Saturday, November 14, 2009
Up until joining the NEC, Duquesne played with the attitude that it was supposed to win every game it played. For the past two years, the Dukes have been finding creative ways to outplay an opponent and then to find a way to lose. They seemed to be doing the same thing in the second half after being up 21-7. Time and time again, the Dukes left receivers uncovered or took costly penalties or kept kicking off out of bounds to keep opening the door for Sacred Heart to come back and win. Aside from the dismal and unexplainable loss to St. Francis, Duquesne’s game plan seemed to be to outplay the opponent, but refusing to win. Larry McCoy, Kevin Rombach, Conner Dixon and yes, even the kicking game finally found a way to win.
· McCoy tied a school record with 5 touchdowns to go with 121 yards. He ran with both talent and will power.
· Kevin Rombach set a passing percentage record by throwing for 26 completions on 30 attempts (.867) for 252 yards.
· Conner Dixon made 6 catches for 96 yards- His most important was his last which set up the winning field goal as time ticked away.
· Charlie Leventry kicked the pressure filled 31 yard field goal as time expired. Eric Dule, Duquesne’s regular kicker was left back in Pittsburgh with an illness.
· Jay Spinks added another 8 catches
· Duquesne over all converted 12 of 18 3rd downs on their way to gaining 450 yards.
Duquesne closes out the season with Senior Day at home vs. Bryant.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Brumbaugh’s collegiate statistics as quarterback and Duquesne’s major college football program did not outlive my father-in-law’s memories. Duquesne’s program went from being one of the best in the nation just prior to World War II to extinction in 1950.
Duquesne, of course would re-start its program in 1969, but would not re-joint Division I (1-AA/FCS) until 1993. Since 1993, a talented crop of Brumaugh’s heirs at quarterback has blessed Duquesne. If Penn State is known as Linebacker U. has successfully recruited a group of very skilled quarterback.
Current receivers coach Dave Loya (1994-97), was the first modern QB of the era, ending his career in possession of 13 of 15 Duquesne quarterback records. Dave, recently engaged, would lead the Dukes to “Mid-Major” prominence and would earn the first of many MAAC Conference Championships. He also has had the agony or pleasure of seeing most of those records gradually surpassed as he coached from the sidelines.
Tony Zimmerman ((1998-2000) would take over after Dave’s four years as starter and would only need three years to break his mark for career passing yards, touchdowns and completions.
Neil Loebig (2001-04) didn’t miss a beat as he pushed the passing records further. As he learned from Loya, Neil currently directs the Duke’s passing game.
From there, the records stopped falling…
It is not due to a shortage of talent. Scott Knapp (2005-07) was well on his way to working into Duquesne’s record books, but lost his job to another highly skilled quarterback, Kevin Rombach (2005-09). Kevin had a Redshirt season in 2006 and was, like Knapp, the apparent heir to the throne with the highest completion percentage of them all. Knapp left the University early. Kevin lost his crown to Conner Dixon, also an excellent quarterback who transferred in with considerable publicity and expectations from Michigan State.
Dixon couldn’t have had a better start during last year’s Bucknell game, setting the record for the most touchdowns in one game. No Duquesne fan could have predicted the lack of consistency since.
Finally a new, young talented quarterback has made a challenge for the title. Sean Patterson started today against Central Connecticut and played reasonably well in the 31-24 loss. Today’s loss was not due to the inexperienced Patterson. It was due to continued and chronic mistakes and lack of focus. The Dukes lost another close game they could have and should have won. A blocked punt late in the game set up the Blue Devils winning score.
This coaching staff must take a long look at itself and determine just who they are going to develop put their confidence in. They are turning unlimited potential into limited liabilities. The most important position on any team is its quarterback. The position requires time to learn and time to learn the offense and make it his own.
One suggestion would be to move Dave Loya, the guy who started it all, back to running the passing game as quarterback’s coach. Dave is a proven coach who ironically brought the present quarterback’s coach along to break his own records.
Some day, Duquesne may have an established leader and quarterback to help them gain focus in the locker room and on the field. And some day, I hope to have my future son-in-law hear my stories of the great quarterbacks from Duquesne. I wonder if he will find them as interesting?
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Consider the following…
Duquesne went into mighty Albany’s house on Homecoming. The Great Danes haven’t lost a game to an NEC opponent for the past 16 games.
Albany is not only playing toe to toe with the best teams in the FCS, but is now scheduling Big East member Cincinnati.
Duquesne had more first downs (22-17), passing yards (221-193), time of possession (34:00 to 26:00), and even higher yards per punt average. The Dukes forced the same number of punts as well.
Conner Dixon put up decent numbers against a tough defense (20-31 for 194 yards and a touchdown).
The overall yards (unless you add in the return yardage) didn’t reflect the final score.
So why the 55-10 score?
The Dukes made the same amount of mistakes that they have all year to a much better team. It started on the first play from scrimmage for the Dukes, losing a fumble to set up Albany’s first score. They went on to fumble three more times and added an interception. Their punting average was 33.5 yards (Albany’s was 31.7).
Most damaging were the big plays and Albany’s ability to make Duquesne pay for every mistake and lack of focus. The Dukes have been making mistakes and have had trouble focusing all year and it has cost them each time. With the exception of this game the Dukes could make an argument that they could have won all the others this year.
The Dukes seem to have the talent (except for a punter and other costly spots). They have had costly injuries to key players but have shown depth.
If Duquesne could ever match the focus and attitude of Albany, they would be in the middle of a wining season. The Dukes must learn that focus, or they will always be a talented team that can't win.
Football recruits see this and it affects their decisions to come here. It all has to come together. I don't blame Albany for not wanting to stay in this conference and go to the CAA. Duquesne has the smallest field, no band, no tailgate area to lure a crowd, and no longer reaches as dramatically above their conference. And when they do shedule Delaware, they will not have as much of a chance to compete evenly due to this minor league attitude. NAIA and high school teams have a better band, stadium, tailgate, and press box. A guy trowing a frisbee to his dog is not a half time show.
