Saturday, Sept. 19 at 12:00 p.m.
Kessler Field (4,600/FieldTurf - synthetic)
West Long Branch, N.J.
TELEVISION: NEC-TV with Paul Dottino (play-by-play) and Dave Popkin (color)
- Live on MSG Plus and Fox College Atlantic Sports
- Tape delay on FSN Pittsburgh at 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 20
DUKES OPEN NEC PLAY WITH TV GAME AT MONMOUTH
Duquesne (1-1, 0-0), coming off a 14-7 loss at Nicholls State last weekend, stays on the road to open Northeast Conference play on Saturday at Monmouth (0-2, 0-0). The game, which is part of the NEC television package is scheduled for a noon kickoff. This is the second of three consecutive road games for the Dukes who opened with a 24-19 home win over Bucknell. This is the home opener for Monmouth, which opened with tough road losses at Colgate (L, 35-23) and at Coastal Carolina (L, 24-17). Paul Dottino and Dave Popkin will describe the action for the game which will be carried live by MSG Plus and Fox College Sports. The game will air locally on tape delay on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1:00 p.m. (please note change from previously released tape delay time of 3:30 p.m.) Now You Can Watch the Dukes and Steelers On Sunday.
DUKES AND HAWKS
This is the fourth meeting between the Dukes and Hawks with Monmouth holding a 2-1 advantage ... 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 ... two years ago, the Hawks returned the favor with a 31-20 win at West Long Branch, N.Y. in the season finale for both schools ... in the first NEC meeting between the two last year, Monmouth came away with a 37-14 win at Rooney Field in the season finale for both schools.
Monmouth, which finished 7-4 overall and 6-1 (second) in the NEC last season, was picked to finish second in the annual preseason poll of league coaches (Duquesne was picked to finish sixth in the same poll) ... the Hawks, who are looking for their sixth NEC title, are led by preseason All-American and Payton Award hopeful as well as reigning league Offensive Player of the Year, running back David Sinisi ... Sinisi, a 5-9, 200-pound fifth-year senior, entered the season as the NEC's all-time leading scorer with 330 points ... he has carried the ball 47 times for 186 yards with two TDs on the young season ... Sinisi, who enters the DU game with 3,798 career rushing yards, has been particularly effective against the Dukes with 23 carries for 174 yards and three TDs last year and 24 rushes for 125 yards and two scores in 2007 (that's 6.4 yards per carry vs. Duquesne) ... Sinisi and 6-2, 295-pound guard Shawn Wright were named to the NEC preseason All-Conference team ... Kevin Callahan is in his 17th season as Monmouth's head ... Callahan, 96-68 overall, has led the Hawks to NEC championships, in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006 ... he has been named NEC Coach of the Year three times (1998, 2003 and 2006) ... this is the home opener for the Hawks who are 17-8 over the last five seasons at Kessler Field ... Monmouth owns a .603 winning percentage (47-31) at home.
NICHOLLS STATE LEFTOVERS
The game was Duquesne's first against a school from the Southland Conference ... Nicholls State, which won the SLC title in 2005, defeated NCAA Division I FBS Rice in 2007 ... Duquesne held Nicholls to 103 yards and one first down in the second half ... 63 of those yards came on a fourth-quarter NSU fake punt that went for a score and turned out to be the difference in the game ... there were a total of 18 penalties for 233 yards (8-133 for Duquesne and 10-100 for Nicholls) ... redshirt freshman running back Larry McCoy (Wytheville, Va./George Wythe) carried 34 times for 195 yards ... his rushing total was the most by a DU running back since Mike Hilliard ran for a school record 323 yards against La Salle in 2003 ... it was DU's first 100-yard rushing game since Cleodis Williams had 114 yards at Wagner last season ... McCoy ran for 128 yards on 18 second-half carries ... junior linebacker Willie Milhouse (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) picked off a pair of passes and forced a fumble ... Milhouse, who entered the season with two career interceptions in 16 games, has three picks in two outings in `09 ... junior Michigan State transfer Dave Williams (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), who caught 11 passes for 145 yards in the season-opening 24-19 win over Bucknell, suffered a back injury on DU's opening series ... he re-entered the game in the fourth quarter and caught an 83-yard touchdown pass from Connor Dixon on his first play from scrimmage with 10:48 left ... fellow starting wideout Akeem Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) suffered an internal injury on the third play of the game ... Moore spent the weekend in a Thibodaux, La. hospital ... in addition to being starting receivers, Williams and Moore are the Dukes' top two return men. RANDOM NOTES: Duquesne suffered a setback when preseason All-NEC tight end Sean Bunevich (North Ridgeville, Ohio/North Ridgeville) was lost for the season following a non-contact knee injury suffered at practice on August 11 ... sophomore Brian Layhue (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon), who filled in when Bunevich injured the same knee late last season, was expected to inherit the starting TE spot until he was sidelined with a back injury (he did not travel to Nicholls) ... Layhue caught all eight of his passes in DU's final three games last season ... two of Layhue's eight catches went for scores ... first-year Lafayette transfer Adam Gill (South Park, Pa./South Park) has been seeing extended time at tight end ... senior receiver Michael Rasky (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) has caught at least one pass in 22 consecutive games ... three-quarters of the starting secondary is made up of newcomers ... JC transfers junior Justin Melhado (Ridgewater, Minn. Community College) is the starter at one cornerback spot with fellow junior Devin Duggan (Valley Forge, Pa. Military College) penciled in at free safety ... in addition, true freshman Derrick Lakins (Upper Marlboro, Md./DeMatha) is the starter at strong safety ... junior linebacker Willie Milhouse (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone), who entered the season with two career interceptions in 16 games, has picked off three passes in DU's first two outings ... first-year defensive coordinator Ollie Phillips left the team (personal reasons) the week of the Nicholls State game ... Phillips has been replaced by veteran Dick Hopkins ... Hopkins, who was brought in to work with the defensive backs, brings nearly 30 years of college coaching experience to the DU sidelines ... Hopkins, who was a quarterback/tight end at Florida State in the early 1970's, has coached at 11 different schools since 1981 including Duke (1981-82), Cinicnnati (1983), Rice (1984-85) and Vanderbilt (1986-88) among others ... Hopkins is hoping to help a DU defense that ranked 86th nationally last season (381,2 ypg. including 192,5 ypg. on the ground).