Starting safety Rich Piekarski is one of 12 Ohio natives on the Duquesne roster.
Sept. 16, 2013
Game:#3 - Dukes at traditional FCS power Youngstown State
DUQUESNE (1-1) at YOUNGSTOWN STATE (2-1)
Saturday, Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m.
Stambaugh Stadium (20,630/FieldTurf) • Youngstown, Ohio
RADIO: WJAS-AM 1320 with Alex Panormios (play-by-play) & Tad Maurey (color)
STREAMING AUDIO: RedZoneMedia.com or GoDuquesne.com
STREAMING VIDEO & LIVE STATS: www.YSUSports.com
DUKES AT YSU
Duquesne, which has been idle sine a 23-20 loss at Dayton on Sept. 7, returns to action to face perennial FCS power Youngstown State (2-1) on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m. at YSU's Stambaugh Stadium (WJAS-AM 1320). The Dukes opened with a 35-24 home win over Albany on Aug. 31. YSU dropped out of both the Sports Network and AFCA polls following a 55-17 loss at FBS Michigan State. The Penguins, who are 27th in both polls this week, are 2-0 at home with wins over Dayton (28-10 on Aug. 29) and Morehead State (67-13 on Sept. 7). In two games vs. FCS schools, the Penguins are averaging 47.5 points and 579 yards per game (with an average of 363 coming on the ground). YSU, which was picked to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll, has won 20 of its last 21 non-conference regular-season home games since September 2004. The lone loss was a final-play 31-28 setback to Liberty in 2008.
This is the first meeting between Duquesne and Youngstown State. You have to go all the way back to Nov. 11, 1932 to find the first - and last - time the Dukes faced a current member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. That was a 34-12 home win over South Dakota State in a game played before 15,000+ fans at Forbes Field.
DUQUESNE AT A GLANCE
Redshirt freshman quarterback Dillon Buechel has thrown for 604 yards and four TDs in his first two collegiate games. The 6-3, 176-pounder from nearby Montour High School ranks sixth nationally in passing yards per game. Buechel came within five yards of becoming the first freshman in school history to throw for 300 yards in back-to-back games when he threw for 295 yards on Sept. 7 at Dayton (he had 309 against Albany in the season opener on Aug. 31). Redshirt freshman linebacker Aaron Reed, Buechel's high school teammate at Montour, leads the team with 19 tackles (8 solo). Sophomore linebacker Christian Kuntz, another WPIAL product (Chartiers Valley), is second on the team with 17 tackles. Kuntz leads the team with 4.5 tackles for loss, including a team-high 2.0 sacks. Junior Ryan Ho has run for a team-best 102 yards and two TDs in two games. Preseason All-NEC pick Gianni Carter has posted back-to-back 100-yard games (6-103-1 vs. Albany & 7-135-2 at Dayton) to lead the receiving corps. Carter ranks eighth nationally in receiving yards per game (119.0). Redshirt freshman Austin Crimmins has made good on all four of his field goal attempts (30, 22, 26, 27). His 2.0 FGs per game ranks fifth nationally. Three of Crimmins' 12 kickoffs have gone for touchbacks. DU is averaging 75.5 yards rushing and 302.0 yards passing per game. DU opponents are averaging 104.5 yards rushing and 262.5 yards passing per game. The Dukes (6-of-6) are one of 15 FCS schools who are perfect in the red zone on the young season ... this is a homecoming for starting sophomore nose tackle Zach Zidian who attended Boardman High School in Youngstown.
YSU totaled a school-record 718 yards of total offense (359 rushing and 359 passing) in its Sept. 7 67-13 win over Morehead State ... the Penguins scored 43 points in the first half of the win ... the 67 total points was the second-highest total in school history ... YSU's 33 first downs vs. Morehead was one shy of the school record ... Youngstown averaged 8.2 yards per carry in its 28-10 win over Dayton and 8.0 ypc. against Morehead State ... YSU had three different 100-yard rushers in its first two games ... the Penguins are coming off a 55-17 loss at FBS Michigan State ... YSU managed eight first downs and was held to 172 total yards ... Michigan State totaled 547 yards, including 302 yards in the first half ... Youngstown enters Saturday's game ranked ninth nationally in rushing offense, despite its 51 yards on the ground at MSU ... Duquesne is the first Pennsylvania school to visit Youngstown State since 2007 (Lock Haven).
