Well-Rested Wagner to Visit Rooney Field
Oct. 18, 2011
Game #8 - Duke complete two-game homestand against Wagner
RADIO: WMNY-AM 1360 with Alex Panormios (play-by-play) & Tad Maurey (color)
WELL-RESTED WAGNER VISITS ROONEY FIELD: Duquesne (5-2, 3-1), coming off a 28-21 win over preseason Northeast Conference favorite Central Connecticut State, plays the second of two in a row at home when it hosts Wagner (1-5, 1-2) on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 12:10 p.m. (WMNY-AM 1360). The Seahawks, who did not play last week, head to Pittsburgh looking to end a five-game losing streak. Wagner's two NEC losses have come by a total of six points (28-24 at home to CCSU and 30-28 at Bryant).
DUKES AND SEAHAWKS: Duquesne tied the series at 3-3 with a dramatic 21-20 win at Staten Island last season ... Sean Patterson hit Dave Williams with a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:41 left as Duquesne rallied from a 20-7 fourth quarter deficit ... DU, which overcame four lost fumbles, took over at its own two-yard line down 20-14 with 6:08 left before driving 98 yards for the winning score ... the late touchdown was the second of two Patterson-to-Williams connections in the game's final 12:45 for the Dukes ... in its last trip to Pittsburgh, Wagner defeated the Duquesne 23-17 on a six-yard Jeremy Martinez touchdown run in the second overtime ... Duquesne had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Eric Duale had two field goal attempts blocked in the final 12 seconds ... DU took the first NEC meeting between the two, 14-0 at Wagner in 2009.
MORE ON WAGNER: Wagner was picked to finish seventh in the NEC preseason coaches poll ... the Seahawks have eight players on their current roster who began their careers at BCS schools, including starting cornerbacks Jarrett Dieudonne and Torian Phillips ... Dieudonne, a sophomore who started his career at Purdue, has 37 tackles, 5 PBU (including and interception) and has forced three fumbles ... Phillips, a junior Syracuse transfer, has a team-high three interceptions.
LAST-MINUTE MEN: Three of Duquesne's seven games have been decided in the final minute. DU dropped its opener at Bucknell when the Bison scored at TD and added the extra point with 57 seconds left in a 27-26 win. The next weekend, Charlie Leventry kicked a field goal with 30 seconds left and Jared Williams blocked and returned a blocked field goal as time expired in a 22-13 victory at Dayton. Last weekend, Sean Patterson capped a 90 yard drive with a four yard run with 42 seconds left in a 28-21 win over Central Connecticut State.
DU AMONG FCS LEADERS: Duquesne enters the Wagner game ranked 3rd nationally in pass defense (143.14 ypg.). The DU secondary has allowed just six touchdowns while posting six interceptions on the season. The Dukes are also in the Top 20 in rushing offense (12th at 222.43 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (16th at 107.95) and total defense (17th at 310.96 ypg.). Individually, running back Larry McCoy (23-867-6) ranks fifth nationally with an average of 123.86 yards per game. Duquesne leads the NEC in rushing offense, pass defense and kickoff return average (21.4). DU ranks second in the NEC in eight other categories.
The Dukes are 7-2 in their past nine NEC games dating back to last season.
DU's 5-3 conference record and third place finish in 2010 were its best in its first three seasons of Northeast Conference play. The Dukes' five wins were one more than they had in their first two NEC seasons combined: DU went 2-5 (6th) in the NEC in 2008 and 2-6 (t7th) in 2009.
Duquesne, which returns 15 starters, won four of its final five games in 2010 - including road wins at Wagner and Bryant - to finish 7-4. Quarterback Sean Patterson threw for 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions in 118 pass attempts over that five-game span. Running back Larry McCoy averaged 119.0 rushing yards per game over that same span.
Duquesne's four-game win streak earlier this season (at Dayton, Valparaiso, at Saint Francis and Bryant) was the school's longest since a five-game streak in 2007. The streak was DU's longest since moving to the NEC in 2008.
Duquesne has won five in a row at home. It is the longest home streak since five in 2007 (last four games) & 2008 (first game). The last time DU won six in a row at home was 2005 (four games) & 2006 (first two games).
QB Sean Patterson, who ranks 31st nationally in pass efficiency (141.60), is 9-3 in his past 12 starts. The junior lefty has thrown for 27 touchdowns with 10 interceptions over that span.
Sean Patterson became the first DU quarterback to rush for 100 yards since the Dukes moved to the FCS level in 1993 with his 111 yards on 12 carries against CCSU on Oct. 15. Patterson's last run in that game, a 4-yard TD with 42 seconds left, proved to be the game-winner. Patterson currently ranks eighth in the NEC in rushing with a 56.4 yards per game average. He is averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
Receiver Connor Dixon has caught six touchdown passes in DU's past four games. Nine of his 20 receptions in 2011 have gone for TDs.
Duquesne ended the nation's longest FCS win streak at 10 with its 22-13 victory at Dayton on Sept. 10. DU, which has won four of its last five meetings with the perennial Pioneer Football League power, was the last team to defeat UD before the Flyers began their 10-game streak.
