Two Dukes Earn NEC Player of the Week Honors
Sep 2, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Freshman quarterback Dillon Buechel (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) and sophomore linebacker Sam Martello (Westlake, Ohio/St. Edward) were both honored by the Northeast Conference for their performance in Duquesne's 35-24 win over Albany on Saturday.
Buechel threw for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns to earn co-Rookie of the Week honors. The first DU freshman to open the season under center since 2005, Buechel completed 21-of-28 passes without an interception. He threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Sean Brady and 29-yard TD strike to Gianni Carter in the span of a minute to turn a 16-10 halftime lead into a 29-10 advantage with 10:03 to go in the third quarter.
Buechel's 309 yards passing were the most by a DU freshman since Scott Knapp threw for 365 yards in a 23-12 win over Robert Morris in the 2005 opener.
Buechel is the first Duke to earn NEC Rookie of the Week honors since all-time leading rusher Larry McCoy was named three times in 2009.
Martello was named the league's co-Defensive Player of the Week on the strength of a pair of big plays. The 6-0, 209-pounder teamed with Aaron Reed to tackle UA's Kevin Chillis for a 13-yard loss and safety on the first play from scrimmage. In the third quarter, Martello sacked Albany's Will Fiacchi, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Dorian Bell. The play was followed by Buechel's pass to Carter. The Ohio native finished with 6 tackles (4 solo).
Duquesne (1-0), which is among others receiving votes in this week's Sports Network FCS Top 25, returns to action on Saturday at Dayton (0-1).