Youngstown State, which has averaged 12,622 fans for its first two home games, promises yet another 10,000+ crowd on Saturday. Head coach Jerry Schmitt's Dukes have played before the two largest crowds since the program's reinstatement in 1969. On Sept. 18, 2010, DU played before 18,922 at Delaware's Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium and on Sept. 1, 2012, the Dukes took the field before 19,818 fans at Old Dominion's Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Both Delaware (#8/6) and Old Dominion (#11/12) were nationally ranked by both Sports Network/Coaches at the time. The largest crowd the Dukes played in front of in the modern era prior to the trip to Delaware was 8,672 at Penn's Franklin Field on Sept. 17, 2005. DU regularly played before large crowds from the 1930s until the program was disbanded following the 1950 season.
Fourth-year Youngstown State offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo started 32 games for the Dukes from 1994-97. With current DU head coach Jerry Schmitt serving as his position coach, Bricillo was part of DU's first two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship teams in 1995 & 1996 - earning first team All-MAAC honors both seasons. Bricillo got his coaching start on Schmitt's first Duquesne staff in 2005 as offensive line coach.
IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Duquesne is 20-16 in non-conference games under ninth-year head coach Jerry Schmitt with wins over Robert Morris (three times prior to joining the NEC), Dayton (three times), Bucknell (twice), Fordham (twice) and Albany (once as a CAA member). At home, the Dukes are 13-2 in non-league play, while on the road Schmitt's Dukes have fashioned a 7-14 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 is 7-4 in non-conference games over the past four seasons (1-1 this year).
Three players with BCS game experience are on the 2-deep: back-up RB Jason Douglas (Pitt prior to one year at Fullerton College), starting LB Dorian Bell (Ohio State) and starting S Chris Johnson (Florida) have all played in a BCS game. Back-up CB Ken Egu ran track and was on the football team at Washington, but did not see action.
• Duquesne, which returns 13 position starters, lost five of its last six to finish 5-6 last season (3-5 in the NEC). All five of DU's NEC losses were by seven or fewer points (the average margin of defeat was -5.0 ppg.).
• Twenty-five returnees started at least once last season.
• Ten freshmen have seen action in DU's first two games: QB Dillon Buechel (RS), WR Chavas Rawlins, CB Sterling Parks, spec teams Xavier Nelson (RS), spec teams Anthony Alimenti (RS), LB Aaron Reed (RS), OL Larson Graham (RS), PK Austin Crimmins (RS), TE Kevin Enright (RS) and DL Jake Radziukinas (RS). Buechel, Parks, Reed, Graham and Crimmins have started both games.
• Redshirt freshman Dillon Buechel, who has completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns, has a 161.4 efficiency rating through two games. The first freshman to open the season under center since 2005 (Scott Knapp), Buechel earned NEC co-Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing for 309 yards and two TDs in the season-opening win over Albany. Buechel is replacing Sean Patterson, who started 33 consecutive games from 2010-12 (536-955-63-6,762-28). Patterson accounted for over 95 percent of DU's pass attempts, passing yards and touchdown passes since 2010. Buechel beat out senior Marty Mitchell (14-29-6-189-2) - the only quarterback on the roster who had attempted a college pass entering the season - for the starting job.
• Junior Ryan Ho (45-184-1 last year) has rushed for 102 yards and two TDs in two games. He posted 76 yards and touchdown runs of 1 and 25 yards vs. Albany. Ho is replacing all-time rushing leader Larry McCoy (956-4,549-37) - another three-year starter.
• LB Sam Martello earned NEC co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 2 after helping force a safety on the first play from scrimmage and adding a sack and forced fumble in the third quarter of the Aug. 31 win over Albany. He followed that with 10 stops, including 3.0 tackles for loss (2.0 sacks) and a fumble recovery at Dayton.
• Senior receiver Sean Brady's leaping, one-handed, 27-yard TD catch in the third quarter of the opener vs. Albany was No. 3 on ESPN's College Football Plays of the Week on Sept. 2. You can see the catch on DU's YouTube page by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP70eu_X2Uk. The play had over 26,000 views in its first week.
• Duquesne ranks 10th nationally in team passing efficiency (161.44), 14th in passing offense (302 ypg.) and 20th in yards per completion (20). The Dukes are 16th in rushing defense (104.5).
• Youngstown State ranks 9th nationally in rushing offense (259 ypg.). The Penguins Nick Liste is the top punter in the FCS with a 49.6 average. Liste had punts of 62, 55, 53, 52, 50, 48 and 46 yards in the loss at Michigan State. Nine of his 14 punts this season have traveled 50 or more yards.