Dukes Take Home Three of Four NEC Player of the Week Awards
Nov. 25, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Sophomore linebacker Christian Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley), freshman quarterback Dillon Buechel (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) and freshman kicker Austin Crimmins (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) took three of four weekly awards handed out by the Northeast Conference for their performance in Duquesne's 33-23 season-ending win at Monmouth.
Kuntz was named Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after posted a game high-tying 10 tackles (9 solo). The Chartiers Valley product was credited with 4.5 tackles for loss including 3.5 sacks for -27 yards.
Kuntz, who tied for team high with 74 total tackles, led the Dukes in both sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (19.5).
Buechel, a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award (FCS top first-year player), threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns to earn NEC Rookie of the Week for the third time.
Buechel set Duquesne single-season records for pass attempts (373) and completions (217)in throwing for the sixth highest yardage total (2,569) in school history.
Crimmins set a school record with four field goals against the Hawks (33, 27, 30 & 25). His 15 field goals tied the single season record set last year by Charlie Leventry.
Duquesne (7-4), which tied for the 2013 NEC title with Sacred Heart (both at 4-2), earned a total of 10 weekly conference awards during the season.
From the NEC release
NEC Defensive Player of the Week
Kuntz spent a lot of time in Monmouth's backfield during Duquesne's 33-23 road win in Week 13. Harassing Hawks' signal caller Brandon Hill for much of the afternoon, the linebacker logged a NEC single-game season high 3.5 sacks. Kuntz totaled 10 tackles (9 solo) and made 4.5 hits for a loss. Kuntz was active during crunch time. After a Dillon Buechel touchdown pass broke a 23-23 tie early in the fourth quarter, Kuntz and Co. responded by halting Monmouth on the ensuing possession. He broke up a 2nd-down pass intended for Monmouth receiver Neal Sterling and his half-sack on a 3rd-and-18 play forced the Hawks to punt. The second-year Duke stunted a potential first-quarter scoring drive by sacking Brandon Hill for a 10-yard loss on a 3rd-and-8 play from the Duquesne 26-yard line. He delivered another key hit with Duquesne protecting a 13-7 lead in the second quarter. With Monmouth facing a 2nd-and-8 from the Duquesne 20, Kuntz dropped Hill for a 9-yard loss and essentially forced the Hawks to settle for an unsuccessful field goal try. He finished the season with team highs for both tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (9.0).
NEC Special Teams Player of the Week
Crimmins became the first kicker in Duquesne history to hit four field goals in a single game, and the rookie just missed hitting a fifth three-point try. The redshirt-freshman plackekicker hit field goals of 33, 27, 30 and 25 yards during Duquesne's 33-23 road win over FCS independent Monmouth. Crimmins, who hit on all three of his PATs, totaled 15 points in the game. He also handled the kickoff duties for the Dukes, averaging 62.0 yards per kick and sending two of his seven kickoffs for touchbacks. He converted on three first-half field goal attempts as the Dukes took a 23-7 lead into the break. Crimmins opened the game's scoring when his 33-yard field goal capped a 7-play, 48-yard drive with 10:58 remaining in the first quarter. After failing to extend Duquesne's 30-23 lead with his lone miss of the game, Crimmins atoned. The rookie sealed the win by hitting a 25-yarder that gave the Dukes a 33-23 advantage with 00:19 remaining.
NEC Rookie of the Week
Buechel closed out his successful rookie campaign in style. The redshirt freshman signal caller passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-23 road win over FCS independent Monmouth. Buechel, who completed 14 of 27 passes, also gained 17 yards on the ground. The Jerry Rice Award finalist tossed two first-half touchdown passes as the Dukes held a 23-7 lead at the break. After Monmouth stormed back to pull even, Buechel threw Duquesne back into the lead. He hit Ethan Dorsey for a 5-yard scoring strike that gave the Dukes a 30-23 advantage with 13:19 remaining in the fourth quarter. Buechel finished the regular season ranked first amongst NEC quarterbacks in pass yards (2,569) and completion percentage (58.2).