The University of Dayton football team could reach a college football milestone today when the Flyers play Robert Morris at 1 p.m. at Welcome Stadium.
The last time UD was shut out was in a 9-0 loss to Marshall on Oct. 16, 1976 when UD head coach Rick Chamberlin was a sophomore linebacker for the Flyers. Since then, Chamberlin has seen the Flyers go 399 consecutive games without getting shut out.
Although, it was news to Chamberlin to know today’s game could be No. 400.
“You had to tell me that didn’t you,” Chamberlin joked. “You had to bring that up.”
The fifth-year head coach said the team never even thinks about the shutout streak.
“We just go,” Chamberlin said. “It’s not something that we think about. You want to score. Last two games, we’ve just barely gotten it. We’ve had great offenses here. Now, we’re not going to win every game offensively. But we’re efficient and our guys execute well and we can get the ball in the end zone.”
While the Flyers go for No. 400, the NCAA is trying to figure out how to classify Dayton’s streak, according to Mark Bedics, an associate director of media coordination and championships for the NCAA.
For much of Dayton’s football history, the program played at the Division I level until a switch to Division III in 1979. The Flyers stayed there until 1993, when the program joined the Pioneer Football League and the FCS ranks.
The NCAA contacted Dayton’s athletic communication department to tell them that UD holds the record for the longest streak in college football history.
Yet, according to the NCAA record book, Dayton does not hold the record for most consecutive games without being shut out at any of the four college football division levels – FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III.
Dayton has a streak of 205 games as a FCS program. The FCS record currently belongs to Montana at 310 games, and the Grizzlies have not been shut out since 1989.
The FBS record belongs to Brigham Young with 361 straight games. A 3-0 loss to Utah in 2003 ended the streak.
At the Division III level, Mount Union, in Alliance, Ohio, is currently adding to its record. The Purple Raiders have not been shut out since 1981, a record 386 games. The record for Division II is 227 games by Pittsburg State.
“For the program, it really brings a focus onto how good our offenses have been and our ability to put points on the board no matter who we’re playing,” Chamberlin said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams over the years, and still being able to score points whether it’s by offense, defense, special teams, it just means that our kids are competitors. They fight to the very end and they’re going to find a way to score. Hopefully, that’s what they’ll be doing this weekend, too.”
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