinger
SEEING THE FUTURE
Freshman running back Anthony Davis has already earned four Scout Team Player of the Week awards, and the week of the Jacksonville game he did something unprecedented -- he was both the Offensive and Special Teams Scout of the Week. Davis was the Indiana high school rushing yardage leader last year for Indianapolis Warren Central High School.
LAST TIME OUT--DAYTON 28, DAVIDSON 0
UD raced out to a fast first-quarter start, propelling the Flyers to a 28-0 win over the Davidson Wildcats Saturday at Welcome Stadium.
The Dayton defense dominated the entire game. Davidson was held to minus 17 yards rushing, thanks to a season-high nine sacks and seven quarterback hurries. UD also won the turnover battle 3-1. Dayton forced four fumbles, recovering two, and also intercepted a pass.
The Flyers outgained the Wildcats 308-214 in total offense with 219 yards coming on the ground.
UD held a 128-17 advantage in total offense after one quarter. After running 14 plays in the first period, the Dayton offense had another 19 snaps in the second, but the score remained 21-0 at halftime.
For the game, Harris rushed the ball 13 times for a gain on 92 yards, and Bardo ran the ball 14 times for 81 yards. Bardo was also seven-for-10 passing for 89 yards with the TD to Harris.
Defensively, defensive end Devon Langhorst spent a good portion of his day in the Wildcat backfield. The senior co-captain was in on four sacks (two solo and two assisted), had four tackles behind the line, three QB hurries and a forced fumble. Chase Walton was the game’s top tackler with 10 hits (six solo), a sack and two tackles for a loss. Seven different Dayton defenders were in a on a sack.
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.
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 in college.
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 remains on the road for the 1,000th football game in school history, playing at Valparaiso on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. ET before returning home for Senior Day against San Diego on Nov. 5. Morehead has a week off before playing at Campbell on Nov. 5.