After last year's game the Dane's fans thought that the Dukes would help the NEC's image, but If Albany leaves, it will be due, in part, to Duquesne short sighted imagination to build a REAL FCS team and atmosphere that goes with it.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Duquesne got in a freshman quarterback of their own by letting prospect Sean Patterson lead them to a 37 yard touchdown drive for the Dukes’ second score. Larry McCoy had yet another 100-yard game with 107 yards on 20 carries with 13 and 11-yard touchdown runs. Joe Cangilla looks to be the latest in a talented stable of receivers, pulling down three passes for 68 yards. His most impressive was a leaping 27 yard catch from Conner Dixon to set up the Dukes’ last touchdown. Dixon was 19 of 31 for 201 yards while Patterson went 1 for 2 for 11 yards.
Duquesne was able to overcome 3 turnovers (2 fumbles and an interception), a muffed punt, a missed extra point and over 100 yards in penalties to miss shooting themselves in the foot for the fourth week in a row. Duquesne, with less mistakes, could easily be undefeated rather than 2-3 if they could ever sustain the focus that built them a 27-0 lead in this game. The Dukes’ kicking game, which helped to frustrate decent chances to win the past three games, helped the Colonials considerably by giving Robert Morris the ball at Duquesne’s 15 yard-line and missing the second chance at an extra point after a penalty.
Duquesne took a lead in the overall series against Robert Morris 6 games to 5. Next week, the Dukes travel to last year’s NEC Champion Albany for a 1:00 game heard on WMNY and Redzone Media.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Date Posted: Saturday, September 26, 11:47:05pm
I wonder if three straight tough road games finally caught up with the Dukes today. It seemed to me as I watched from behind the bench that the boys just weren't in it mentally or physically.
After a 67 yard run by Larry McCoy on the opening play, which to be honest was created by a missed tackle on a simple dive play, the Dukes shot themselves in the foot, over and over again.
A blown coverage led to UD's first TD, a 58 yd pass that tied the score. This was on a second and 18 play!
Duquesne, on its best drive of the game, went 66 yards but had to settle for a field goal and led 10-7. The Dukes had a chance to stretch the lead near the half, but with a 4th and 1 at the 15 were called for a false start and then missed a 32 yard field goal.
In the third quarter, another blown coverage and TWO missed tackles resulted in a 62 yard TD putting Dayton up 14-10.
After a 29 yard punt, the Flyers started in good position and drove for a field goal. 17-10
A one yard run, a dropped pass, a QB sack and a 28 yard punt put Dayton in good position again. Steve Valentino, the aforementiond WR turned QB, began to chew up our defense on the ground with ease. The boys were tired and over pursued. A face mask penalty contributed to the Flyer drive, 24-10.
Friends, this was a TEAM loss. The offensive line play was poor, take away McCoys TD run and the backs ran for 68 yrds on 30 plays. Dixon looked shakey. He was hurried and hit on almost every pass play. He did throw some nice balls but just as many poor ones. Our recievers had some drops that would have kept drives alive, our special teams were terrible and the play calling.....very, very predictable. Our linebackers were outstanding as usual, Totino and Scruggs were the lone bright spots in my opinion. Our D-line was suckered into an over-pursuit all day long and our DBs were torched.
As most of you know, I try to be optimistic, but this one was tough to watch. I'm hoping that it was simply a case of too much travel in too few days.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
That comment from the booth summed up the Duquesne effort for the second week in a row. For Duquesne fans, it is almost easier to witness a blowout defeat than see their team again give away a close one they should have won.
If John Madden were to draw up a game plan for Duquesne to win their NEC opening game against the Monmouth Hawks he would include the following:
1. Keep Monmouth’s Davis Sinisi from grinding down the defense as he did last year. Check- Sinisi got his yards, but was held to 44 yards on 16 carries in the second half.
2. Get the ball to game-breaker Dave Williams. Check- Williams had 9 catches for 92 yards.
3. Run the ball well to set up the passing game. Check- Cleo Williams was the second Duke in as many games to top 100 yards rushing (109 yards on 23 carries).
4. Move the ball through the air. Check- Kevin Rombach threw for over 250 yards (22 of 36 for 252 yards and a touchdown).
Add to it- Duquesne had 23 first downs to the Hawk’s 12 and out-gained them by more than 100 yards (387-278). The defense constantly got the ball back to the offense and gave the Hawks only one legitimate touchdown drive. The rest of Monmouth points were scored without the Hawks gaining a single first down.
So… What happened?
Fumbles, interceptions, shanked punts, mental mistakes, poor use of the clock, and dropped passes by the Dukes kept them from taking over the game in the Northeast Conference opener against Monmouth. The Dukes continued their sloppy play to give away a game for the second week in a row. Breaks and turnovers are part of any game, but they are particularly hurtful to the Dukes who haven’t found a way to dictate their will to win.
The Duquesne defense proved again that they are much improved over last year but the offense and special teams were just too generous to the Monmouth Hawks. The Dukes seemed capable, but inept at the little things it takes to win. For example, running third down routs short of the sticks.
Dave Williams fumbled twice and two critical interceptions (one ran back for a touchdown) from Kevin Rombach proved too much for the Dukes to overcome. Williams also dropped a wide-open fly pattern toss from Rombach in the third quarter.
The Dukes had three legitimate drives that could have led to scores at the end of the game.
On the third to last drive, Duquesne stalled when they couldn’t even throw the ball away correctly. Kevin Rombach was flagged for intentional grounding and loss of down for not throwing the ball past the line of scrimmage.
The Dukes second to last drive almost reached the red zone before Rombach threw an interception.
The Dukes last drive reached the14 yard-line with under a minute and no time outs. They ran a draw that took too much time off the clock before the last potential pass to tie the game went through the end zone.
