DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The University of Dayton (UD) football team hit the field for the first official practice ahead of the 2022 season Monday afternoon.

UD returns 15 starters (10 offense, three defense, two kickers) from the 2021 season. 

The lone offensive starting vacancy is at quarterback, and heading into camp it looks to be a three-way battle between sophomore Dante Casciola, redshirt sophomore Cole Dow and sophomore Shane Hamm.

The Flyers enter the 2022 season on the hunt for two big milestones. UD head coach Rick Chamberlin will start his 14th season as the Flyers’ head coach with 99 wins, and Dayton has scored in 497 consecutive games, dating back to the 1976 season.

Dayton was picked to finish fourth in the Pioneer Football League for the 2022 season in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. The Flyers have 12 league championships to its credit in the PFL’s 29 seasons.  

UD was 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the PFL last year. Dayton won its last three games in 2021.

Captains Jake Chisholm, Ben Schmiesing and Brian Stevens will lead UD in 2022. 

Chisholm, a two-time team captain, is one of 35 FCS student-athletes named to the 2022 Stats Perform Preseason Walter Payton Award Watch List. The two-time Flyer co-captain was a Second Team Stats Perform FCS All-American last year as an all-purpose runner after finishing second in FCS football in all-purpose yardage (163.9 yards per game). 

He also led FCS in rushing attempts per game (23.5) and touchdowns per game (1.8).  He is also a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Coach Chamberlin has guided UD to 99 wins in his first 13 seasons, including a record 75 Pioneer Football League wins.  A Flyer All-American linebacker in his playing days, Chamberlin has been a part of 393 of UD’s 703 wins – 26 as a player, 268 as an assistant coach, and 99 as a head coach. 

The Flyers open the 2022 season at Robert Morris on Saturday, Sept. 3.  After playing at Youngstown State on Sept. 10, the home opener will be Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. ET against Kentucky State.

UD has not been shut out in a school-record 497 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.