DU amassed 628 yards of total offense in its 49-14 win over Valparaiso on Sept. 17. The total yards were the most since 647 in a 36-14 win over Siena in 2003. Duquesne's 427 rushing yards were its most since 457 vs. La Salle in 2003. Larry McCoy (21-164) and Bill Bair (16-154) both topped 100 yards marking the first time since Oct. 26, 2002 that two Dukes ran for 100 yards in the same game (Kyle Postell: 17-130 & Mike Hilliard: 20-122 at La Salle). It was the first time since a 55-0 win over Siena on Oct. 27, 2001 that two Duquesne players rushed for over 150 yards in the same game (Donte Small 27-186 & Josh Rue 16-158)
Nineteen of DU's 25 touchdown drives this season have covered 60 or more yards.
Duquesne returned 98.5 percent of its rushing yards mainly in the legs of junior running back Larry McCoy. McCoy carried 252 times for 1,291 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore (ranked 11th nationally). McCoy topped 100 yards six times in 2010 with all six coming in an eight-game span of NEC play. He has five 100-yard games in seven starts this season.
DU had to find a replacement for kicker Eric Duale who chose not to return in 2011. Duale was one of the most improved players in the NEC last year with a team-high 73 points. The junior-to-be converted 14-of-18 field goal attempts and 31-of-32 extra points last season. Charlie Leventry, who has handled punting duties for the past two seasons, is 9-of-12 on field goal attempts (including of 40-yards or longer) with 50 points through seven games. Leventry ranks tied for 24th nationally with an average of 1.29 field goals per game. He is averaging 38.8 yards per punt with 13 inside the 20.
The Dukes return four of five members of the 2010 offensive line: left tackle Ron Dunn, left guard Eric Warning, center Cameron Downey and left guard Jamaal Thomas. The fifth starter, Brian Layhue has moved from right tackle to tight end - a position he played in his first two seasons at DU. Jeremy Summers (6-2, 293), a JC transfer from Laney College in Oakland, Calif. has taken over Layhue's vacated spot. Summers is the brother of San Diego Chargers fullback Frank Summers. The O-line has helped the Dukes produce 409.7 yards per game - good for 30th nationally.
Pittsburgh native Gary Dunn, who spent the previous 14 years at Morehead State, is in his first season as DU's offensive coordinator. Dunn replaces former DU quarterback Niel Loebig who moved with his wife to Florida. Loebig was on the staff for five seasons including the last two as offensive coordinator. Dunn, who was the OC at Morehead for his final 11 seasons, regularly recruited the western Pennsylvania area for the Eagles.
DU's first scholarship class, signed in February of 2008, makes up the majority of this year's junior and senior classes. Duquesne offered 18 scholarships to the first class. That number has been increased to the current number of 28.
A major renovation of the home locker room as well as coaches offices located in the fieldhouse located off the east end of Rooney Field was completed over the summer. The newly named Keller Fieldhouse project comes on the heels of a renovation of Rooney Field which was completed in 2009.
The Dukes have lost four starters/key reserves for the season: receiver Akeem Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) torn ACL at practice on Sept. 21; defensive end Reggie Eiland (Accokeek, Md./Gwynn Park) ankle injury on Sept. 22; running back/return specialist Ryan Ho (Pearl City, Hawaii/Kamehameha Schools) dislocated ankle in the opener at Bucknell and receiver/return specialist David Thomas (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic) broken foot vs. Valparaiso. One other, linebacker Tyler Zimmer (Harrison City, Pa./Penn-Trafford), is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
CCSU LEFTOVERS: Duquesne extended its home win streak to five in posting its first win in five tries over CCSU ... CCSU was the only school Duquesne had not defeated in its four seasons in the Northeast Conference ... quarterback Sean Patterson (Toledo, Ohio/St. John's Jesuit) had runs of 18, t32, 22 and 42 yards on his way to a career-high 111 yards rushing ... his previous career best was 75 yards at Saint Francis on Sept. 24 ... it marked the first time a DU quarterback had run for 100 yards since the Dukes moved to the FCS level prior to the 1993 season ... Patterson completed 8-of-14 passes for 72 yards on the windy afternoon ... Connor Dixon (South Park, Pa./South Park) extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 22 with two catches for 23 yards ... the 6-5, 212-pound graduate student has caught at least one pass in every game since moving from quarterback to receiver eight games into the 2009 season ... Dixon did see a streak of six consecutive games with a touchdown catch snapped ... linebacker Chris Oliver (Washington, D.C./Calvin Coolidge) led the Dukes with 12 tackles (7 solo) ... his recovery of a CCSU fumble at the DU 10 with just over five minutes left, set up DU's game-winning drive ... cornerback Jared Williams (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry Traditional Academy), who finished with a career-high 10 tackles (9 solo), stripped the ball that was recovered by Oliver late in the fourth quarter ... linebacker Ashton Burno (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) added a career-high 10 tackles (7 solo) ... his previous career high was seven ... linebacker Serge Kona (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) also had 10 tackles including a pair of tackles for loss as the bend-but-don't-break defense held CCSU to seven second-half points ... CCSU, which ran 85 plays to Duquesne's 45, enjoyed a nearly 17 minute advantage in time of possession ... in the past two games, DU's opponents have run 177 plays to 98 for the Dukes ... DU has yet to be defeated this season when having fewer turnovers than its opponent ... the CCSU game, which followed a season-high five turnovers at Albany, was DU's first turnover-free outing.