Saturday, Nov. 14 at 12:00 p.m..
Campus Field (4,000/FieldTurf) • Fairfield, Conn.
DUKES RETURN TO ACTION AT SACRED HEART
Duquesne (2-7, 1-5), which has had 13 days to contemplate a tough 23-17 double-overtime loss to Wagner, heads to Fairfield, Conn. to face Sacred Heart (2-7, 2-5) on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 12:00 p.m. The Dukes will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak and post their first road win of the season at SHU. The Pioneers ended a three-game losing streak with a 24-14 home win over Bryant on Saturday. This is the final game for Sacred Heart, which is 2-2 on Campus Field this season.
DUKES AND PIONEERS
This is the fifth meeting between the Dukes and Pioneers with the series knotted at 2-2 ... in the first game between the two, Sacred Heart defeated Duquesne 31-15 on Dec. 1, 2001 in the ECAC Classic at Rooney Field ... the next two meetings - both Duquesne wins - were decided on the game's final play ... three years ago, Sacred Heart drove to the Duquesne three with three seconds left when holder Dario Melendez took a high snap from center, hesitated in putting the ball down, rolled to his right and threw a pass that was knocked to the ground in the end zone by John Simmons as time expired to give Duquesne a dramatic 24-21 win at Rooney Field ... in the last meeting at Sacred Heart, Aaron Strader's interception in the end zone in overtime preserved a 30-23 victory for the Dukes ... Strader, who was called for pass interference on fourth down on the previous play, stepped in front of Tyler McKeon's pass to end Sacred Heart's comeback attempt ... the Pioneers, who were down 23-14 entering the fourth quarter, tied the game when John Wilson returned a blocked punt 18 yards for a score with nine minutes left ... last year, Sacred Heart, down 17-0 midway through the second quarter, scored 29 unanswered points to hand Duquesne a 29-17 Homecomnig loss at Rooney Field ... Dale Fink completed 27-of-34 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns to lead Sacred Heart ... Steve Tedesco added a school record-tying 12 catches for 121 yards for the Pioneers who enjoyed a 39:20 to 20:40 advantage in time of possession in outgaining the Dukes 359-171
- Duquesne head coach Jerry Schmitt is 3-1 in five seasons when coming off a bye week
- Duquesne has given up 140 points (35.0 ppg.) during its current four-game losing streak ... in their last outing, the Dukes held Wagner to 14 points in regulation in a 23-17 double overtime loss ... DU had two field goals blocked in the final 12 seconds of regulation and dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the first overtime
- Duquesne opponents have scored a total of 11 touchdowns covering 50 yards or more ... seven have come against the defense ... the others include a 56-yard fumble return (at Albany), a 78-yard punt return (at Albany), a 65-yard interception return (at Monmouth) and a 63-yard run on a fake punt (at Nicholls State)
- Converted quarterback Connor Dixon has 11 catches for 158 yards - including a pair of touchdowns - since moving to wide receiver for the Oct. 24 Saint Francis game
The Wagner game was Duquesne's first overtime game since a 30-23 win at Sacred Heart on Sept. 22, 2007 ... it was the fourth overtime game the Dukes have had under fifth-year head coach Jerry Schmitt (1-3) ... Duquesne had two potential game-winning field goals (30 yards and 35 yards) blocked in the final 12 seconds of regulation ... DU also dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the first overtime ... Wagner outgained Duquesne 374-323 ... Duquesne outgained Wagner on the ground 210-170 ... Wagner ran 78 plays to Duquesne's 56 ... senior Cleo Williams (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) finished with 27 carries for a career high 174 yards ... his previous career best was 139 yards at Central Connecticut State last season ... Williams topped the 100-yard mark on a career-long 64-yard run midway through the second quarter ... Williams had 145 yards on 18 carries at the half ... sophomore defensive lineman Alex Inda (San Fernando, Calif./St. Genevieve) led Duquesne with a career- and game-high 12 tackles ... freshmen Derrick Lakins (Upper Marlboro, Md./DeMatha) and Horvin Latimer (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) added 11 tackles each ... Latimer has 38 tackles in DU's past three games .. junior Connor Dixon (South Park, Pa./South Park), who has 11 career starts at quarterback, caught four passes for 90 yards (all in the second half) in his second game as a wide receiver ... the 6-5 junior has 11 catches for 158 yards in two games since moving to wideout ... senior quarterback Kevin Rombach (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) completed 7-of-16 passes for 113 yards ... senior wideout Michael Rasky (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) saw his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch snapped at 28.
Three players expected to be the heart-and-soul of the 2009 receiving corps have been lost for the season due to injury. Preseason All-NEC tight end Sean Bunevich (North Ridgeville, Ohio/North Ridgeville) saw his season ended before it began with a non-contact knee injury suffered at practice on August 11. Promising sophomore receiver Akeem Moore (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) was sidelined with internal injuries suffered on the first series at Nicholls State on Sept. 12. Moore who started 10 times in the defensive backfield as a freshman, had four catches in two games (20.4 ypc.) prior to the injury. Michigan State transfer Dave Williams (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) went down with a shoulder injury in week five versus Robert Morris. Williams was leading the Dukes with 29 catches for 385 yards at the time. Moore and Williams, who were the Dukes' top two deep threats, combined for 15 catches for 227 yards in the opening day win over Bucknell. In addition to the starters lost, 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 is out for the remainder of the season).
- Senior receiver Michael Rasky had a streak of 28 consecutive games with a catch snapped against Wagner.
- A total of 13 starters have missed at least one game due to injury this season. The list includes: TE Sean Bunevich (season/injured in preseason), QB/WR Connor Dixon (one game), CB Aaron Fitzpatrick (four games), TE Brian Layhue (season/played in the opener), CB Justin Melhado (one game), S Willie Milhouse (one game), WR Akeem Moore (season/injured in game two), S Bill Poletti (season/injured in game eight), LB Anthony Rhoades (one game), DL Tyler Scruggs (two games), DL Aldon Sutton (one game), LB Nathan Totino (one game) and WR Dave Williams (season/injured in game five).
- Three different quarterbacks have started at least twice in eight games for the Dukes. Connor Dixon, who has three QB starts this season, made his debut at receiver at Saint Francis and led the team with seven receptions (for 68 yards) including a 20-yard TD. He added four catches for 90 yards vs. Wagner.