Dukes at Monmouth Saturday at 1:00 pm
Oct. 25, 2011
Game #10 - Dukes looking for first-ever win at West Long Branch, N.J.
RADIO: WMNY-AM 1360 with Alex Panormios (play-by-play) & Tad Maurey (color)
DU LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN AT MU: Duquesne (6-2, 4-1), which completed a two-game homestand with a 37-21 win over Wagner, heads to West Long Branch, N.J. to face Monmouth (4-3, 3-1) on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1:00 p.m. (WMNY-AM 1360). The Dukes, who also defeated CCSU 28-21 at home on Oct. 15, are looking for their first win at Monmouth where they are 0-2. The Dukes are 2-2 on the road in 2011, while Monmouth is 0-3 at home.
DUKES AND HAWKS: This is the sixth meeting between the Dukes and Hawks with Monmouth holding a 4-1 advantage ... on Nov. 22, 2003, Duquesne defeated Monmouth 12-10 in the ECAC Classic at Rooney Field to clinch the 2003 Mid-Major National Championship ... since then, the Hawks have won four straight ... four years ago, Monmouth evened the series with a 31-20 win at West Long Branch, N.J. in the season finale for both schools ... in the first NEC meeting between the two in 2008, Monmouth came away with a 37-14 win at Rooney Field ... two years ago, a Kevin Rombach pass intended for Jay Spinks sailed out of the end zone with 11 seconds left as Monmouth took advantage of four second-half turnovers to defeat Duquesne 17-10 at Kessler Field ... Duquesne, which outgained Monmouth 387 to 278 was intercepted twice - including one that was returned for a 65-yard score - and lost a pair of fumbles all in the game's final 30 minutes ... last year MU scored on four-straight first half possessions to take a 31-7 halftime lead in cruising to a 44-17 win at Rooney Field ... Kyle Frazier completed 15-of-29 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown to lead Monmouth which recorded a school record six interceptions ... DU quarterback Sean Patterson, who entered the game nursing a sore ankle, played just over two quarters.
DU AMONG FCS LEADERS: Duquesne enters the Monmouth game ranked 3rd nationally in pass defense (144.5 ypg.). The DU secondary has allowed just eight touchdowns while posting six interceptions. The Dukes are also in the Top 20 in total defense (12th at 304.6 ypg.), rushing offense (13th at 221 ypg.) and pass efficiency defense (13th at 110.9). Individually, running back Larry McCoy (198-1,016-9) ranks fourth with an average of 127 yards per game. Duquesne leads the NEC in rushing offense, total defense, scoring defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense and kickoff return average (29.8). McCoy needs one more 100-yard game to tie the school single-season record of seven (shared by three players with Mike Hilliard in 2003 the last).
COSTLY MISCUES: In three NEC losses to Monmouth, Duquesne has turned it over 11 times (to two for MU). Last year, the Dukes threw six interceptions in a 44-17 loss. Two years ago DU threw two interceptions and lost a pair of fumbles in a 17-10 defeat. Monmouth enters Saturday's game tied for 17th nationally and first in the NEC with a +1.00 turnover margin.
The Dukes are 8-2 in their past 10 NEC games dating back to last season. DU was 5-13 in its first 18 NEC games while integrating a scholarship model.
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 six in a row at home. It is the longest home streak since six in a row at home was 2005 (four games) & 2006 (first two games).
Three of Duquesne's seven games have been decided in the final minute. DU dropped its opener at Bucknell when the Bison scored a TD and 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. On Oct. 15, Sean Patterson capped a 90 yard drive with a four yard run with 42 seconds left in a 28-21 win over CCSU.
QB Sean Patterson, who ranks 26th nationally in pass efficiency (143.69), is 10-3 in his past 13 starts. The junior lefty has thrown for 29 touchdowns with 10 interceptions over that span.
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 ninth in the NEC in rushing with a 51.6 yards per game average. He is averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
Receiver Connor Dixon has caught eight touchdown passes in DU's past five games. Eleven of his 28 receptions in 2011 have gone for scores.
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)
Twenty-one of DU's 30 touchdown drives this season have covered 60 or more yards.
Junior running back Larry McCoy eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season and 3,000-yard mark for his career with his 149-yard, three-touchdown performance against Wagner on Oct. 22. McCoy has six 100-yard games in eight starts this season. The DU single-season record for 100-yard games in a season is seven shared by 7 Mike Hilliard (2002 & 2003), Donte Small (1999 & 2000) and Bill Green (1995).
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 10-of-13 on field goal attempts (including of four of 40 yards or longer, including a school-record 51-yarder vs. Wagner) with 57 points through eight games. Leventry, a two-time NEC Special Teams Player of the Week, ranks tied for 28th nationally with an average of 1.25 field goals per game. He is averaging 37.9 yards per punt with 16 inside the 20 and just two touchbacks.
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 418 yards per game - good for 26th 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.
WAGNER LEFTOVERS: Duquesne extended its home win streak to six ... it is the longest home streak since the last four games of 2005 and first two of 2006 ... DU is now 8-2 in its past 10 NEC games ... Larry McCoy ran for 149 yards on 26 carries, including second-half touchdown runs of 3, 29 and 1 yards ... it was the sixth 100 yard game of the season and 16th of his career for McCoy who went over the 3,000 yard mark ... McCoy, who now has 3,114 career yards, is the fourth player in school history to reach the 3,000-yard plateau ... he needs 75 yards to pass Mike Hilliard (3,188 yards from 1999-03) and move into the No. 3 spot on DU's all-time rushing yardage list ... McCoy also went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,016) ... Charlie Leventry ended the first half with a school record 51 yard field goal ... the previous school best was 47 yards by Doug McAuley vs. Mercyhurst in 1988 ... Leventry's kick also eclipsed the Rooney Field record of 50 yards set by Robert Morris' Jeff Carlo in 1998 ... Leventry, DU's starting punter for the past three seasons, added placekicking duties this season ... he is 10-of-13 on field goals and 27-of-29 on extra points in 2011 ... Connor Dixon extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 23 with eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns (4 & 37 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 has caught a touchdown pass in seven of eight games this season ... 11 of Dixon's 28 catches in 2011 have gone for scores ... quarterback Sean Patterson completed 25-of-34 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns (4 & 37 yards) ... Patterson has thrown for 31 touchdowns in his past 14 games ... linebacker Chris Oliver led the Dukes with 9 tackles (5 solo) ... he has led DU in stops in five of eight games ... defensive tackle Mike Passodelis had six tackles including a sack ... he accounted for 1.5 of DU's 6.0 tackles for loss ... Wagner's Dominique Williams, who entered the game ninth nationally in rushing at 111.8 ypg., was held to 81 yards on 20 carries.
IN THE POLLS: DU, which appeared in the "others receiving votes" category of the Sept. 12 Sports Network FCS Top 25 poll with an NEC-best 10 points following its win at Dayton, disappeared from the poll for two weeks following a 49-14 win over Valpo & 41-14 victory at Saint Francis, Pa. The Dukes were back the week of Oct. 3 - following a 31-28 win over Bryant - with an NEC-best 17 points. The Dukes were also tied for 36th in the Oct. 3 FCS Coaches Poll with six points. DU was dropped from both polls following its loss at Albany on Oct. 8 before reappearing in the Sports Network poll with four points on Oct. 24.