The University of Dayton football team is doing its best to move on after last Saturday’s 31-20 loss to Marist.
But for players and coaches, the aftertaste is still in their mouths.
“We have that feeling that we lost a game that we shouldn’t have lost,” said senior cornerback Howard Savage. “And we know how that feels and we don’t want to feel it anymore.”
Dayton (2-2, 0-1) will get its chance at redemption in Pioneer Football League play this afternoon against Davidson (0-4, 0-1) at Welcome Stadium. UD is 9-1 all-time against Davidson with the Flyers winning the last six meetings by a combined score of 199-96.
The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Jonathon Carkoff, who leads the league passing yards per game (309.8). Carkoff holds nearly every school record for passing, including the season and career records for yards, completions, completion percentage and attempts. This season, Carkoff has completed 91 of 159 passes for 1,239 yards and seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
Dayton head coach Rick Chamberlin said the defense will try to pressure Carkoff into making bad throws. UD’s front four has been trying to do just that through the first four games this season, but with minimal success, according to Chamberlin.
“We are concentrating very hard this week on our stunting game up front with our front four,” he said. “Just our guys on their pass rush techniques. And then our coverage has to be sound. You just can’t give him open spaces. He’s an accurate passer, that’s what’s so good about him.
Dayton’s defense is not known for blitzing, especially in man coverage, but Chamberlin said the Flyers might use more zone blitzes to help the defensive lineman get a better pass rush.
The main concern for UD is the offense. After a quick start against Marist, it stalled. Coaches are trying to figure out how to fix it.
“It has to start with our quarterback (senior Will Bardo),” Chamberlin said. “He has to be consistent, and Will had his worst game yet, I felt, this year (against Marist). Part of it was he had pressure in his face. They were coming at him.”
“We have to be more physical up front,” Chamberlin said. “We have to be able to handle the blitzing people are doing against us.”
Who: Dayton (2-2, 0-1) vs. Davidson (0-4, 0-1)
When: Today, 1 p.m.
Where: Welcome Stadium
Radio: WHIO Radio; 95.7-FM. 1290-AM