As it would be for any team carrying an undefeated record into the last week of October, plenty will be at stake on Saturday, Oct. 24 when the University of Dayton football Flyers host Jacksonville. Dayton will look to improve to 8-0 for the first time in 14 years, and remain alone in first place in the Pioneer Football League.
Game time is 1 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on DaytonFlyers.com and heard on WHIO Radio.
Dayton is one of five FCS teams still undefeated at 7-0, and is 4-0 in the PFL. Jacksonville is 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the PFL (Note: JU is not eligible for the PFL standings due to league-imposed penalties.).
UD became the first team to win 100 PFL games with a 27-24 win over Butler. The Flyers came from behind in the second half for the fifth time in their seven wins this season.
Dayton has already clinched its 38th winning season in the last 39 years.
The Flyers are without All-American running back Connor Kacsor, who suffered a knee injury in practice on Oct. 8 and is out for the rest of the season. Kacsor concludes his career with a Dayton record 3,543 yards rushing and 38 TD’s.
This is the 23rd season of the PFL. UD’s 11 titles to date are the most in PFL history, counting ties. San Diego and Drake are next with six each.
Dayton finished 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the PFL in 2014. The Flyers finished tied for second in the Pioneer Football League.
GOOD NEWS WORTH REPEATING
The Flyers enter the season with the fourth-best winning percentage (.738, 124-41) in FCS football since 2000 AND have produced the most football Academic All-Americans (22) at any level of competition in the same time frame. The top five in winning percentage are North Dakota State (.845), Harvard (.799), Montana (.775), Dayton (.738), and San Diego (.698).
UD has not been shut out in a school-record 438 straight games, the best such active string in all of college football. The last team to shut out the Flyers was Marshall, 9-0, on Oct. 16, 1976. That is also the all-time FCS record.
- Jacksonville leads the series 4-3.
- It has been an odd series.
- Even though they are considered PFL powers, the two teams have only met twice in the last six years.
- JU’s four wins (including the last three games) have been by an average of 6.0 points.
- Dayton’s three wins are by an average of 36.7 points.
- The Dolphins won the last meeting on Sept. 22, 2012 at Welcome Stadium by the score of 21-17.
SCOUTING THE DOLPHINS
- Jacksonville leads the PFL in total offense (433.3), while the defense is the best in FCS football in turnovers gained (23).
- JU quarterback Kade Bell (who was just added to the STATS LLC Player of the Year Watch List, replacing Connor Kacsor), is the top passer in the PFL, averaging 301.0 yards a game.
- Wide receiver Andy Jones leads the PFL in receiving yards per game (87.5). He is third in receptions per game (6.3) and yards per catch (13.8) among players who qualify.
- Safety Terrance Bryant leads JU in tackles per game (7.1), and is one of three Dolphins who are in the top 10 in the PFL in interceptions.
- The Pioneer Football League is in its 23rd season.The original (and now the only) Division I strictly need-based football league began with charter members Butler, Dayton, Drake, Evansville, San Diego and Valparaiso.
- UD’s 100-31 record is the best in PFL history.
- The Flyers were the 11th NCAA FCS team (and the first west of the Alleghenies) to win 600 games in its football history in 2008.
- The 16 members of the club, heading into the 2015 season are: Yale (884), Harvard (848), Penn (830), Princeton (804), Dartmouth (676), Delaware (674), Lehigh (671), North Dakota State (671), Lafayette (669), Dayton (649), Northern Iowa (641), Cornell (633), North Dakota (625), Colgate (625), Holy Cross (613) and Brown (601).
- Of the 600 Club members, Dayton has played the fewest seasons (106, nine fewer than Northern Iowa’s 115).
- Drake needs one more win to be the latest team to join the club.
- Senior linebacker Christopher Beaschler leads UD in tackles (67), solo hits (36) and is second in TFL (5.5).
- He is also fourth in the PFL in tackles (9.6).
- He had a career-high 18 tackles at RMU.
- It was also the most tackles by a Flyer in a single game in the last six years.
- He had 14 hits (11 solo) at Valparaiso.
- He was one of seven players who were First Team All-PFL and First Team Academic All-PFL in 2014.
- He was second in the league in tackles per game (10.1) last year.
- A 2015 team captain, Beaschler was named Preseason First Team All-PFL.
CAD CAM DESIGN
- Cameron Stubbs is second in FCS football and the PFL in interceptions (0.7,).
- He was named PFL Defensive Player of the Week when he intercepted two passes in the Duquesne win.
- Stubbs had another two picks vs. KSU.
- He had three PBU, two tackles and a fumble recovery in the Butler win.
- Stubbs has a team-high six passes broken up this season.
- Stubbs is third in the PFL in KO returns (27.5).
ALSO A COMPLETE SENTENCE
- William Will is on the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List for the second straight year. The Mitchell Award goes annually to the top non-FBS kicker in college football.
- He leads the PFL and is tied for second nationally in field goals per game (1.86).
- He also leads the PFL in scoring (8.7).
- In PFL play, he is averaging 2.25 FG’s a game.
- He was PFL Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring nine of Dayton’s 27 points and helping hold the PFL’s No. 1 KO return unit to an 18.5 yard average.
- At Robert Morris, his first field goal attempt was blocked due to a breakdown in the line, but he was two-for-three in the game. His 37-yarder with 2:32 left proved to be the game-winner. He also recovered a fumble.
- In a matter of 15 months, Will went from walk-on tryouts to being the 2013 First Team All-Pioneer Football League placekicker. As a freshman he was 10 of 12 on field goals and 41 of 43 in PAT’s and was UD’s leading scorer with 71 points.
- In 2014, he had 84 (14-19 FG, 36-38 PAT).
- He is 23-of-28 between 30 and 49 yards in his career.
- Will led the PFL and was tied for 20th in FCS in field goals per game (1.20) in 2014.
- He was on ESPN’s top plays for his fumble return for a TD at Marist in 2014.
- Dayton has trailed at halftime in five of the seven wins this season.
- The Flyers were behind by at least 10 points against RMU, Duquesne, Kennesaw State and Butler as well.
- Of the other four undefeated FCS teams, only McNeese have trailed at halftime, and only once.
- Dayton goes to Morehead State on Nov. 7. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.
- The Flyers are back home Nov. 14 to take on Marist on Senior Day., also at 1 p.m. ET.