The Dukes could easily be 3-0 this season. Instead, they are 1-3 and wondering what they have to do to win after outplaying their opponents.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
First, the good…
The Duke’s defense showed it could more than hold its own against a more established scholarship program on its own turf. The Nichols State Colonels brought a pair of bruising hard runners that the Duke’s D stood up to. The defense refused to give in as last year’s edition repeatedly did. Amid a question of just who is the Duquesne defensive coordinator, the defense actually got stronger as the game went on, not giving up a point over the final three quarters. Trey Hopson showed considerable power in the first TD drive but was held out of the end zone the rest of the game by a series of hard hits and determined stops.
Also good… Larry McCoy ran for 195 yards behind an offensive line that gradually took control of the game.
Also good… Dave Williams continued to show that he is a real impact player by tying the score late in the forth quarter.
And… The Dukes out-gained the Colonels by over total 100 yards (341-218) and had 22 first downs to Nichols State’s 8. Duquesne had almost ten more minutes with the ball as well (34:08 to 25:52).
Now the bad…
Duquesne’s passing game was non-existent except for one play late in the game. There is just too much talent and depth both throwing and catching the ball for this to have occurred. With Conner Dixon, Kevin Rombach and even Sean Patterson available to throw the ball to a stable of excellent receivers, there is no reason not to find a way to burn a young defense that got lit op for 72 points the week before.
The Dukes were 0-2 inside the Red Zone with a fumble and a blocked kick.
Finally, the ugly…
If the defense was good, the offense bad, the special teams were ugly.
A four-yard punt set up Nicols State’s only drive for a score.
Duquesne blew an opportunity to tie the game when it’s first down from the 16 ended with a blocked field goal. The defense didn’t even have to jump to block the attempt. The kick may have even hit off the back of the Duquesne players.
The winning score came on a complete breakdown in covering a fake punt. As Duquesne was in the process of taking over the game the Colonels ran a fake punt the resulted in their other score that was aided by a failure in special teams play. Duquesne had just driven 83 yards to tie the score when Earvin Moore took the snap and ran 63 yards unmolested to put Nichlos State up for good.
Duquesne’s next drive was fumbled away once into Nichols State territory.
Duquesne had 8 penalties for 133 yards fumbled 4 times- losing 2 and threw 1 interception and completed only 9 of 25 passes and was sacked 9 times losing 58 yards.
One last good and bad for the Duke’s… Next week’s game vs. Monmouth will be televised on Fox Sports Pittsburgh, but shown a day later on tape delay.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Kevin Rombach was red hot to start the game going 7-10 for 110 yards and a touchdown to Michael Rasky in the first quarter before going out with a concussion. Conner Dixon, still recovering from shoulder surgery found his rhythm mid-way through the second quarter with fellow Michigan State teammate and transfer Dave Williams among others.
Gateway grad Williams helped show that the Dukes could reload their receiver corps after considerable loses due to graduation. He was in step with both Rombach and Dixon all night catching 11 passes for 145 yards in his first game as a Duke. His third quarter touchdown reception held the crowd in brief, but deep suspense before the referee ruled it a score rather than a fumble into the end zone. Williams was lunging for the goal line when the ball came out just after he crossed. Akeem More, Jay Spinks, Williams and Rasky all looked good and should provide Rombach and Dixon with plenty of targets. Brian Layhue took over again for All Conference Sean Bunevich showing the Dukes depth at tight end as well.
The offensive line also showed a consistent and steady effort as well, opening up holes for a herd of young backs that kept the press box guessing just who would spring out of the backfield next. Feature back Cleo Williams looks to share the load with both Mars alum Bill Bair and Spring Game star Larry McCoy. Bair scored the Dukes second touchdown on a neat 32 yard run at 1:52 of the second quarter.
New kicker, Eric “Mule” Duale showed good hang time on kickoffs and seems able to take over for Mark Troyan kicking a 19 yard field goal, but narrowly missing a 23 yard attempt that could have proved the undoing of last year’s team. On Bucknell’s first play after taking over, QB CJ Hopson took it deep into Duquesne territory before the Bison turned the momentum back to the Dukes with a turnover.
Bucknell slowed the game down after both teams came out in a no huddle offense, scoring just before the half with Marcello Trigg barely getting the TD call after un-stacking the pile on Bucknell’s third attempt from inside the three.
The Dukes displayed depth defense too with a great new addition- freshman Horvin Latimer. Lehigh valley product Latimer intercepted when Bucknell tried to go on 4th and 10 from the Duquesne 32 in the third quarter. Linebacker Anthony Rhodes had 12 tackles. Nathan Totino’s knee was tested severely in 4th but held up well as he had to run with the Bucknell receivers as they desperately tried to come back.
The game ended with Duquesne gradually bending but taking time off the clock. The Bison scored late on a 4th and goal from the 5 with 1:01 left in game. Duquesne intercepted the 2-point conversion attempt. Mike Raskey recovered the following onside kick but got hurt going high in air to pull it down.
The stands were pretty much full on a beautiful opening evening as the Dukes got revenge from last year and their first win since 2002 vs. the Bison.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
OnTheBluff.com Football Analyst
Duquesne's recent football tradition has been both a blessing and a curse. Winning the now defunct MAAC Conference title so often made it a disappointing season if the team only tied for first place. The previous fourteen winning seasons in a row made last year's 3-7 season look like a gigantic failure no matter how long the NEC competition had been offering scholarships prior to Duquesne's first scholarship player since 1950. The Dukes made a habit of playing very well against one or two higher rated 1-AA teams and then mopping up on the likes of St. Peters and La Salle.
Now that the Dukes play a challenging schedule from beginning to end, they have discovered just how tiring a season can be. The Dukes have always managed to recruit a decent crop of skilled players, however, they have to discover that size and endurance matters too. Given the two year head start the rest of the NEC had in offering scholarships, we may have to be willing to concede that last season may have been the exception to the high standard and may not spell doom for the future of Duquesne Football. The silver lining to last year's disappointing season may be that we now have re-adjust expectations from the start for this young team. After the string of 14 winning seasons was ended, a winning season of any kind would actually look like dramatic progress.
