#DUQFB Completes Season at Monmouth
Nov. 22, 2013
DUKES & HAWKS
DU has defeated every team in the NEC under current head coach Jerry Schmitt.
The Dukes are 1-4 when they commit three or more turnovers. They are 4-0 when committing fewer opponents than their opponent.
Twelve freshmen have seen action this season: 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), PR Bobby Gustine, TE Kevin Enright (RS), DL Jake Radziukinas (RS) & RB Zach DeNardo (RS). Buechel, Reed, Graham and Crimmins have started every game.
In addition, nine first-year players have seenaction in 2013, with four having started at least once: SS Chris Johnson, DB Nick Floyd, OL Ezek Suivaaia & LB Austin Whalen.
Redshirt freshman Dillon Buechel, who has completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 2,346 yards and 11 touchdowns, has a 118.02 efficiencyrating. 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 and earned ROW honors a second time after throwing for 362 yards in the loss at Youngstown State. Buechel replaced 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 - the only quarterback on the roster who had attempted a college pass entering the season - for the starting job.
Senior Dorian Bell is spending considerable time in opposing backfields. The All-American LB (41 total tackles) has 5.5 tackles for loss including 2.0 sacks. He's also tied for team-high with five quarterback hurries. Bell had a team-high 3.0 TFL at Bryant.
Sophomore LB Christian Kuntz, who is No. 2 on the team in tackles (64), leads the Dukes in TFL (15.0) and sacks (5.5). He ranks 14th nationally in tackles for loss per game at 1.5. Kuntz earned NEC co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Nov. 4 after posting 3.0 tackles for loss, deflecting a pass that was intercepted and causing a fumble on a sack in the win over Saint Francis.
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. Martello ranks third on the team in tackles (63) and is tied with Christian Kuntz and Chris Johnson for the team lead with two fumbles forced.
315-pound tackle Zach Zidian is a big reason linebackers rank first, second and third on the team in total tackles. The Youngstown, Ohio native - when he isn't occupying multiple offensive linemen - has 42 stops of his own (including 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks). In addition, Zidian has shown a nose for the football with a team-high four fumble recoveries.
RS freshman Aaron Reed, Dillon Buechel's high school teammate at Montour, leads the Dukes with 69 tackles. Reed has posted 10 or more stops a team-high three times (12 at Sacred Heart, 10 vs. CCSU & 10 at Dayton).
Junior safety Rich Piekarski, who is fourth on the team with 60 tackles, leads the team with two interceptions and six passes broken up.
Junior Ryan Ho has rushed for 346 yards and four TDs. He and senior Jason Douglas (78-301-1 this year) are filling the tailback spot vacated by all-time rushing leader Larry McCoy (956-4,549-37). McCoy's 4,549 yards are the second-most in NEC history.