What a difference a year makes for the Dayton Flyers. Last September an injury forced Jack Cook into the starting lineup for the season opener against Robert Morris.
The Pittsburgh-area native led the Flyers to a 49-28 win over a team that didn’t recruit him out of Seneca Valley High School just north of the Steel City.
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The redshirt sophomore quarterback will be back home Saturday for another shot at the Colonials.
“It’s fun to go home and see the familiar surroundings and you get more fans,” Cook said. “Mostly it’s just like any other game to be honest.”
Cook is the first to admit he is a much different player now than he was a year ago.
“I’d say I’m definitely a lot more confident and more comfortable back there,” he said. “It helps having some great players behind me but I’ve definitely taken some strides since I’ve been here but I’m looking to build from there.”
Cook threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half and ran for two more in the second half in last week’s season-opening win at 14th-ranked Indiana State.
Rick Chamberlin said the difference in his young quarterback is more than just his ability to throw the ball or tuck it and run.
“He’s always had talent,” Chamberlin said. “He understands now why the coaches are calling certain plays. There were times Saturday that he made checks that we need to have, and then there were other times Jack saw something different and it came out positive.”
Living up to the hype
NFL scouts are making a habit of stopping at Flyers practices to check out Adam Trautman, and the senior tight end certainly didn’t disappoint in the season opener.
Trautman caught 11 passes for 132 yards against Indiana State. The former quarterback should continue to be a nightmare for opposing defenses all season long.
Dayton has won 18 of the 21 games against Robert Morris. The Flyers have won 15 of the last 16 games. The lone exception was a 13-10 Colonials win in 2017 on a field goal in the closing seconds.
After back-to-back road games the Flyers play their home opener next Saturday against Duquesne at 1 p.m. at Welcome Stadium.
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