@DuqFB to Host Dayton on ESPN3 Saturday at Noon on Rooney Field
Sept. 15, 2016
DUKES AND FLYERS: This is the 14th meeting between Duquesne and Dayton with the Dukes holding a 7-6 advantage in the all-time series. The teams have split the last four match-ups with the home team winning each time. The Flyers play in the Pioneer Football League and were predicted by the coaches of the league to finish second in the 11-team conference. Duquesne, which has at least shared three of the past five Northeast Conference regular season titles, was predicted to finish first of the seven teams by the NEC coaches. The home team has won each of the past four meetings, with Duquesne winning the last road contest in 2011. Game-by-game results can be found on page 7 of this notes packet.
LAST MEETING: Dayton's Connor Kacsor rushed for 244 yards and had three second half touchdowns as Duquesne lost its first game of the season, 24-13 at Dayton. The Dukes held a narrow 6-3 lead at the half following a Sam Martello fumble recovery for a score and extended their lead to 13-3 as Dillon Buechel connected with Wayne Capers on a 26-yard touchdown strike to give the Red and Blue a 13-3 lead with 7:53 to go in the third quarter, but were outscored 21-0 for the remainder of the contest.
ABOUT DUQUESNE: The Dukes won their third Northeast Conference title in five years, finishing the 2015 season 8-4 (5-1 NEC) and playing in their first ever FCS Playoff. Picked to defend as 2016 NEC champions by the league's coaches, the Red and Blue return seven starters on offense and six on defense, including six players who were named to the 2016 NEC Preseason Team (see note on page 2). Duquesne is coming off a 30-19 home-opening victory over Bucknell. Freshman A.J. Hines ran for three touchdowns in the game while senior Dillon Buechel threw for 342 yards.
ABOUT DAYTON: The Flyers are coming off a 10-2 season under ninth year head coach Rick Chamberlin, finishing with a first place 7-1 mark in Pioneer Football League play in 2015 and earning the University's first trip to the FCS Playoff. Chamberlin, a 1980 UD graduate, is in his 42nd season as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Last week, Dayton defeated Robert Morris, 19-0 in a game shortened by weather.
HOME SWEET HOME: Duquesne is 94-26-0 all time at Rooney Field including winning streaks of 16, 14 and 10 games (twice). Duquesne owns non-conference home wins over Dayton (four times), Bucknell (four times), Lafayette (twice), Albany, VMI, Monmouth, Butler, Morehead State and Fordham among others over the past 16 seasons. DU is 38-11 all-time in non-conference home games (22-2 under Jerry Schmitt) on Rooney Field, including a current string of 17 straight wins. The Dukes have won the past nine home openers dating back to their 28-19 loss to Bucknell on 9/1/07 and are currently riding a seven-game home winning streak.
PRE-SEASON ALL-NEC: Six Dukes were named to the 2016 Northeast Conference Preseason All-Conference Teams as senior quarterback Dillon Buechel, senior wide receiver Wayne Capers and junior lineman Ben Huss were all named on offense and senior linebacker Christian Kuntz, senior lineman Jake Radziukinas and junior linebacker Nathan Stone were tabbed on defense.
2016 NEC HONOR ROLL: Senior K/P Austin Crmmins was named the Northeast Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 12. He accounted for 12 of Duquesne's 30 points in the Sept. 10 30-19 win over Bucknell at Rooney Field. He connected on field goals of 25, 22 and 38 yards and was perfect on 3-of-3 PAT attempts. He also averaged 43.0 yards on four punts. Freshman RB A.J. Hines was named the NEC Rookie of the Week after rushing for three touchdowns in the win over Bucknell. He had 10 carries for 74 yards (7.4 ypc) and was the first Duke to rush for three touchdowns in a game since Larry McCoy did so against Valparaiso on Sept. 15, 2012.
MAKING A CAREER OF IT: Seniors Christian Kuntz, Austin Crimmins and Dillon Buechel climbed their ways onto Duquesne's all-time career leaders list last season and continue to climb higher in 2016. Kuntz registered 10 sacks last season to give him 21 on his career and move him into fifth place all-time at Duquesne. He is currently 5.5 behind the school leader Antoine Bullock (2002-05) after registering a sack for a loss of nine yards against Bucknell. Crimmins has sole possession of the top spot in career field goals made at DU with 48 and is also the Northeast Conference record holder. The placekicker was good on a Duquesne single season record 15 as a freshman, had 13 in 2015, had a new single-season record 16 last year and has added four this season. He is also the all-time leader in career points at Duquesne with 244. Buechel is second all-time in completions with 636 and second in attempts with 1,097. He is also second in career pass completion percentage at .578, second in yards at 7,995 and fourth in career touchdowns with 53.
SUCCESSIVE STARTS: Senior right tackle Larson Graham has started all 37 games of his collegiate career and has the longest current starts streak on the team. He is followed by junior linebacker Nathan Stone who has 26 consecutive starts, including all 12 games in each of his first two seasons. The next closest is senior tight end Kevin Enright who has 15 straight starts.
