Duquesne at Dayton Pregame Notes
Sept. 23, 2002
#2 DUQUESNE (3-0, 2-0) at #1 DAYTON (3-0)
Radio: (Fox Sports Pittsburgh - WBGG-AM 970)
#2 DUKES FACE #1 DAYTON
Duquesne, coming off an impressive 36-0 home win over Marist, heads west for a key non-conference showdown with top-ranked Dayton (3-0) of the Pioneer League on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Welcome Stadium (kickoff at 1:00 p.m. - WBGG-AM 970, on the web at www.redzonemedia.com).
DU, ranked No. 2 in both The Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major Poll, is looking to avenge a 42-16 defeat at the hands of the Flyers last season. This marks the second consecutive season Duquesne and Dayton have met holding the first two spots in The Sports Network poll. Last year, the Dukes were ranked No. 1 with Dayton ranked No. 2. This year, the Flyers have held the top spot in the poll for five consecutive weeks. Both teams have been outstanding defensively with Duquesne leading the nation in total defense (159.0 ypg.) and Dayton ranked first in scoring defense (3.3 ppg.) in the latest NCAA Division I-AA statistics. Dayton, a 42-0 winner at Austin Peay last week, also owns wins over Robert Morris (24-10 at home) and at St. Francis (39-0 in the season opener).
Note: Dayton and Duquesne are also one and two in Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette poll.
DU/UD MEANS TOUGH "D"
Duquesne enters Saturday's game ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense, surrendering an average of 159 yards per game, while Dayton ranks first among I-AA schools in scoring defense - giving up an average of 3.3 points per game.
TWO TOP TEAMS
The Duquesne vs. Dayton game matches two of the seven most successful teams in NCAA Division I-AA over the last five seasons (see box on page two). Entering this year, Duquesne ranked fourth on the list with a .759 winning pct. since 1997 (41-13-0), while Dayton, who is seventh, went 39-13-0 (.750) over that same span.
TWO TOP COACHES
In addition, the Duquesne/Dayton clash features two of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division I-AA. Entering this season, Dayton's Mike Kelly had a 195-40-1 (.828) record in 21 seasons as a head coach, while Duquesne's Greg Gattuso began the year with a .740 winning percentage (71-25-0 in nine seasons). According to the 2001 NCAA Football Records book, Kelly's winning percentage ranked first, and Gattuso's fourth among I-AA coaches with a minimum of five years as a I-A/I-AA head coach.
BACK SO SOON?
Although Dayton and Duquesne share membership in the Atlantic 10 Conference, football meetings between the two schools have been scarce. The Dayton/Duquesne football series dates all the way back to a 20-0 Duquesne home win over the Flyers on Nov. 13, 1920. The two also met in a home-and-home series in 1923 and 1924 with Dayton winning 27-0 at Duquesne on Oct. 6, 1923 and also taking a 28-0 decision on Oct. 18, 1924 at Dayton. Last season's game at Rooney Field marked the renewal of the series.
The quarterback and placekicker for the Dukes in the 1920 win over Dayton was none other than Art Rooney. Rooney, for whom Duquesne's home field is named, went on to become one of the most respected figures in the history of the National Football League as the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rooney was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964.
Dukes Move Up On MAAC Tote-Board
Throught three game, the Dukes are now number one in the MAAC Football League in the following eight categories: scoring offense, scoring defense, pass offense, total offense, total defense, pass efficiency, opponent first downs, and opponent penalties.
Loebig tops the total offense (148.3 ypg) and pass efficiency (132.2) lists; senior wide receiver Jeremy Conley (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Allderdice) leads with 84.0 receiving yards per game; and, DU's current placekicker, Earl Bellisaro, heads the kick scoring (4.7 ppg) and field goal accuracy (0.67%) lists.