Dayton quarterback Jack Cook during last week’s game against Robert Morris earlier this season. Erik Schelkun/CONTRIBUTED

College Football: Flyers eager to open Pioneer League League play

The Dayton Flyers bring a 1-2 record into Saturday’s game at Welcome Stadium, but Rick Chamberlin’s team is probably a handful of plays away from being 3-0 as they head into their Pioneer Football League opener against Davidson.

“We played two tough opponents on the road,” the Flyers head coach said. “Games I really believe we shot ourselves in the foot and beat ourselves.”

In the last two weeks the Dayton defense has given up three touchdowns of 70 yards or more. Those big plays have paved the way for back-to-back losses.

“We learned a lot about ourselves in the first three weeks,” senior defensive end Nick Surges said. “Anytime you go play two FCS-caliber teams on the road you are going to learn a lot about yourself. In our case we found out the hard way, but we know even if we were 3-0 we would have to reset the replay button going into conference play.”

The other issue has been the kicking game. Chamberlin has used two different kickers with mixed results the last two games, missing a field goal and having an extra point blocked in the loss at Duquesne.

“We can’t leave points on the field,” Chamberlin said. “Saturday if we would have converted on all of our mistakes, going into the fourth quarter we would have been up by six points…but we didn’t.”

“I think family weekend is one of our favorite weekends to play at home. It’s a really great crowd and a fun atmosphere…it’s also always a boost to start conference play at home.”

Dayton owns a 12-1 record against Davidson (3-0) in the all-time series, but the Wildcats are coming off an amazing game last week when they beat Division III Guilford 91-61.

“That’s a good offensive day for anybody,” Chamberlin said. “That just means that your kids are athletic, they’re fast, they’re scoring fast, and they can make big plays.”

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