Head coach Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 315 UD football wins as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
With non-conference football out of the way, the University of Dayton will get back into Pioneer Football League action Saturday when the Flyers host the Valparaiso Crusaders at Welcome Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
UD is 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the PFL. Dayton’s 1-0 conference mark places the Flyers in first place with Drake, Jacksonville and San Diego.
Valparaiso is 0-4 in its first season under new coach Dale Carlson, but the Crusaders’ lone league loss is a narrow 21-19 decision last week against Drake.
Dayton returns 15 starters (10 offense, three defense, two specialists), from the team that went 9-2 and won a share of the 2009 Pioneer Football League title.
Head coach Rick Chamberlin has guided UD to 9-3 and 9-2 records in his first two seasons.
ALL CAPTAINS ALL PFL
The Flyers are led by captains Tyler Friedrich, Joe Ries and Steve Valentino. All three are redshirt seniors, members of two PFL championship teams in their careers and were named First Team All-PFL in 2009.
Friedrich is an offensive guard from Dublin, Ohio. A versatile player who has also played tight end and tackle in his career, Friedrich started all 11 games last season. Ries is a linebacker from Cincinnati. As a junior, he was second on the team in tackles (70), and led in interceptions (3) and fumbles forced (2). Valentino is just the fourth two-time captain in school history. The Solon, Ohio native moved from wideout to quarterback after the season opener, and led the Flyers to their 10th PFL title in 15 years.
PRINDLE ON GOOD WORKS TEAM
Senior tackle Dan Prindle was named on Sept. 21 to the 22-man Allstate Good Works team. For more information, go to p. 3 in this packet.
SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS
After losing the first three games of 2010 by a combined 123 points, Valparaiso lost it PFL opener by two (21-19) at home to Drake last week. The Drake loss was VU’s 10th straight in league play.
Valpo’s defensive push up front has literally been a strength for new coach Dale Carlson. The Crusaders averaged 9.0 tackles for a loss, which ties them with Texas Southern, Murray State and St. Francis (PA) for the best average in FCS football. Twenty different defenders have contributed to that effort, led by junior end Grant Bushong’s 4.5.
Dayton leads the series 17-2 and has won the last six contests. Last year, UD won 38-7 at Valparaiso. The Flyer defense allowed just 60 yards and two first downs in the game. Steve Valentino ran for three TD’s and passed for another in the game, and Brandon Wingeier returned a “pick-six” 57 yards.
THE EYES OF THE NATION
The Flyer football program received more national attention this summer than perhaps ever, when quarterback Steve Valentino and Flyer James Vercammen were named to the Walter Payton Award and Buck Buchanan Award Watch Lists. UD is also receiving votes in the Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS poll.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers entered the season with the second best winning percentage (.791, 87-23) in FCS football since 2000 AND the most football Academic All-Americans (19) at any level of competition in the decade.
MORE GOOD NEWS
The Flyers are predicted to win their 11th Pioneer Football League championship in the annual PFL coaches’ poll that was announced on August 9. UD received 76 points while Butler was picked to finish second, receiving two first-place votes, with 69 points. Jacksonville got the four remaining first-place votes.
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 379 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.
ALL-PFL PERFORMERS RETURN
Dayton returns five 2009 First Team All-PFL performers – OG Tyler Friedrich, LB Joe Ries, QB Steve Valentino, F James Vercammen and DE Brandon Wingeier. In addition, UD also returns WR Justin Watkins (second team) and C Justin Griffis (honorable mention).
LONG TIME STARTERS
Joe Ries, Brandon Wingeier and Steve Valentino each enter the Valparaiso game with 27 starts under their belts (although 13 of Valentino’s starts were at receiver). Seven other Flyers also have double-digit starts. Justin Watkins has 22, Tyler Friedrich and Eric Studt each have 19, James Vercammen has 17, Justin Griffis 15, Dan Fornek and Dan Prindle each have 14, Anthony Papp has 12, and Brian Jacob has 11 starts.
VALENTINO NAMED FIRST PFL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior quarterback Steve Valentino was named the 2010 season’s inaugural PFL Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Dayton’s 28-14 season-opening win over Robert Morris. The UD co-captain and Walter Payton Award candidate accounted personally for 317 of UD’s 388 yards in total offense. Valentino ran the ball 16 times for 106 yards and completed 19 of 37 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in the win. It was the fifth career PFL Player of the Week Award for Valentino. He earned four weekly awards last season en route to being named the PFL Offensive of the Year and leading UD to a share of the PFL title.
