Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1:00 p.m.
Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field (2,000/Sportexe synthetic turf)
DUKES HOST MONMOUTH IN FINAL GAME OF SEASON
Duquesne (3-6, 2-4), which snapped a five-game losing streak with a 14-0 win at Wagner last weekend, completes the 2008 season at home against second-place Monmouth (6-4, 5-1) in a Northeast Conference game at 1:00 on Saturday, Nov. 15 (WMNY-AM 1360). It is the final home game for 13 final year DU players.
Monmouth, coming off a 19-7 home win over Sacred Heart on Saturday, needs a win combined with an Albany loss at home against Wagner to earn a share of the 2008 conference title. Albany has already secured a share of the title and the NEC's berth in the Gridiron Classic (vs. the Pioneer Football League champion).
Duquesne is 2-2 at home this season with wins over Dayton and Saint Francis, Pa. Monmouth is 3-2 on the road win NEC wins at Robert Morris and Wagner.
Duquesne held Wagner to an opponent season-low 118 yards in posting its first shutout since Nov. 4, 2006 (38-0 at La Salle). The Dukes, who had a season-high six sacks, held Wagner to 26 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Monmouth is led by senior running back David Sinisi who leads the nation at 150.0 rushing yards per game. Sinisi became the NEC's all-time leading scorer with two touchdowns in the win over Sacred Heart. He enters the DU game with 312 points on 52 career touchdowns.
Monmouth's defense played its most complete game of the season last weekend, limiting Sacred Heart - which entered the game with the league's best offense - to 183 total yards, 186 below their season average and seven points, 26.2 points below their league-best mark of 33.2 points per contest. Both totals were season-lows for Sacred Heart. Monmouth held SHU tailback Evin Jones, the country's ninth leading rusher, to a season-low 26 yards on 10 carries.
This is the third meeting between the Dukes and Hawks with the series knotted at 1-1 ... on Nov. 22, 2003, Duquesne defeated Monmouth 12-10 in the ECAC Classic at Rooney Field ... the win enabled DU to clinch the 2003 Mid-Major National Championship ... last year the Hawks returned the favor with a 31-20 win at West Long Branch, N.Y. in the season finale for both schools.
Senior placekicker Mark Troyan (Ford City, Pa./Ford City) will close out his career as the top placekicker in school history. The preseason All-NEC pick enters his final game as the holder of Duquesne career records for field goals made (39), points after touchdown (114) and points by a kicker (231). Troyan's 231 career points rank second on DU's all-time list (all players). Only running back Pedro Bowman (278 points from 1981-84) has scored more points in a Duquesne uniform. Troyan also holds records for field goals in a game (tied with four others with three, done twice), field goals in a season (12 in 2007) and PATs in a game (tied with two others with eight). Troyan has converted seven of 10 field goal attempts and 24-of-24 PATs this season for a team-high 45 points.
LEFTOVERS FROM WAGNER
- The win - Duquesne's first on the road this season - snapped a five-game DU losing streak ... the streak was the longest by a Duquesne team since 1993
- The Dukes, who entered the game giving up and average of 208 yards rushing per game, held Wagner to 26 yards on 29 carries
- The Dukes finished with a season-high six sacks (for minus 42 yards) and 10 tackles for loss (for minus 50 yards)
- The game was played in a steady rain and fog that made it difficult to see the scoreboard at times during the first half
- The two teams combined for 10 punts in the first half (six by Wagner)
- Duquesne's last shutout was a 38-0 win at La Salle on Nov. 4, 2006
- First-year sophomore defensive end Tyler Scruggs (South Park, Pa./South Park) posted 2.5 of Duquesne's season-high six sacks in addition to forcing a pair of fumbles - the second of which led to DU's final score ... he finished with six total tackles (four solo)
- Kevin Rombach (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin), the NEC preseason Offensive Player of the Year, made his first start of the season at quarterback ... the 6-1 junior completed 10-of-20 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown (13 yards to Brian Layhue) in less than ideal conditions
- Junior tailback Cleodis Williams (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) carried a career-high 28 times for 114 yards including a 13-yard TD run with 26 seconds left in the third quarter ... it was his fourth 100-yard game of the season, marking the first time since 2003 that a DU running back topped 100 yards more than three times in a season (Mike Hilliard did it seven times in ‘03)
- Sophomore linebacker Nathan Totino (Pittsburgh, Pa./Seton-La Salle), who entered the game ranked second nationally in tackles per game at 13.4/g., suffered a knee injury that forced him to leave the game with 7:35 left in the third quarter
- Freshman linebacker Chidozie Oparanozie (Pittsburgh, Pa./Linsly School, W.Va.) posted a team and career high 13 tackles (four solo) including 1.5 tackles for loss and also broke up a pass ... he was named NEC Rookie of the Week for the third time this season on Monday
- Freshman punter Josh Brisk (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage School) placed four of his nine punts inside the 20 in the rain and fog ... he averaged 38.6 yards on his punts including a 49-yarder
Duquesne sophomore linebacker Nathan Totino ranks fifth in the FCS in tackles per game with 12.22 ... the 5-10, 200-pounder posted double-digit stops in DU's first seven games with a high of 23 set against Albany on Oct. 4 ... the 23 tackles are tied for most in a game by any FCS player this season ... Cleo Williams, who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, is the nation's 34th-leading rusher at 90.1 ypg. ... junior QB Kevin Rombach, the NEC preseason Offensive Player of the Year, made his first start of the season at Wagner ... he completed 10-of-20 passes for 112 yards and a TD as the Dukes snapped a five-game losing streak ... Rombach is now 9-2 as a starter for his career.