University of Dayton football head coach Rick Chamberlin does not think his team’s schedule is getting any easier when it hosts Jacksonville University to begin Pioneer Football League play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at
“We needed that win over Robert Morris (University) to give us
momentum going into the PFL because it doesn’t get any easier,” Chamberlin said. “Our first three games are tough challenges, and we start off the PFL with a tough challenge in Jacksonville.”
Dayton defeated RMU 20-14 on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Welcome Stadium to enter Saturday’s contest with Jacksonville at 1-2 on the season. In the two team’s previous six meetings, the series is tied 3-3, with the home team winning every match up.
Jacksonville (2-1) defeated Dayton last year on Oct. 8, 2011 with two touchdowns in the final 4:11 of the game to win 34-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. Chamberlin said that you have to win games at home and hopes Welcome Stadium will be advantage over the team’s southern based opponent.
“They have to fly up north now,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll be about 50 degrees on Saturday, and it’ll feel like 30 to them.”
Jacksonville enters Saturday’s game coming off consecutive wins after an opening loss to Georgia Southern University.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Kade Bell, who is the son of head coach Kerwin Bell, leads the team’s offense in his first season. Bell suffered a concussion, though, near the end of the first half against Webber International University on Sept. 15, leaving his status unknown against Dayton, according to Jacksonville University’s official athletic website.
With Bell behind center, the team’s offense has used its speed to develop a big play ability. The Dolphins have had 13 plays going for over 20 yards in its two wins, which has helped them have the second highest scoring offense in the PFL.
For their performances against RMU, three Dayton players swept the PFL players of the week awards in their respective categories. Redshirt senior running back Taylor Harris shared the league’s offensive award with Jacksonville sophomore wide receiver D’Andre Randle. The RMU game was Harris’ first of the season, carrying the ball 19 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’m feeling all right, feeling a little sore,” Harris said. “The training staff does a really good job taking care of us.”
Randle caught three passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns against WIU. Welsh said he shows how athletic Jacksonville is and how important the game plan UD’s coaches will put together will be.
“As far as being a DB, it’s probably the best group of wide receivers that we’ll see as a whole,” he said. “Lot of emphasis is put on staying deep. They’re fast, but we’re fast too.”
Welsh has 15 total tackles, three tackles for loss, the second most on the team, and a sack in three games. He said a lot of his success has come from watching film and gaining experience of being in Dayton’s system.
Dayton has won at least a share of the PFL championship 11 times in the league’s 19-year history. Welsh said when the team played its first three games of this season, nothing was different than every other game the team plays, but now more emphasis is being placed on games starting against Jacksonville.
“This is the first step to our goal to win a [PFL] championship,” he said.