Will Bardo and Taylor Harris acounted for all four Dayton TD's, including this 56-yard pass.
Final Stats -- Photo Gallery
The University of Dayton football team 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 took advantage of a Davidson fumble just one minute and twenty-three seconds into the game as Nick Weston recovered the loose ball on the Davidson 35-yard line. That turnover set up a 13-yard touchdown run by Taylor Harris.
Davidson got the ball back on the Dayton 22, but the Flyers forced three straight negative yardage plays (a fumble out of bounds on a sweep and two sacks) and after 33-yard punt, received the ball with great field position on the Davidson 39-yard line. The Flyers needed just two plays to eat up those 39 yards, which came on two runs by redshirt freshman quarterback Will Bardo. Bardo ran for 28 yards on the first play and then capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
The Flyer defense held Davidson again on the next possession as the Wildcats gained just nine total yards with one first down. The Dayton offense took advantage and marched down the field with an eight-play, 63-yard drive resulting in another rushing touchdown by Bardo. This time it was a nine-yard dash, putting the Flyers up 21-0 with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.
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.
The Flyers dominated the running game in the first half, outrushing the Wildcats 157-22. Harris gained 85 yards on 10 carries, while Bardo also carried the ball 10 times for 69 yards. All three Flyer first-half touchdowns came via the ground with Bardo running in for two and Harris crossing the goal line for one score. Overall, the Flyers outgained the Wildcats 182-69 in the first half.
The Flyers started the second half, just as they did in the first, by scoring a touchdown the first they had the ball. This time only nine seconds and one play were needed to put the Flyers into the end zone. Bardo found Harris out of the backfield streaking down the left sideline and hit him in stride for a 56-yard touchdown to put the Flyers up 28-0. Harris and Bardo accounted for each of Dayton’s touchdowns four touchdowns.
Davidson took the kickoff and drove 60 yards to the Flyer 20, but they failed to convert a fourth and five when cornerback Matt Pfleger made a big hit on a swing pass for a three-yard loss. On Davidson’s next possession, the Wildcats got to the Dayton red zone again. But the Flyer defense scuffed out a potential Wildcat scoring threat as Bryan Bailin intercepted a pass at the Flyer 14-yard line with 14:27 left in the game.
The Flyers preserved the shutout with a fumble recovery by Sean Sward on the UD 44-yard line with 3:19 left in the game. Ironically, the last time the Flyers shutout an opponent was also the Davidson Wildcats back on Oct. 17, 2009 with a 17-0 victory.
The Flyers have now not been shut out in a school-record 393 straight games, which is the best active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall 9-0, one day short of 35 years ago on Oct. 16, 1976. This streak is the all-time FCS record.
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.
The Flyers improve to 4-3 and 2-2 in the Pioneer Football League with the win. Davidson falls to 2-4 and 0-3 in the PFL.
UD is back in action next Saturday at Morehead State. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. E.T. The next Flyer home game is in three weeks on Nov. 5 vs. San Diego.