Senior quarterback Steve Valentino is the first Dayton player to be named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Payton Award goes to the player of the year in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision and is presented by the Sports Network. A First Team All-PFL wide receiver in 2008, he became Dayton’s starting quarterback in the 2009 season’s second week due to injuries. He promptly led the Flyers to seven consecutive victories and finished the regular season among the league leaders in four categories (with a league-best 281.6 yards total offense) en route to being named the 2009 PFL Offensive Player of the Year. Just the fourth Flyer to be a two-time football captain, he is the first position player in PFL history to be named first-team all-league at two different positions. After playing less than a half in the Central State blowout, Valentino has slipped to third in total offense (259.5), fourth in passing offense (195.8) and fifth in rushing (63.8) in the PFL.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
This is the first time since he has began playing organized football that reigning PFL Offensive Player of the Year Steve Valentino has been a starting quarterback two years in a row. He started at QB as a senior at Solon High School, and then redshirted and was a third-string QB in his first two years at UD. He moved to WR in 2008, and then came to the rescue and returned to QB last year.
STILL AT QB, STILL A CAPTAIN, BUT...
There are a lot of attributes attached to Steve Valentino (captain, Payton candidate, PFL Player of the Year, etc.) but he no longer holds the title of “Fastest Player on the Team.” That honor now goes to freshman kick returner/cornerback Gary Hunter, who ran a 4.32 in the preseason. Valentino runs a 4.44.
Senior James Vercammen was named to the Sports Network’s Preseason All-America First Team in July. Playing the hybrid safety/linebacker position know as “Flyer,” he is the only player from the PFL on the first team and one of four from the league on any of the Sports Network preseason teams. Vercammen is also the only player from the PFL who has been named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The Buchanan Award is given to FCS football’s best defensive player. Vercammen is the first UD player to be named to the Buchanan Watch List. As a redshirt junior, Vercammen’s 134 tackles set a new single-season record in the PFL and was third in the FCS. His season earned him a spot on the Sports Network’s Football Championship Subdivision All-American Second Team and All-PFL First Team. He posted eight games of double-digit tackles, including a 19-tackle, 1.5 tackle for loss and one pass breakup game against conference foe San Diego.
QUALITY VS. QUANTITY
Dayton only returns three starters from last year’s defense that led the PFL in scoring defense (13.6) and total defense (242.5), but they were the three most productive Dayton players on that side of the ball. Flyer James Vercammen led the PFL and was third in the nation in tackles (134). Linebacker Joe Ries was second on the team in tackles (70), and led in interceptions (3) and fumbles forced (2). Defensive end Brandon Wingeier led the team in sacks (6.5) and fumbles recovered (2).
SPEAKING OF WINGEIER
Brandon Wingeier is a two-time ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American. A mechanical engineering major, he has started 53 straight games for the Flyers. Last year he led UD in sacks (6.5). He also had 39 tackles, 11.5 hits in the backfield, two fumbles recovered, two QB hurries, a fumble forced, a pass batted down and an interception he returned 57 yards for a touchdown.
SPEAKING FURTHER OF WINGEIER
Brandon Wingeier was named the PFL Defensive Player of the Week after the Morehead State game. Wingeier spearheaded UD’s defensive effort in the trenches, as the Flyers held Morehead to just two yards net rushing. Wingeier’s 2.5 tackles behind the line led UD, as did his 1.5 sacks. Dayton entered game with 4 sacks, but had 5 in the MSU win alone. He also had five stops in the game (three solo) and forced the fumble on the MSU 11-yard line that set up UD’s second TD of the game.
YOUNG DAYTON DEFENSE PASSES FIRST TEST
With just three starters back on defense, the plan was to ease the young defense into the flow of the game in the season opener against Robert Morris. The plan went right out the window when the Flyer offense fumbled the ball away on the very first play of the game at its own 30-yard-line. But the defense rose to the occasion, with three first-time starters in the secondary making stops as UD forced RMU into a three-and-out and eventual missed field goal. UD went on to hold the Colonials to 58 yards total offense in the first half.
