University of Dayton football coach Rick Chamberlin admits to being as excited as his squad about playing under the lights at Welcome Stadium tonight.
“I love it,” Chamberlin said. “There is something about it … the coolness of the night, the lights shining down, everything feels brighter. And it gets them back to their high school days of playing on Friday nights and brings back memories for them.”
The rarity of a night game at Welcome (6 p.m. kickoff) will have added excitement with San Diego coming to town.
The Toreros are 4-2 overall and lead the Pioneer Football League at 3-0. They beat UD 41-9 last season.
“Last year, everyone knows what happened,” safety Zach Elias said. “It has stuck in our minds. We know how big of a game it is for us.”
One of the keys for the Flyers (4-2, 2-1) is to control the clock and keep San Diego’s Mr. Everything – quarterback Mason Mills – on the sidelines.
Mills leads the PFL in passing with 1,883 yards in six games. He’s tossed 14 touchdowns. Reggie Bell is Mills’ favorite target, hauling in 35 passes for 642 yards.
“We’ve got to find a way to move the ball,” Chamberlin said. “We have to limit their opportunities. He is such a mature quarterback. He is so confident and knows where his receivers are going to be. We have to be sure in our coverages and — I don’t think we can rattle him — but we got to make him get rid of it quicker than he wants.”
The Flyers enter with the second-ranked defense in the PFL with linebacker Collin Monnier (56 tackles) and defensive end Pat Dowd (two sacks) leading the charge.
Dayton has been pretty balanced offensively — 833 yards rushing and 866 passing.
“I don’t care how we move the ball, but we have got to find a way to move it,” Chamberlin said. “We have been playing with confidence. We have told the guys that it doesn’t matter who we play, we have to go out and execute the best we can and we have been doing the best we can as a team.”
San Diego at Dayton, 6 p.m., 95.7, 1290