NATIONAL EXPOSURE: Duquesne is slated to play six games on ESPN3 this season, the most in program history. Thanks to the Northeast Conference's television package, Duquesne's home game versus Robert Morris on Oct. 15 will be aired on the trey as will its road contest on Oct. 21 as the Dukes travel to Saint Francis for a Friday night game. The season opener at Youngstown State on Sept. 1, home contests versus Dayton (Sept. 17) and Kennesaw State (Sept. 24) and the Oct. 1 contest at Jacksonville will also be available to a national audience on ESPN3.
ALL-AMERICAN PERFORMANCE: Senior linebacker Christian Kuntz has received Preseason All-America laurels from four organizations. Kuntz, who received six postseason All-America accolades last season, was also the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He led the nation in tackles for a loss in FCS in 2015 with 26 for a total of 114 yards while adding 72 total tackles (47 solo), four interceptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns, 11 sacks for a loss of 70 yards, six pass break-ups and six quarterback hurries.
FBS INFLUENCE: There are 12 players who were previously on FBS rosters on the Duquesne roster in 2016, nine of whom are on the Dukes' opening day two-deep. Those players include senior WR Wayne Capers, Jr. (Arizona), sophomore QB Kareem Coles (Idaho), junior WR Jaquan Davidson (Pitt), sophomore LB Bryan Glover (Eastern Michigan), junior LB Carter Henderson (Penn State), junior WR Thomas Lucas (UConn), redshirt P/PK Mitch MacZura (Ohio State), junior WR Chavas Rawlins (West Virginia), graduate transfer WR Blair Roberts (Old Dominion), sophomore DB Brandon Stanback (Buffalo), senior LB Gary Wooten (Penn State) and sophomore DB Daquan Worley (Penn State).
QUICK START WHEN IT COUNTS: Duquesne's football team, which joined the Northeast Conference in 2008, is 7-1 in NEC openers. The Dukes won its initial NEC game at home versus Saint Francis, 21-7 in 2008 before falling at Monmouth in year two, 17-10. Since then, DU has won its last six NEC openers dating back to its 2010, 28-17 win over Albany.
CAPTAINS: Duquesne's captains for the 2016 season are senior QB Dillon Buechel (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour), senior OL Larson Graham (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), junior OL Ben Huss (Upper St. Clair, Pa/Upper St. Clair), senior LB Christian Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley), senior DL Jake Radziukinas (Upper St. Clair, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and junior LB Nathan Stone (Scottdale, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic).
SURPASSING A LEGEND: In 2013, head coach Jerry Schmitt surpassed the legendary Elmer Layden on Duquesne's all-time coaching victories list. Layden - one of Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen" - coached at Duquesne for seven seasons from 1927-33. It was under Layden that the Dukes first became recognized as a national football power. After leading DU to a 10-1-0 record and an appearance in the 1934 Festival of Palms Bowl, Layden left Duquesne to take over head coaching duties at Notre Dame. Duquesne's all-time wins leader is Greg Gattuso, who preceded Schmitt at DU. Gattuso, who led the Dukes to eight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League titles and a I-AA Mid-Major National Championship in 2003, is currently the head coach at Albany.
DU'S NINTH SEASON IN THE NEC: Duquesne, a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Football League from 1994 to 2007, is beginning its ninth season as an associate member of the Northeast Conference Football League. With the move to the NEC, Duquesne offered 18 scholarships beginning in February of 2008. That number currently rests at 38. Duquesne granted only need-based financial aid for football playing student-athletes as a member of the MAAC. The NEC competed as a non-scholarship member of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision until 2006 when the conference adopted an athletics-based aid model. Duquesne started its program in 1902 and competed at the highest level - winning a pair of New Year's Day Bowl games (1934 Festival of Palms and 1937 Orange) - before disbanding following the 1950 season. DU returned at the Club level prior to the 1969 season and won a National Club Championship in 1973. The Dukes competed at the NCAA Division III level from 1979-92 before moving up to the non-scholarship Football Championship Subdivision in 1993. The NEC Football League, which was established in 1996, includes full-time conference members Bryant University, Central Connecticut State University, Robert Morris University, Sacred Heart University, Saint Francis (Pa.) University and Wagner College along with associate member Duquesne University.
IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY: Duquesne is 30-23 in non-conference games under 12th-year head coach Jerry Schmitt with wins over Dayton (four times), Robert Morris (three times prior to joining the NEC), Bucknell (four), Monmouth (twice) and Fordham (twice). At home, the Dukes are 22-2 in non-league play under Schmitt, while on the road Schmitt's Dukes have fashioned an 8-21 mark. DU snapped a seven-game skid in non-conference road games with a 22-13 win at Dayton on Sept. 3, 2011. The win snapped Dayton's FCS-best win streak at 10. DU went 4-2 in non-conference games in 2014 and finished 3-3 last year.