DEFENSE BY COMMITTEE
Nine Flyers had at least three tackles in the Robert Morris win, and seven of the nine were first-time starters. Safety Eric Robbe led the way with nine hits. Cornerback Matt Pfleger (who played wide receiver in 2009) was right behind with seven stops (five solo). Four players were involved in sacks, and nine had tackles in the backfield (led by All-American James Vercammen’s 2.5). Six players each had a pass knockdown.
Devon Langhorst leads the Dayton defense in tackles (26), sacks (3.0), QB hurries (3) and is tied for team honors with James Vercammen in stops in the backfield (4.5). Vercammen also leads in solo hits (15) and is second in total tackles (24).
Last year, redshirt sophomore Matt Pfleger was playing wideout for UD behind a deep and talented group of receivers. This year, he is a starting cornerback who is tied for fourth on the team in total tackles (18), is second in solo hits (13), and leads in interceptions (2) and pass breakups (4).
QUALITY & QUANTITY
UD returns 10 of 11 starters on offense (and that does not include center Blake Saul who started all 12 games in 2008 and was limited with a back injury in 2009). Every player who scored is back, as are 13 of the players who caught a pass, and the team’s top four rushers.
THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
Ten different Flyers have caught at least one pass this season. Justin Watkins leads the team with 17 balls and is second in yards per catch (15.2). Nick Collins is second in receptions (15) and leads with three TD’s. Luke Bellman is tops in yards per catch (17.8). Both Watkins and Bellman each have a pair of TD catches.
CAREER DAY FOR WATKINS
Redshirt senior wideout Justin Watkins caught a career-high eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Robert Morris win.
COLLINS CATCHES (AND CATCHES, AND CATCHES...)
Redshirt senior Nick Collins has caught at least one pass in 25 straight games.
Redshirt sophomore Brian Mack is second on the team in rushing, averaging 43.8 yards game. His four touchdowns (all rushing) lead the team.
UD’s stable of backs -- RS sophomore Taylor Harris, RS sophomore Dan Jacob, RS sophomore Brian Mack and senior Andrew Zapinski -- have 386 yards and eight TD’s between them.
DOING GOOD WORK
Senior offensive tackle Dan Prindle is a member of the 22-man 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.
On the field, Prindle started in 10 games in 2009, helping the Flyers to a 9-2 record and a share of the PFL Championship. He was named Second Team Academic All-PFL.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Nick Glavin is 15th in career scoring at UD with 178 points. Just ahead are Hartmut Strecker (183), Sylvester Monroe and Garry Smith (186 each). Glavin is fifth in career PAT’s for the Flyers with 113. Strecker is next with 114. Glavin is also tied with Strecker and Jason Resch in fifth place for career field goals at UD (23). John Bianchi is fourth with 24.
Justin Watkins is currently fifth in Flyer career receiving yardage with 1,816 yards. Just ahead are Tim Eubank (1,851), Pat Hugar (1,878) and Nick Ruhe (1,885). Watkins needs four catches to crack the top five in career receptions.
Steve Valentino is third in career total offense with 4,337 yards. Next on the list is Kelly Spiker (5,138). Valentino is also sixth in career yards passing (3,195). In his sights are Dan Sharley (3,229) and Kevin Johns (3,572). Valentino is now third in career pass completions (257). Steve Keller is second at 273.
PFL MEANS PIONEER FOOTBALL LEADERS
UD leads the PFL in scoring offense (34.5), rushing offense (189.0), rushing defense (60.5), first downs (22.2), opponent first downs (16.2), kickoff returns (26.6), punt returns (15.4), sacks (2.75, tied with USD and VU), 4th down conversions (85.7%, 6-7), opponent 3rd down conversions (32.1%, 17-53) and time of possession (34:34). UD is also second in total offense (388.0), net punting (33.0), sacks allowed (1.25), red zone offense (85.0%, 17-20).
Individually, Nick Glavin leads in kick scoring (7.5), PAT’s (18-18) and FG accuracy (1.000, 4-4). Gary Hunter is No. 1 in kickoff return average (28.6). Corner Matt Pfleger is tied for the league lead in interceptions (3) and passes defensed (2.0 per game).
THE RED WALL
Dayton is third in FCS football in rushing defense (60.5), behind Northern Iowa (52.0) and Northern Arizona (57.3).
