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Dayton picked to finish second in Pioneer Football League

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ST. LOUIS - The University of Dayton football team was picked to finish second in the Pioneer Football League for the 2017 season in a preseason vote of the league's coaches. This is the 25th season of the PFL. Dayton has 12 league championships to its credit the PFL’s first 24 seasons.

Dayton and preseason favorite San Diego were well ahead of the rest of the league in the balloting. USD was picked as the favorite to win the 2017 PFL crown with 99 out of a possible 100 voting points. UD was close behind with 92 points. Nine PFL coaches picked San Diego in first place on their ballots, while Dayton received two first-place votes. The Toreros were 8-0 in the PFL in the 2016 season. The Flyers were 7-1, with the difference being a 34-22 USD win in San Diego. The two teams will meet this year in Dayton on Sept. 30. This is the fourth consecutive year that San Diego and Dayton have been picked 1-2 in the preseason poll.

A tight grouping of Marist (69 voting points), Drake (67), Campbell and Jacksonville (62 each) trailed the Flyers and the Toreros.

Dayton returns 12 starters – eight offense and four defense -- from last season's team that finished 9-2 overall. The Flyers will bring a seven-game win streak into the 2017 season, which is tied for third in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision. Defending FCS national champion James Madison leads with a 12 game streak, Grambling is second with 11, and UD is tied with Coastal Carolina with seven.

Captains Jack Crain, Alex Jeske and Nick Surges will lead UD in 2017. Jeske is a two-year starter at quarterback and last year’s White-Allen MVP for the Flyers. The 2017 season is also coach Rick Chamberlin’s 10th as Dayton’s head coach.

UD opens the year on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Robert Morris. Dayton’s home opener is Saturday, Sept. 9 against Southeast Missouri. For ticket information, please visit DaytonFlyers.com.

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