It’s a road the Dayton Flyers don’t want to travel this season but the scenery is looking all-too-familiar through the first five games of the year.
Rick Chamberlin’s team lost four of their first five games last season on the way to a rare losing season. The 2018 edition is 2-3 through the first five games with both wins coming at home and all three losses on the road.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL
“It’s very frustrating,” Chamberlin said. “You look at the talent that you have and the execution you perform at times, it’s not a complete game for us. We’re making mistakes either mentally or technique-wise, or just better play by the opponent as it was last Saturday.”
That opponent was a previously winless Marist team. The Red Foxes were the first opponent to outgain the Flyers this season on the way to a 28-17 win in Poughkeepsie, New York last week.
The Flyers are hoping to get healthy against another winless team when Valparaiso (0-4) comes to Welcome Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday.
Dayton owns a 24-3 lead in the all-time series. The Crusaders kept the Flyers from a winning record last November with an 8-7 season-ending win in a driving rainstorm in northern Indiana.
“Last year was tough to swallow,” sophomore safety Tim Simon admitted. “This year we’re hoping to come out and do a little bit better than last year and obviously coming home is big. We’ve been playing well at home this year so hopefully we can do well in front of a home crowd.”
The Flyers hope to take advantage of what Valpo’s other opponents have been able to do this season. The Crusaders are giving up more than 280 yards a game rushing this season. Dayton is averaging over 200 yards a game on the ground.
“We have mature players,” Chamberlin said. “We have 25 seniors on our team so they’ve been through the battles. They were through it when we were having success. They know we just stay to what we practice, what we know, the tradition here and things will come around.
The Flyers have been in every game they’ve played this season and with more than half of the schedule ahead of them, nobody is panicking.
“We’re 1-1 in the conference,” Chamberlin said. “We still have a lot of opportunities to end up with a losing record and winning the conference this year so nobody has thrown in the towel yet.”