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College Football: Flyers buoyed by return of quarterback Jeske

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 8:31 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:28 AM
By: Mike Hartsock - WHIO TV

It took a little longer than expected, but the Dayton Flyers (1-4, 0-2) are hoping that Alex Jeske will be worth the wait when he takes the field Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa against Drake (3-2, 2-0).

The fifth-year senior quarterback was cleared to play by team doctors earlier this week and it didn’t take Rick Chamberlin long to move Jeske back in to the starting lineup.

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“I think that Alex will be mentally prepared to get back in there,” Chamberlin said this week. “I’m sure that it won’t be perfect because he hasn’t scrimmaged or done anything like that, but Alex is a seasoned veteran and he’s been there before.”

Jeske broke a bone in his foot during a workout a week before summer camp started. Doctors removed his foot from a protective boot three weeks ago, but the Dayton medical staff has been cautious with the comeback.

The Flyers are 1-4 with Kyle Kaparos as the fill-in quarterback. The redshirt sophomore from Columbus has improved since he took over, but the coach says Jeske has some intangibles that can’t be denied.

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“Alex has a lot of confidence in what he’s able to do, plus physically his arm is stronger than Kyle’s, and with three years experience he can read defenses faster,” Chamberlin said.

The Flyers will need every advantage they can get on Saturday. While Dayton has a 25-8 record in the all-time series, most of those wins have come at Welcome Stadium.

“We haven’t done real well out there since 2009,” Chamberlin said. “Just like any (Pioneer Football League) opponent, it’s tough to win on the road.”

For the second week in a row the Dayton defense will face one of the best quarterbacks in the league

Grant Kraemer has thrown 11 touchdown passes in the first five games, averaging nearly 300 yards a game through the air.

Dayton is riding a three-game losing streak. The Flyers haven’t lost four in a row since 2006.

“I know that everyone wants to get that next win,” Flyer defensive back Andrew Lutgens said. “I don’t think there is panic or urgency.

“The coaches do a great job keeping us on an even keel…we just have to keep grinding and getting better. You don’t want to ever start worrying or panicking or changing too much because that’s when you get in a lot of trouble.”