According to most forecasts, finishing better than fifth in the NEC may actually exceed most expectations. The Sports Network picks the Dukes to finish 7th and the NEC Coach's Poll picks them to finish 6th.
Coach Jerry Schmitt, back for his fifth season is proud of his team's progress. "I think we got better as the year went on," said Schmitt. "Our defense was young last year and will mature."
Actually, Duquesne's best performances on the field occurred in the first half of the season if you consider the second half at Bucknell, the home win against Dayton and the near upset of Albany. The early St. Francis win and later win at Wagner were not all that impressive considering the opposition. The second half collapse at Robert Morris seemed to destroy any confidence to be contenders.
The expectations that matter most may actually come from the players on the field. The Dukes came closer than any other NEC to upsetting Albany. These players beat Dayton, yet lost to cross town rivals Robert Morris after blowing a lead. Last season's Bucknell game best showed the roller coaster Dukes to be susceptible of lacking the consistent attitude and confidence it takes to win. To win, they really do have to "believe".
Albany, incidentally just announced a 2011 game against Big East member Cincinnati. This may put the first Pitt-Duquesne game since 1939 within the realm of at least a remote possibility some day.
The Dukes open the 2009 Season this Saturday, Sept. 5 at home to Bucknell at 6:00 at Rooney Field. The game is broadcast on WMNY am 1360 and streaming on Redzone Media. Bucknell defeated Duquesne 48-42 when the two teams met last season.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Date Posted: Friday, July 03, 10:01:51am
The Dukes have re-discovered the Lehigh Valley Pipeline with Latimer!
I hope he brings back the greatest group of fans that have ever attended Duke's games.
The "tailgate area" is nice, but its really a party area. Keep it going, but do something creative and open up Bluff Street for REAL tailgaiting during the games. The river view is a natural.
I went to the Robert Morris game and their pre-game atmosphere puts ours to shame with a great tailgate area. Also- put radio broadcast (pre-game, game and post game) on speakers at the Mellon Hall area and along Bluff Street.
The student station (WDSR) could do an extended pre and post game show and be on the speaker set up too. The Red and Blue Crew is great for Basketball and can add a lot to the Football games too.
And put some REAL bleachers on the visiting side even if its just for the season. It looks so bush league the way it is.
If we build the atmosphere, more fans will come!! I feel like I have to appologize when I bring friends to the games. It really wouldn't take much to get soo much more back. We aren't Club or D-III any more.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Boardwalk Hall is a great venue for college basketball. The staff was friendly and answered questions readily. I bought some A-10 shirts and noticed they had merchandise for the A-10 tournament and every other tournament school except one. I asked the vendor why no DU stuff. Someone from the A-10 heard me, and chimed in, "We sent Duquesne two requests for merchandise and we received no response."
I only attended the last two nights. But it was great walking around the Boardwalk wearing DU wear and meeting the Dukes' fans. It was great talking to you all or at least yelling "Go Dukes!" to each other.
Major congratulations to the fans that attended all four games. There were about 100 people who attended and they were great! They were friendly and cheered non-stop. I met some at the DU reception before the final game. Thank you for your support. Next year, I hope to be a part of that group by buying my tickets before the tournament. Also, congrats to the three Crew members who sat in the student section for all four games. And the DU cheerleader who attended the game on her own last night! She brought her pom-poms and cheered from the stands. Great job to all!
Dukes/Dayton game had a weird vibe. Most Temple people ran out after game like they had a bus to catch. There were not really that many X fans there, I saw one 3/4 full section and then scattered throughout out arena. Most of them left also. Dukes' performance quieted the Dayton folk.
After what seemed like the fourth failed Dayton alley-oop in the second half, a Dayton fan stood up and screamed, "Stop doing that for Chr*st's sake." which brought laughter from all around.
I was in the upper deck for the first game. I maintained my composure until Ajax hit that 30 foot three point shot over the Dayton defender at the buzzer. I jumped and screamed and the rest of the section just looked at me. I left the section at that point and joined the larger group of DU fans for the final few minutes.
A-10 tournament news - My alarm was set to a Jersey station that was talking about the A-10 tournament on Saturday morning. The host had a reporter on the show from the Philly Inquirer (Phil Newman, I believe his name was) who was covering the tournament. He said that after the A-10 AD meetings this week and that the finalists for the A-10 tournament are Atlantic City and Pittsburgh. He said if the new Pittsburgh arena was completed for next season, the tournament would be gone. The ADs wanted the tournament to stay in AC for next season and then move to Pittsburgh. AC said no to that. So apparently, they are deciding between a new three year contract with AC or finding a one year site for next years tournament (Dayton was mentioned) and then to Pittsburgh for a three year contract. The site will be announced the Friday before the final four.
I spoke with Bob Derda at alumni reception. He was very nice. He said that really hope for the WNIT bid and they are actually making plans for a first round home game. He also said they hope to sell-out blue seats next year.
Not too much to say about the Temple game. It seemed to go very fast. And as others have said, Bill Clark's third foul seemed to be the turning point.
Noticeably more, DU people at the finals. Maybe about 500. Saunders dunk brought the loudest reaction from the DU and neutral fans. It would have been great to win.
The Temple dancing girls were hot.
And finally on the cheerleader and band not being at the tournament. It was a real topic of conversation among those that attended and not just by me! The comments on the Voy board seemed split and it seemed to me that people who attended were upset and people who didn't attend didn't care. The atmosphere at the X/Temple game was great with both bands going back and forth in the pregame. We didn't have that. I am certainly not saying that having the band and cheerleaders there cost us a victory by any means. But it didn't help. Perfect example. We hit a shot to make the score 62-57 with four minutes left or so and Temple calls timeout. That is where a band and cheerleaders can help. Right away, the Temple band started playing and their fans got behind the Owls drowning out the DU fans. Perhaps, with a band and some cheerleaders we get the neutral fans on our side.
