The Dukes were looking for an answer to their four-game losing streak. Duquesne's top receivers, Alex Roberson and Conrad Carter, didn't see action until the beginning of the second half. And Coach Jerry Schmitt put in junior Kevin Rombach at quarterback at the end of the second quarter. Those, and other changes, didn't get DU into the "W" column.
The Dukes opened the scoring with a field goal on their first drive and came back in the third period to take a 10-9 lead via Connor Dixon's 54-yard touchdown pass to Roberson. Bryant scored the final 15 points for the 14-point win.
Sophomore offensive guard Jacob Meyers was injured midway through the second quarter and was taken off the field in an ambulance. No information was available at the end of the game.
Dixon was 16-of-28 for 193 yards, one TD and two interceptions, both of which led to Bryant points. Cleodis Williams gained 76 yards on 15 carries. Roberson had five second half receptions for 94 yards and the Dukes' lone touchdown. Eric Halberstadt had a game-high 10 tackles. Aaron Strader recovered a Bryant fumble. Nathan Totino recorded six take-downs making this the first game in 2008 when the sophomore didn't hit double-digits.
Jay Graber was 18-of-26 for 213 yards for the 5-4 Bulldogs. Jerrell Smith gained 129 yards on 14 carries and Lindsey Gamble gathered up 94 yards via 21 runs. Ryan Buckley had four receptions for 52 yards. One of the Gauthier twins, Pete, led BU with six tackles; brother Pat had one of Dixon's three sacks.
Bryant's field position was positively affected in the first half by the Duquesne punting game. Freshman Josh Brisk, who came into the game averaging 40.8 yards per punt saw that average drop to 23.5 yards per kick in the first 30 minutes.
Duquesne was three-and-out in the third quarter in their first series after regaining the lead. This time Brisk hit a 52-yarder, putting the Bulldogs in their own territory at the 21. Unfortunately, nine plays later BU took a 15-10 lead. (Brisk's punting average for the game was 33 yards.)
Duquesne opened the game with a 10-play, 71-yard drive that got into the Bulldogs' red zone. Senior Mark Troyan hit a 24-yard field goal for Duquesne's 3-0 lead.
Bryant scored in the final minute of play before the break after stopping the Dukes at the Red and Blue's 23. Brisk's punt gave the Bulldogs possession in Duquesne territory on the 44. Four plays later, sophomore Michael Canfora rambled into the end zone from DU's 15.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 13 play, 75-yard drive to the Dukes' two-yard line. Duquesne kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone. Brian Donnelly hit a 19-yarder to increase the host's lead to 9-3 with 7:45 left in the third period.
Dixon and Roberson combine for the 54-yard touchdown three minutes later. Troyan's extra point returned the lead to the Dukes, 10-9, with 4:44 left in the third quarter.
Bryant, after Duquesne stopped another fourth-down play in the prior series, capped their next series of nine plays with Lindsey Gamble's 29-yard score. BU's attempt for two points was unsuccessful, keeping the Bryant lead to 15-10 with 12:14 left to go.
Paul Polomski intercepted Dixon at the BU 43. The Dukes stopped the Bulldogs inside the 10. Brian Donnelly kicked a 25-yard field goal with 5:44 to go, giving Bryant the touchdown edge they were seeking after Gamble's score.
Dixon was intercepted on the next play from scrimmage by Cheyenne Ray for a 29-yard touchdown. Donnelly's PAT again missed, BU up 24-10 with 5:35 left.