PITTSBURGH – The University of Dayton Flyers found themselves down 31-13 at Duquesne late in the third quarter, but UD scored two touchdowns and were stopped on fourth and goal from the 10 with 2:11 left in the game to fall at Duquesne 31-26.
Tucker Yinger led UD with 122 yards rushing on 13 carries with a touchdown. Redshirt freshman QB Jack Cook was 17 of 28 passing for 229 yards (13 of 18 for 187 in the second half) with a TD. Adam Trautman caught the TD pass and led the Flyer receiving corps with five catches for 69 yards. Safety Tim Simon led UD in tackles (13) and solo tackles (7).
Dayton closes out non-conference is now 1-2 in 2018, while Duquesne is now 3-1.
• Both teams scored on their first possession.
• The Dukes went 75 yards in three-and-a-half minutes to open the scoring.
• Dayton responded with a 92-yard drive that ended with Richie Warfield’s two-yard run to make the score 7-6 after the PAT was blocked.
• Duquesne then kept the ball for all but one play of the period, keeping the ball for 7:23, 13 plays and driving 91 yards to lead 14-6 after one quarter.
• After three punts (two by Dayton, one by Duquesne), the Dukes scored on an 80-yard Daniel Parr to Nehari Crawford pass to lead 21-6.
• Dayton missed a field goal on its next possession, but a Kyle Butz 32-yard punt return put the ball on the Dukes 25, and three plays later Jack Cook hit Adam Trautman from eight yards out to make it 21-13.
• Duquesne went 53 yards in just over a minute to kick the field goal that made the halftime score 24-13.
• The Flyers took the second half kickoff and drove to the goal line, but on a second and goal from inside the one, fumbled the snap to come away empty.
• The Dukes seemingly put a nail in the Flyers with a 94-yard drive to make it an 18-point game, 31-13.
• The Flyers responded began to come off the mat with a 55-yard TD drive. Ryan Skibinski set it up with a 26-yard kickoff return. Another big play was a Cook-to-Trautman 34-yard play on third and 11. Cook scored on a QB sneak.
• Dayton forced a punt and went 88 yards in just 1:42. Every play that gained yardage on the drive was a big play – Cook to Matt Tunnacliffe for 32, Cook to Tucker Yinger for 15, Cook to Tunnacliffe for 18, and the TD was scored on a 33-yard run by Yinger to make the score 31-26.
• Two plays later, Brandon Easterling came up with a diving interception to give Dayton the ball on the Duquesne 47. The Flyers moved the ball to the Duke six-yard line, but a great one-on-one tackle by Duquesne’s Brett Zanotto on Yinger on a pitch play put the ball back to the 10. And on fourth down, Cook’s pass to Trautman in the end zone was broken up by Daquan Worley.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• For the second straight week, Dayton out-gained its opponent in a losing effort. This week it was 443-435.
• Nick Surges (1.5) and Dante Stefanini (0.5) each had sacks.
• Sean Smith averaged 40.0 yards per punt, with both of his two inside the 20.
• The Dayton return game was on point. Kyle Butz returned two punts for 29 yards, Ryan Skibinski set up a TD drive with a 29-yard return on a “pooch kick,” and freshman Jake Chisholm returned three kickoffs for 89 yards.
• Dayton extended its NCAA all-division record by scoring in its 468th consecutive game
• Tucker Yinger rushed for over 100 yards for the third time in as many games this season and his 14th time as a Flyer. He moved into fourth place on UD’s all-time rushing list, and now has 2,794 career yards. Next on the list is Gary Kosins. The former Chicago Bear had 2,812 in his three-year Flyer career.
• A critical factor in the outcome was the fact that Dayton made three trips into the red zone and came away with no points.
• Dayton begins pursuit of its 13th PFL championship next week when it opens the Pioneer Football League schedule on Saturday, Spt. 22 at home against Davidson. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
• The Davidson game is UD’s annual Family Weekend game.