I can almost (and I say almost) see not having them their for first round based on our history. But once DU made the semi-finals, it was inexcusable. Does DU want fans to attend their tournament games? Do they want us to spend our money to travel and support the Dukes? If so, we should expect the same commitment from our school that the other A-10 schools get. Every other school including SLU sent a band and cheerleaders. This was our first A-10 final (two Eastern 8s) ever. This was the biggest game in 30 years. And the school simply dropped the ball.
It was a great time and I hope to attend next year. I won $31.25 playing quarter video poker. I will never be confused with a highroller. Great job Dukes!!
Much thanks to John (A 83) who wrote this article as a favor to me and all loyal Duquesne Fans!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Stay Tuned- See Draft Screenplay at bottom of page.
March 14, 2009
2008-09 ATLANTIC 10 CHAMPIONSHIP
#7 DUQUESNE (21-11) vs. #4 TEMPLE (21-11)
Sat., Mar. 14, 2009 - Boardwalk Hall - Atlantic City, N.J. - 6:05 p.m. (EST)
TELEVISION: ESPN2 with Dave Pasch & Bob Valvano
DUQUESNE RADIO: KQV-AM (1410) with Ray Goss & George Von Benko
INTERNET BROADCAST: www.redzonemedia.com or www.GoDuquesne.com
LIVE STATS/VIDEO: www.Atlantic10.org ("men's basketball championship" link)
FINAL-LY!: This is the first time Duquesne has advanced to the Atlantic 10 Championship title game since 1981. The Dukes' only other championship game appearance came in the Eastern 8's inagural tournament in 1977 when Norm Nixon led the Dukes to the title. DU is 1-1 all time in tournament title games. This is the first time Duquesne - a No. 7 seed - has won three games in the Championship since `77. Duquesne will be attempting to become the second A-10 school to win the title in four games (Xavier did it in 2004 as a West No. 4 seed and in 2006 as a No. 10 seed, both of which were close to home as the `04 title game was played at University of Dayton Arena and the `06 final was at Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena). Only 13 times in NCAA history has a team won four games in four days in a conference tournament.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: The winner of the A-10 Championship receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Duquesne has made a total of five NCAA tournament appearances, the last of which came in 1977 (1940, 1952, 1969, 1971 & `77).
HOW'D THEY GET HERE: DU opened with a 91-81 win over No. 10 seed UMass on Wednesday followed by a 78-74 upset of No. 2 Rhode Island Thursday night. DU secured its spot in the final with a 77-66 upset win over No. 3 Dayton yesterday.
DUQUESNE LATELY: Duquesne's 21 wins are its most since 1971 ... DU is bidding for its first NCAA Tournament bid since the 1977 Norm Nixon-led Dukes, who went 3-7 in conference play, reeled off wins over Penn State, UMass and Villanova to rise above .500 at 15-14 and earn the first league championship ... the Dukes snapped an eight-game second round losing streak with Thursday's 78-74 win over Rhode Island ... DU is 1-1 in championship games (win in `77 and loss to Pitt in `81) ... senior point guard Aaron Jackson, who has never missed a game in his Duquesne career, will be taking the floor for his 119th consecutive game ... only Tony Petrarca (120 games from 1987-91) has played in more games at DU ... Jackson, who has 16 assists in three tourney games (184 total), has broken the school single-season record of 178 set by Norm Nixon in 1977 ... 6-7 soph. F Damian Saunders has broken the DU single-season record for steals with 71 ... the old mark of 70 was set by Clayton Adams in 1988 ... Saunders' 78 blocks rank second in Duquesne's all-time list ... DU has set a new school record for 3-point makes (270) and attempts (768) breaking the record for both set in 2007 (239-of-722) ... DU's 538 assists are one shy of the school record of 539 set last year.
DUQUESNE vs. TEMPLE: Temple leads the overall series 37-13, including a 4-0 advantage in A-10 Championship games ... Duquesne has won just two of the past 15 meetings - with both wins coming at home ... DU snapped an eight-game series losing streak with a 61-54 win at Pittsburgh on Jan. 8, 2003 ... two years ago DU rallied from 12 down with 11:55 left to defeat the Owls 96-92 at the Palumbo Center ... Juan Fernandez led four Temple players in double figures in Temple's 78-73 win over DU on Feb. 15 ... Ron Everhart is 1-2 vs. Temple.
A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE: Duquesne, which has posted its first 20-win season since 1981 and is one win away from its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1977, was 3-24 with an RPI of 308 the year before Ron Everhart's arrival on the Bluff. In his first season, Everhart took a team that had two returning players (one of whom was senior Aaron Jackson) and was rocked by a preseason campus shooting to a 10-19 record including five consecutive A-10 regular season wins. Last year, he led the Dukes to the school's first winning record since 1994 at 17-13 as DU's RPI improved to 130. This year, despite losing his top five scorers from the 17-win team, Everhart has guided a team with one scholarship upperclassman (Jackson) and eight freshmen (one of whom was lost for the season due to December knee surgery) to 21 wins and a 77RPI through games of March 12.
21 WINS: Duquesne's 21 wins are its most since the 1971 NCAA team went 21-4. The `71 Dukes, who lost in the first round of the East Regional to Penn, finished the season ranked 15th by AP and 18th by UPI. The last Duquesne team to win 22 games was the 1962 Dukes who finished 22-7 on the way to a fourth-place NIT finish and No. 17 (AP) and No. 18 (UPI) national ranking. This is the first time since 1981 (20-10) and second time since 1972 (20-5) that Duquesne has won 20 games in a season.
