Western Illinois at Dayton FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 1st Round Breakdown

Western Illinois at Dayton FCS Football 2015 Playoffs 1st Round Breakdown


Western Illinois at Dayton, Saturday, 12:00

The committee rewarded Dayton with a home game and that was a bit of a surprise for a Pioneer team. But the Flyers certainly deserve it after a great 10-1 season. Of course, Dayton has not played the toughest schedule being in the PFL, but they did beat Duquesne in non-conference play and took care of conference favorites San Diego and Jacksonville. All of those big games were at home so playing Western Illinois in the friendly confines of Welcome Stadium gives them a good chance to advance.

Western Illinois is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Their record is 6-5, and they are the only 6-5 team to make the playoffs. But they have had a tough game every single week. Their five losses came against Illinois, Coastal Carolina, Illinois State, Youngstown State and North Dakota State. That is three playoff teams, a team that was ranked at the time and a Big Ten squad. Their big wins came against playoff teams Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State. This group is certainly well tested to say the least. WIU’s biggest question is at quarterback where Trenton Norvell has missed the last two games following surgery for appendicitis. But Sean McGuire, who is a dangerous runner as well, filled in very well in the Leathernecks two big wins against Indiana State and South Dakota State to reach the playoffs.

This is not a great matchup for Dayton since a quarterback who can pick apart a defense is the best way to beat WIU. The Leathernecks have no pass rush to speak of, but the Flyers do not put the ball in the air all that often. They want to work their offense through running back Tucker Yinger, but if Dayton is going to win, they will need a big day from quarterback Alex Jeske. Dayton will also need to win the turnover battle, something they usually do quite well thanks to a talented secondary that includes Cameron Stubbs, Christian Searles and Danny Leach. But Western Illinois will not make that many mistakes and Dayton’s playoff debut should end with a loss against a team that simply has more talent and big game experience.

Projected Score: Western Illinois 38, Dayton 17


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