Carter Henderson paces the Dukes with 50 tackles (30 solo) on the season.
Nov. 1, 2017
The Dukes (7-1, 4-0 NEC) wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule on the road at Liberty (4-4, 1-2 Big South) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Duquesne defeated Sacred Heart 37-21 on the road last week to extend its winning streak to seven, the Dukes' most wins in a row since the 2002 season.
Liberty topped Gardner-Webb for its first Big South victory of the season. The Flames snapped a four-game skid with the win. Liberty is in its last year of a transition from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Quarterback Tommy Stuart was named to the CFPA FCS Performer of the Year Watch List this week. He has thrown for 1,775 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season.
Wide receiver Nehari Crawford is tied for the FCS lead with 11 receiving touchdowns on the season.
Freshman running back DeWayne Murray III was named the NEC Rookie of the Week after tallying a career-high 18 carries in the Dukes' win at Sacred Heart.
The Dukes have won seven straight games following a 37-21 NEC victory at Sacred Heart last week. Duquesne last won seven games in a row in 2005.
DU is off to its first 4-0 start in the Northeast Conference (NEC) era. The Dukes last started 3-0 in conference play in 2005 as members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic
DU is receiving 73 votes in the latest STAS FCS Top 25 and two votes in the latest FCS Coaches Poll released on Monday.
The Dukes can clinch their fifth NEC title and the conference's FCS playoff bid with a victory over Central Connecticut on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Rooney Field. The Blue Devils are 3-0 in conference play heading into an NEC matchup with St. Francis this weekend.
Quarterback Tommy Stuart (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall/Boise State) was named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy Midseason Watch List. Stuart was one of 36 FCS players named to the midseason watch list. The award winner will be announced Jan. 10, 2018.
Dukes running back A.J. Hines (Wilson, N.C./Fike) matched a career-high with three rushing touchdowns in last week's win at Sacred Heart. The 2016 Jerry Rice Award winner also had three touchdowns against Bucknell in 2016.
Liberty snapped a four-game skid with a 33-17 victory at Gardner-Webb last week. Punter Trey Hunter was named Big South Special Teams Player of the Week while cornerback Jeremy Peters garnered Big south Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The matchup on Saturday will feature two high-powered offenses, as the Dukes average 414.5 yards per game while the Flames are averaging 448.2 yards per contest. Duquesne features more of a balanced attack (227.4 passing, 187.1 rushing), while Liberty relies heavily on the passing game (329.0 passing yards per game).
Wide receiver Nehari Crawford (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Central) is tied for the FCS lead with 11 receiving touchdowns on the season.
Tommy Stuart is fifth in the country with 22 passing touchdowns on the year. His 22 touchdown passes rank 10th all-time on the single-season list with three regular season games remaining.
In addition, Stuart is third in in completion percentage (69.6 percent), fourth in points responsible for (156) and pass efficiency (172.8). He has completed 144-of-207 pass attempts on the year.
After sitting out two games with an injury during the early stages of the season, A.J. Hines has paced the Dukes on the ground in each of the last four weeks, including a combined 341 rushing yards the last three games. Just a sophomore, he now has 10 career 100-yard rushing games.
DU ranks second in the FCS in red zone offense, scoring on 93.3 percent (28-of-30) of trips inside its opponents' red zone.
After dropping its season opener at fourth-ranked South Dakota State, DU is outscoring opponents by an average of 37-17 during the Dukes' seven-game winning streak. DU is outscoring NEC opponents 150-42.
Linebacker Nathan Stone (Scottdale, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic) was recently named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to the top scholar-athlete in college football.
Duquesne is 35-17 in NEC play over the past seven seasons. The Dukes went 4-11 in their first two years in the conference while making the transition to a scholarship model. DU is 14-2 in NEC play over the past three years.
The victory over WV Wesleyan marked Duquesne's 100th win at Arthur J. Rooney Field, which has served as the home of the Dukes since the1993 season. With the triumph, Duquesne has now won 10 straight home openers.