Last season, UD led FCS football in pass efficiency defense (96.71) and was second in pass defense yardage (140.1), third in total defense (242.6.10), first in (128.20) and fifth in scoring defense (13.6). UD also led the PFL in first downs allowed (11.8), opponent third down conversions (25.2%), lowest penalty yardage assessed (36.9) and time of possession (33:13 per game).
SHUTTING OUT DISTRACTIONS
Two PFL teams’ last shutout was by the Dayton defense. Naturally one is Davidson, who UD beat last year 17-0 on Oct. 17 (seven games ago). The other one is San Diego (114 games ago, 41-0 in 1999).
TUESDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The Flyers are continuing “Tuesday Night Lights,” the free program where pee wee football teams take the field for a practice with the University of Dayton football team, for the fourth straight year. Every Tuesday from Sept. 7 to Oct. 26, 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 then observe practice until they go home at 8:30 p.m.
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 2010 season. Yale (857), Harvard (805), Penn (804), Princeton (784), Fordham (743), Lafayette (648), Dartmouth (645), Delaware (637), Lehigh (629), Cornell (618), Dayton (612), North Dakota State (604) Northern Iowa (603) and North Dakota (601). Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (102, nine fewer than Fordham’s 110).
MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE
UD head coach Rick Chamberlin has been a part of 315 of UD’s 615 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 21 as a head coach.
The Flyers’ 69-19 PFL record is the best in the history of the league. UD has won 10 league championships (including ties) in the 17 years the PFL has existed. The rest of the league has 12 combined.
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 196-40-2 (.827). The “Welcome” is not a greeting, but an honor to the late Percival Welcome, longtime AD for the Dayton Public Schools.
SACKS FOR GROCERIES UD’S 2010 CHARITY INITIATIVE
After picking up “Loose Change” for Catholic Social Services in 2008, and scoring “Touchdowns for Tots” in 2009, the University of Dayton has a new charity of choice this season. It is “Sacks For Groceries.” For every sack the Flyers come up with, PNC Bank will make a donation to a Miami Valley Food Bank.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
1 each: Nick Glavin, Gary Hunter, Dan Jacob, Devon Langhorst, Nate Miller, Mike Morante, Eric Robbe, Blake Saul, Tyler Schutz, Eric Studt, Steve Valentino, James Vercammen
SCOUTS OF THE WEEK SCORECARD
Twice: Justin Simpson; 1 each: Will Bardo, Kevin Cripe, Pat Dowd, Tom Hunt, Branden Johnson, Victor Kaczkowsi, Jacob Rigali, Sal Savato, Robert Washington, Nick Weston
FLYER PFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player of the Week--Steve Valentino: 9/4
Defensive Player of the Week--Brandon Wingeier, 9/18
LAST TIME OUT--DAYTON 45, CENTRAL STATE 13
The hallmark of real estate is “Location, Location, Location.” If that piece of real estate happens to be a to be a football field, the equivalent is “Field Position, Field Position, Field Position.” The University of Dayton football team took full advantage of great field position en route to its 45-13 win over Central State Saturday night at Welcome Stadium.
The Flyers scored their first 45 points on seven drives of less than 50 yards. UD led 17-0 after the first quarter and 38-0 at halftime. UD outgained CSU 208 to 15 in total offense in the first half.
UD was led by running back Brian Mack, who gained 84 yards on nine carries. Third-string quarterback Zachary Splain was the game’s second-leading ground gainer, carrying the ball four times for 73 yards. Running backs Taylor Harris and Mack each scored two rushing touchdowns.
Starting QB Steve Valentino was eight-of-14 for 81 yards and a touchdown in less than a half of play. Justin Millio and Tyler Hujik each caught three passes to lead the Flyers. Hujik also returned two punts for 80 yards.
Defensive end Devon Langhorst led UD with 10 tackles (all in the first half) with one sack. CSU running back Josh Anderson came into the game averaging 122.3 yards a game but was held to just six net yards in the game. Marauder quarterback Jeffrey Brooks ran 13 times for 63 yards (50 in the second half) and completed 19 of 39 passes (16 of 31) for 213 yards (198) and two touchdowns.
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 are 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 second-youngest coach to win a Super Bowl (supplanted by Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin in 2009), 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, five 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.
Dayton will play the first of two tough road games when the Flyers travel to San Diego on Oct. 9. Kickoff is 5 p.m. ET. After San Diego, UD will play at Butler on October 16 before returning home to face Campbell on October 23.