SOME BIG Ws: The Dukes, who own a victory over then-No. 9 (AP) Xavier (72-68), have also defeated a pair of NCAA Tournament teams on the road in Radford (94-75) and Robert Morris (88-62). DU never trailed in handing RMU its worst loss of the season and led Radford from the 19:31 mark of the first half. DU only trailed Xavier at 2-0 and led from the 17:43 mark on. The Dukes also own a win over MAC No. 1 seed Bowling Green and victories over a pair of 20-win teams in Rhode Island and Dayton at the A-10 Championship.
FOUR IN FOUR: Only 13 times in NCAA history has a team won four games in four days of a conference tournament. Its been done twice in the Atlantic 10:
SCHOOL -- CONFERENCE (YEAR)
Georgia -- Southeastern (2008)
XAVIER -- ATLANTIC 10 (2006)
Syracuse -- Big East (2006)
XAVIER -- ATLANTIC 10 (2004)
Siena -- Metro Atlantic (2002)
Iowa -- Big Ten (2001)
Arkansas -- Southeastern (2000)
Saint Louis -- Conference USA (2000)
Charlotte -- Conference USA (1999)
UNLV -- Western Athletic (1998)
Marquette -- Conference USA (1997)
Auburn -- Southeastern (1984)
Clemson -- Southern (1939)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Kevin Barthelemy 6-3 250 OL Fr. Moon Township, Pa./Moon Township
Sean Brady 6-0 175 WR/DB Fr. Orchard Park, N.Y./Canisius
Damon Cotton 6-0 190 WR/DB Fr. Aliquippa, Pa./Center
Devin Duggan* 6-0 210 DB Jr. Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic (Valley Forge Military Acad.)
Reggie Eiland 6-1 255 OL/DL Fr. Accokeek, Md./Gwynn Park
Will Henson 6-5 250 OL Fr. Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville Area
Serge Kona 5-11 215 LB Fr. Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg
Derrick Lakins 6-0 215 LB Fr. Upper Marlboro, Md./De Matha
Horvin Latimer 6-1 225 LB Fr. Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty
Justin Melhado* 6-1 190 DB Jr. Ridgewater (Minn.) Community College
Kevin Miranda 6-0 285 OL/DL Fr. Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk
B.J. Morton 6-0 245 DL Fr. Petersburg, Va./Matoaca
Nick Ohrman 6-2 270 OL/DL Fr. Pittsburgh, Pa./The Linsly School (WVa.)
Jay Pettina 5-11 190 DB Fr. Indiana, Pa./Indiana
Nick Redden 6-2 260 OL/DL Fr. Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield Area
Nick Rossi 5-10 170 K Fr. North Huntington, Pa./Serra Catholic
Logan Rucker 6-2 190 DB Fr. Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont
Gus Sutera 6-2 250 OL Fr. Haverford, Pa./Haverford
Billy Viscuso 6-2 270 OL Fr. Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus
Dave Williams* 5-11 180 WR Jr. Monroeville, Pa./Gateway (Michigan State)
Luke Wright 5-10 180 WR Fr. Sykesville, Md./Century
* - indicates transfer
Monday, March 2, 2009
Ultra-exciting CHMA Championship Game goes in favor of top-seeded Dukes
In one of the best-played and most-thrilling games in CHMA history, the Duquesne Dukes came out on top to earn the 2009 CHMA Playoff Championship. A valliant effort by Pitt pushed the outcome into the waning moments and continuously brought the fans to the edge of their seats before the final buzzer sounded to solidify the 5-3 final score.
For the Dukes, it was their second CHMA Playoff title in the past 3 years, having won the inaugural event in 2007. The accompanying CHMA Season Championship from this year gives Duquesne three of the six forms of titles ever awarded in the three-year-old league. The Dukes now move on to the ACHA National Tournament in Cleveland, where they will take on Penn State at 2:30 PM on March 14th.
For his 5-point effort on the weekend, Duquesne senior forward Brian Bahurinsky was named as the CHMA Playoff Most Valuable Player. Bahurinsky posted a goal and an assist in the semi-final win on Saturday afternoon and came through with a pair of goals and an assist in the Championship game.
Courtesy Duquesne Hockey Site
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Duquesne erases W&J, 6-4, while Pitt prevails in OT over IUP, 4-3
Duquesne and Pitt worked their way into the CHMA Championship games with wins on Saturday, matching the #1 and #2 seeds in the final game.
#1 Duquesne pulled away from #5 Washington & Jefferson in the first of the semi-finals, ending with a 6-4 game. The contest was well-played from start to finish, but the Dukes used a relentless attack and timely goaltending to record its league-high 5th-career CHMA playoff win. Duquesne will also look to be the first team to win two playoff titles in the league's three year existence on Sunday afternooon.
Pitt, on the other hand, notched its first playoff win in over a decade to earn a spot in the title game. It took a late rally to make that a reality, though, as the Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit midway through the game and a 3-2 disadvantage for nearly the last 20 minutes of regulation time. But Pitt evened the score with 1:03 to play and then got the game-winner from Justin Thomas -- his 3rd of the game -- at 5:35 of overtime.
The 2009 CHMA Playoff Champion will be crowed when the two foes from the city of Pittsburgh face-off at 1:30 PM on Sunday afternoon at Ice Castle.
From CHMA Web Site
Saturday, February 28, 2009
TOURNAMENT RANKING SHUFFLES 4 TEAMS AROUND
Per the ACHA Policies and Procedures Manual:
E. Division 1 Tournament Seeding
Tournament seeding for the 16 team format shall be determined by a vote of the top 18teams ranked in the most current national rankings at the completion of ranking #10. The Division 1 Commissioner shall poll each of the eighteen teams to determine seeding.
And the seedings for the National Tournament are as follows:
Robert Morris (PA)
Penn State Berks
So, #8 and #9 changed, and #12 and #13 changed compared to Ranking #10.
Tournament game schedule can be found in 2 different formats below.
Click here for the TOURNAMENT BRACKET, TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
Duquesne and Pitt clinch top seeds
The 2008-09 regular season has come to an end in the CHMA, setting the stage for the CHMA Playoffs. Duquesne clinched the top spot, coming in 4 points ahead of Pitt. Both of those teams will get a bye into the semi-finals.
