Win or Learn


Rob SgarlataThis past weekend we traveled to Dayton for the first ever meeting between the Hoyas and Flyers.  Prior to the game, we were honored to participate in a moment of silence for Chuck Noll, a Dayton alum and football legend who passed away this year.  Dayton is a solid program. “Win or Learn” was the message from Brigadier General Sam Nichols to the team in the preseason. There are many things that we will learn from this weekend that will allow us to improve this week in preparation to travel to Marist.

Overall, we were not consistent enough on offense or defense to win the game.  The following sequence tells the story.  Dayton received the kickoff to open the second half.  On the opening drive, our defense forced a fumble. Our offense took over on our 30 yard line and drove the ball to the Dayton 23 yard line.  We failed to convert a 4th and 1 and turned the ball over on downs.  Dayton then went on an 8 play, 77 yard drive to go ahead 20 to 7.  We need to be able to convert on 4th down on offense and we needed to tackle better on defense to stop this drive.

At times, our offense was able to move the ball through the air and on the ground.  Kyle Nolan threw for 179 yards and our offensive line allowed us to rush for 100 yards on the day.  We scored twice: once on the ground with a one yard run by Danny Wright, and once through the air with a throw by Kyle Nolan to Justin Hill.  Justin made a terrific catch in the corner of the end zone.  In spite of these positives, we made too many unforced errors.  We had 5 penalties and 7 dropped passes on the day.  Overall, I feel that we left a number of points on the field as a result.

During our week of preparation, we knew Dayton had a talented and veteran group on offense.  We knew we had to tackle well on defense to have a chance to win this game.  Our defense had a similar day to our offense.  On the positive side, we forced 2 turnovers.  Garrett Powers recovered a fumble and Hunter Kiselick intercepted a pass which put the offense in position for our second touchdown. On the negative side, we surrendered 301 yards rushing to Dayton’s starting running back and only forced 2 punts for the day.

On special teams, our punter, Harry McCollum, had an excellent day.  He punted 5 times and averaged 45.6 yards per punt with a long of 60 yards.  He also placed 2 punts inside the 20 yard line.  Unfortunately, we were not able to capitalize on his performance.  Our inconsistencies on offense and defense did not allow us to control the field position.

“Win or Learn.”  Obviously we did not win on Saturday.  We will learn from the experience.  We spent Sunday reviewing the tape with our players and will put the Dayton result behind us.  We will take the lessons from the weekend and work to improve our practice habits as we prepare for our 6 p.m. game at Marist this weekend.

As always, thanks to the Gridiron Club for a great tailgate.  It was amazing to see the Blue and Gray out in force in Ohio this past weekend.


Rob Sgarlata

Leave a Reply