Nehari Crawford has paced the Duquesne receivers this season with 47 catches for 761 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Senior Chavas Rawlins (Monessen, Pa./Monessen/West Virginia) has 31 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns while junior Kareem Coles (San Diego, Calif./Madison/Idaho) has caught 14 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore Kellon Taylor (Landover, Md./DeMatha Catholic) has three touchdown catches on the year. Taylor, also a member of the DU basketball team, has 14 receptions for 201 yards on the season.
Linebacker Carter Henderson (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Penn State) leads the Dukes with 50 tackles (30 solo) in seven games on the year to go with 5.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a sack and three quarterback hurries. Fellow Murrysville native Brett Zanotto (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional/Maryland) is second on the team with 45 tackles on the season (29 solo) with 6.0 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Nathan Stone has 38 tackles (21 solo) this season with a team-high 7.0 tackles for loss including 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Junior defensive back Abner Roberts (Pittsburgh, Pa./University Prep) has tallied 35 tackles (20 solo) and leads the conference with four interceptions on the year.
Junior cornerback Jonathant Istache (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central) has a team-high eight passes defended on the season including seven pass breakups and an interception. In addition, he has forced a pair of fumbles and had a 40-yard fumble recovery against St. Francis. Istache also has 27 tackles (22 solo) on the season.
Duquesne posted an 8-3 record last season with a 5-1 mark in Northeast Conference play, earning a share of the conference crown. The Dukes have captured at least a share of the NEC title in four of the last six seasons. (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016). Duquesne returns 13 position starters entering the 2017 season (five on offense, eight on defense).
The Dukes are 35-25 in non-conference games under 13th-year head coach Jerry Schmitt with wins over Robert Morris (three times prior to joining the NEC), Dayton (seven times), Bucknell (four times), Fordham (twice), Albany (once as a CAA member) and Monmouth (as an independent). At home, the Dukes are 23-3 in non-league play.
This is the first meeting between the Dukes and the Flames.
Liberty is in its final season transitioning from the FCS to the FBS level. Because it is their last season in the FCS, the Flames are not eligible for the Big South championship or an FCS playoff berth.
Liberty opened the 2017 season with a 48-45 victory at Baylor.
The Flames are 5-2 all-time against the NEC with a 5-1 mark in Lynchburg. Liberty fell to St. Francis (Pa.) earlier this season by a score of 13-7 at Williams Stadium.
Liberty quarterback Stephen Calvert has thrown for 23 touchdowns on the season, just two shy of setting a single-season school record. Wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden needs 112 receiving yards to become the seventh player in Flames history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
The Flames will play two power-five teams in 2018 (at Virginia, at Auburn).
LAST TIME OUT
DUQUESNE 37, SACRED HEART 21 - A.J. Hines matched a career-high with three rushing touchdowns while Duquesne tallied 461 total yards in a 37-21 triumph over host Sacred Heart.
Hines, who rushed for a team-high 88 yards on 18 carries, recorded three touchdowns for the second time in his career after scoring three touchdowns in a 30-19 win over Bucknell last season. He now has seven career games with at least two touchdowns.
John Domit connected on a career-high three field goals on the day, including a career-long 41-yard make. He is the first kicker to put three field goals through the uprights since Austin Crimmins against Bucknell last season.
Nehari Crawford hauled in his 11th touchdown reception of the season from quarterback Tommy Stuart. He came into the game tied for the FCS lead in touchdown catches.
LIBERTY 33, GARDNER-WEBB - Liberty scored twice during the fourth quarter and used a pair of interceptions and a blocked field goal to secure a 33-17 win over Gardner-Webb.
Stephen Calvert posted his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season, finishing the contest by completing 21-of-34 attempts for 333 yards and two touchdowns
Byron Barney led all players with 135 receiving yards in the win.
Carrington Mosley carried the ball 20 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Damian King posted his first career 100-yard game, leading the Flames with eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Gandy-Golden surpassed the century mark for the fifth time in 2017, finishing the contest with four receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.