After multiple changes in positions over the course of the weekend, the remaining four teams to earn playoff spots are IUP, West Virginia, Washington & Jefferson, and Youngstown State. Slippery Rock fell one point shy of the post-season, while John Carroll finished in eighth.
The 2009 CHMA Playoffs will begin on Friday, February 27th at Ice Castle Arena in Castle Shannon, PA. #3 IUP will take on #6 Youngstown State in the first game, starting at 6:00 PM. In the nightcap, the same two teams from last year's championship game will meet when #4 West Virginia battles #5 Washington & Jefferson at 9:00 PM.
The winners will advance into Saturday, with #1 Duquesne taking on the lowest-remaining seed at 4:00 PM, and #2 Pitt confronting the highest-remaining seed at 7:00 PM. The two teams left standing will face each other in Sunday's championship game, which begins at 1:30 PM.
Stay tuned to the CHMA website throughout the weekend for scores and highlights of all the playoff games.
FINAL CHMA STANDINGS
TEAM W L OTL PTS
1 Duquesne 12 2 0 24
2 Pitt 10 4 0 20
3 IUP 8 5 1 17
4 West Virginia 7 5 2 16
5 W&J 6 7 1 13
6 Youngstown St 6 7 1 13
X Slippery Rock 5 7 2 12
X John Carroll 2 9 3 7
From CHMA Web Site
Friday, January 23, 2009
By John C. Hibner
During the year of 1933, George Hussey, E.G. Sewell, the mayor of Miami, W. Keith Philips, president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, and Earnie E. Seiler, head of the Miami City Recreation Department, were prominent local figures who studied the possibility of staging another post-season game. The first Palm Bowl wasn't a great financial success, but many of the committee members felt a game like this could be associated with the city of Miami and the state of Florida. It was decided by the Festival committee to hold another pageant and football game on January 1, 1934.
The University of Miami was again selected by the committee to represent the city of Miami and the state of Florida in the game. Many still remembered the thrilling upset of Manhattan College's Jaspers by the Hurricanes in the previous game, coach Tom McCann's team had started out the season defeating Southern Georgia 20, then walloped Piedmont 71-6, Bowden 48-0, Louisville 33-7, and Rollins 18-0. The battle between the Hurricanes and rival Stetson ended in a scoreless tie. McCann called it a "moral" victory for his team because Miami had never defeated or even tied the Hatters before. The University of Tampa was the last opponent of the regular season, and the game ended up a very disappointing scoreless tie for both teams.
Miami's Palm Bowl opponent would be the sixth ranked team in the country that season. The Duquesne Dukes coached by Elmer Layden of Notre Dame fame. Layden had just finished his sixth season at Duquesne, which had played a very difficlut 10-game schedule and recorded nine victories and one loss at the hands of Pittsburgh's powerful Panthers. Pitt had won the game by a single touchdown in one of the most thrilling contests ever played at Pitt Stadium. Among the Dukes' notable victories were 14-0 over a very strong Detroit team, 19-6 over West Virginia, 21-6 over Washington & Jefferson, and a 13-0 win over a very tough Western Maryland team.
This would be Layden's last game as head coach of the Dukes. Next season, he returned to his alma mater to replace Heartly "Hunk" Anderson as the head coach of the "Fighting Irish."
The Duquesne team of 34 players, plus assistant coach Joe Bach, team physician Dr. Leo O'Donnell, and George Kelly, director of publicity, left from Pittsburgh Thursday, Dec. 26, on the Seaboard Air Line Railway for Miami. They arrived at seaboard station the next morning at 7:45 a.m. after their 1,500 mile trip.
A reception committee made up of Members of the Univ. of Miami athletic board and a group of Miami students were on hand to greet the team. Every member of the football team was wearing overcoats when the train pulled in, but the players shed them very quickly in the warm sun. After establishing headquarters at the Alcazar Hotel, coach Layden took his squad out to Moore Park for a workout and some brief drills. Only light signal, punting and passing were sharpened up as Layden was wary of the effect the sudden change in climate could have on his players.
Coach McCann and his guest assistant, Bob Zuppke, the famous Illinois coach, also began to taper-off on their practices, ing and holding dummy scrimmages. working only on passing and punt- The colorful pageant held before the game started and the theme was "The Avenue of Rose Petals." The Miami Junior Chamber of Commerce Drum and Bugle Corps played the music, accompanied by the Edison Senior High School Girl Cadets who did the marching. Miss Jane Burge, Univ. of Miami coed, was crowned "Queen" by mayor Sewell. when the pageant was completed both teams were brought onto the field.
The Dukes were a very colorful group,wearing golden silk pants and scarlet jerseys with large white numbers. The Hurricanes wore orange pants with green
jerseys, and they also had white numbers. Charles Heckman kicked off for the Hurricans to Albert Krankota, who took the ball on his goal line and brought it out to his own 20-yard line. After several exchanges of punts between the two teams, Duquesne seemed to be getting the beat of the action as the temperature was hovering around the 80-degree mark. In the first half the Dukes had six scoring opportunities, but failed to score on any of these. Penalties for an illegal shift, in fact five of them, kept the Hurricanes in check. Layden and the officials had several discussions on the sidelines about the shift. Layden was very disturbed about the matter. It was Zuppke who aroused the Miami defense again and again. The Hurricanes stopped the Dukes at their six-inch line and took over on downs. Again Duquesne drove down to the one-yard line, only to be thrown back for big losses at that point.
