By: Daniel Durkin – Staff Writer
The Dayton Flyers took on Robert Morris University Sept. 20 at Welcome Stadium, defeating the visitors from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 31-7.
The win pushes the Flyers’ record to 2-1 and closes out the nonconference portion of the team’s schedule.
UD scored on its first two drives on offense and the defense swarmed the Robert Morris quarterback throughout the game totaling six sacks and forcing five turnovers on the day.
Head coach Rick Chamberlin said that forcing turnovers was the key to the defensive success and that he knew it was important for his defense to force turnovers.
The offense tallied 298 yards of total offense led by redshirt senior quarterback Will Bardo, who was 15 of 26 for 201 yards with two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
Redshirt senior receiver Ross Smith caught six passes for 76 yards and one touchdown.
Smith attributed the success to a great week of practice and summed up what the victory means in context of entering Pioneer League play Oct. 4 against Davidson College in one word -“momentum.”
While the offense scored early and often, the defense gave up a total of seven points in the game.
Junior linebacker Ryan Schwenke said the preparation in practice over the last week helped the team shut down the Robert Morris offense
“They run a different type of offense. They’ve switched it up from years past and we prepared well,” Schwenke said. “Our biggest thing is that we run to the ball and play hard and that’s what helped us force turnovers and get stops.”
Like Smith, he views the game as a momentum builder.
“We are feeling good, especially going 2-1, heading into conference play, and, with the bye week coming up next week, it will be nice to rest and recover and start to get ready for our first conference game against Davidson.”
Schwenke stressed the importance of a good start after coming off a tough loss the previous week.
Smith added, “Practices are a lot different now, and that’s great. Getting a win like this can help us gain momentum going into league play, and just keep building on that momentum.”
Coach Chamberlin said he liked how his team jumped out to a fast start against Robert Morris and produced early stops on defense.
Getting off to a fast start “was the biggest difference from last week, we struggle to get a couple field goals and a touchdown, and we just couldn’t get anything going until the second half, and this week we were able to get some momentum to start with,” he said.
The Flyers travel to Davidson College to open up conference play Oct. 4.
The next home game will be Oct. 18 at Welcome Stadium against Morehead State University.