On the road with a quarterback who’s never started a college football game? It’s not the scenario that Rick Chamberlin was hoping for at Southeast Missouri, but the Flyers coach doesn’t see his team feeling sorry for themselves.
Redshirt freshman Jack Cook gets the start under center for the Flyers, who lost fifth-year senior Alex Jeske to a season-ending knee injury in last week’s season opener against Robert Morris.
“Everybody knows it can happen on any particular play,” Chamberlin said. “You’re sorry when it happens but there are still goals to be made. Alex wouldn’t want people to be deflated and mope around. We just have to go forward with the people we have and know that we’re putting quality people in there to take their spots.”
Cook certainly has plenty of weapons at his disposal. The biggest of those is 6-foot-6 tight end Adam Trautman, a senior who certainly has pro potential and he showed it with a 31-yard touchdown catch last week where he spun away from one defender, then faked out another before getting into the end zone.
“I like to say it’s a combination of finesse and power,” Trautman said. “I’ve kind of always had that and I finally got my opportunity to display what I have.”
Trautman caught four passes for 60 yards against Robert Morris. He said losing Jeske for the season takes some punch out of the Dayton offense.
“Obviously it’s deflating in a way, but we have all the confidence in the world in Jack,” Trautman said. ” He came in and put up five touchdowns in 2 1/2 quarters so we know what he can do and he has the experience now going into week two.
Dayton defeated SEMO 25-23 last year at Welcome Stadium when Jack Crain intercepted a two-point conversion pass in the final minute.
“Their tailback (Marquis Terry) is the preseason offensive player of the year in the Ohio Valley Conference,” Chamberlin noted. “They have a huge line and a great defense, and I’m sure there is a little incentive on their part having the Flyers down there in their place this time.”
The RedHawks lost their opener 48-21 at Arkansas State last Saturday. The Redhawks defense gave up 21 unanswered points in the second half and starting quarterback Daniel Santacaterina was knocked out of the game right before halftime. The Arkansas State player who delivered the blow was thrown out of the game for targeting.
Santacaterina is expected to be in the Redhawks lineup Saturday.