Dayton quarterback Jack Cook throws a pass vs. Robert Morris during the 2018 season. Erik Schelkun/CONTRIBUTED

College Football: Surging Flyers will see familiar face at Valpo

The Dayton Flyers should have a little easier time game-planning for this week’s trip to Valparaiso, but the same could be said for the Crusaders.

It’s not because the Crusaders are off to an 0-5 start. The familiarity comes with the guy who is calling the shots at Valpo this season.

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Landon Fox spent the last 11 seasons in Dayton as the Flyers defensive coordinator before taking the top job at Valpo.

“Offensively our guys will have an idea of what defenses will be coming at them because they saw them in camp the past 11 years,” Flyers head coach Rick Chamberlin said. “They’ll have a feel for them, but coach Fox is a smart guy and we know there will be little tweaks here and there.”

The new Valpo coach will also have his hands full trying to find a way to slow down at Dayton offense that is averaging 40 points per game.

“It’s been really simple, the thing you see in Dayton is a team that executes really well,” said Fox, whose team is 0-1 in PFL play. “I’ve helped our offense in their preparations for this week and it’s been fun to watch because you care so much about those players on the other side, but the bottom line is we want to win here.”

Dayton sophomore quarterback Jack Cook has thrown 13 touchdown passes in the first four games, including a school-record six last week against Jacksonville.

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Meanwhile, senior tight end Adam Trautman has been a nightmare for opposing defenses. The NFL prospect caught four of those touchdown passes last week and also set the school record for career receptions.

“Each week the offense seems to get stronger and stronger,” Chamberlin said. “The rhythm and the perfection of their execution is a comforting feeling know you have an offense that can move the ball either on the ground or through the air.”

Dayton (3-1, 1-0 PFL) owns a 25-3 advantage in the all-time series against the Crusaders. Valpo snapped a 13-game losing streak with a win over the Flyers in 2017.

Valpo has had issues at quarterback this season. The Crusaders have played as many as four QBs in a single game.

Valpo has been outscored 187-46 but the Flyers coach has been preaching all week to make sure his team doesn’t overlook this opponent.

“I would hope that our players are smart enough and mature enough to know that every week in the PFL is going to be a challenge,” Chamberlin said. “Plus we’re on the road … so we certainly can’t take anything lightly.”

Dayton is on the front end of back-to-back road games for the second time this season. The Flyers head to Deland, Fla. next week to face Stetson before coming home for a PFL showdown against San Diego on Oct. 26.

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