Even two field goal attempts missed. One by Armand Niccolai from the 41-yard line was long enough, but wide. William Kakasio tried one from the 22-yard line, but it was low and wide. So at halftime the score was still 0-0. Vic Vondi kicked off for the Dukes in the second half and neither team could move the ball. Late in the third period, Joe Gates of Duquesne returned a punt 25 yards to the Miami 46. James Fillingham made four yards off left tackle, and a completed pass from James McDonald to left end Ed Powell brought the Dukes a first and ten at the Miami 26. McDonald was stopped for no gain. A Duke pass fell incomplete, and James Campbell failed to gain at the center of the line. The fans were rooting for the Miami defense on fourth down and ten. The next play changed the nature of the game. The Dukes lined up and Fillingham ran through a large hole at left tackle, hurdled over two defenders, and was finally stopped at the Miami five.
Another first down for the Dukes and the crowd was behind the defense. They had stopped Duquesne before and they could do it again. Campbell hit the center of the line and was piled up, but the Hurricanes were offside and the ball was put on the one-yard line. Again the big fullback Campbell hit the line and was stopped for no gain. Then Ed Zaneski slipped through a small hole between right tackle and end for the touchdown. Kakasic's kick for the extra point was wide. The score was Duquesne 6, Miami 0.
Five plays later, the Dukes were again deep in Miami territory after Fillingham broke loose for a 38-yard gallop from his own 41 as the fourth quarter started. A pass from McDonald to Campbell put the ball on the Miami five, and Zaneski broke through the center of the line and scored his second touchdown of the game. Kakasic's extra point kick was wide again and now the Dukes led 12-0. Again
Layden changed his complete team as he had been doing all day. He wanted fresh troops in the game at all times.
The Hurricanes got a break when QB Joe Cutrona fumbled the ball on a reverse play and Mike Sissman recovered for Miami at the Duke 34. A pass from John Ott to George
Reichgott put the Hurricane on the 16 for a first down. Another pass from Ott to Reichgott put the ball on the eight, and Layden called a timeout to bring in fresh
players to stop Miami. Cecil Cook hit the center of the line and got a first down at the four-yard line. On the next play Cook again hit the line, but it was a fake. Ott fired a pass into the endzone that Reichgott caught. He had to leap over two defenders, but he came down with the ball. Pete Petrowski's kick split the uprights and now the score was 12-7 in favor of the Dukes with eight minutes to play.
Duquesne came right back as Cutrona returned the kickoff back to his own 36. Alphedio DeLuca broke through the center of the line and galloped 43 yards to the Miami 21. The next play saw the Dukes take too much time calling signals and they were penalized five yards. Silvio Zannelli got five at right tackle, DeLuca added nine around right end, and Arthur Strutt broke two tackles as he bulled his way down to the seven. DeLuca got one yard at right tackle, and then Zannelli went to his left, found a big hole, and plowed into the endzone. Armand Niccolai kicked the extra point and Duquesne went ahead 19-7.
The Dukes kicked off as some of the fans started to leave the stadium. Ott took the kickoff on his goal line and brought the ball out to his own 39. Two line thrusts failed, then on third down Ott faded back and threw. George Rado of Duquesne picked the ball out of the air at the Hurricane 44. DeLuca hurled a long pass to end Gerald Baker who had gotten behind two Miami defenders. Baker caught the ball on the Miami two and crossed the goal line standing up. Again Niccolai kicked the extra point and the score was now 26-7.
Ott returned the kickoff to his own 38. A pass to Gus Gaiero from Cook was good for a first down at the 48. Another pass, Cook to Petrowski, gained six yards after an interference penalty. Then Rado made his second interception of the day when he picked a pass off in the flat at the Miami 44-yard line.
It took the Dukes only one play to add more points on the scoreboard. On the halfback option play Arthur Strutt hit DeLuca on the Miami 22-yard line. He broke two tackles and raced on to a touchdown. Niccolai kicked the extra point and the score was now 33-7. The game ended several minutes Later with the ball on the Hurricanes' own 27.
Thus ended the second Palm Bowl Festival. The organizing committee decided to stage another game. The name "Orange Bowl" was brought up, and when put before the group was readily accepted.
What was the first collegiate team on record to play Duquesne? (Duquesne was known back then as Pittsburgh College of the Holy Ghost)
“For all the Marbles” in the Steel City
The Pittsburgh Coaching Legends Trophy will not be the first award offered to recognize the winner of local college football contests. In December of 1936, The Pittsburgh City Council authorized Mayor Cornelius D. Scully to award a Championship Cup not to exceed $2000 in cost to Duquesne as the top collegiate football program in the city that year. That year, the Dukes went on to win the Orange Bowl in Miami as well. The cup was presented each year until one of the three universities could win it three consecutive years, claiming permanent ownership of the cup. It would be interesting to know if either trophy still exists in a dusty trophy case somewhere on the campuses of Pitt, Duquesne, or CMU.
Pitt and Carnegie Tech had a still earlier similar cup awarded by the city until Pitt was able to win three years in a row, claiming ownership. Technically, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon could still play for the Layden Cup but it is unlikely in the near future given the differences in their assigned collegiate NCAA Divisions. At present, Duquesne and Robert Morris are the only two teams likely to play for the Cup although Pitt does usually play an FCS opponent each year.
I would like to offer the cup to the Heinz History Center’s Sports Museum to house and perhaps set up a small display recording all of the times the local teams went head to head against each other.
The Layden Cup
The games began with the first in 1901 between Duquesne (then the Pittsburg College of the Holy Ghost)and Pitt (then known as the Western University of Pennsylvania). Between Pitt (29 wins), CMU [originally Carnegie Tech] (18 wins), Duquesne (15 wins) and RMU (5 wins), I need 29 gold marbles, 18 red marbles, 15 or more blue marbles and 5 or more white marbles along with 2 clear marbles to represent the two ties. Overall there have been 69 games played in head to head Steel City College Football. This year's game allows either Duquesne or RMU to add the 70th marble.
One problem- I need help to find these marbles and my wife will shoot me if I spend any more on the trophy. Is anybody able to help? There will soon be a picture of the cup here on this blog when the face plate is added. There already are some articles from the past below as the idea of a Steel City Challenge Cup developed.
Alternate colors to represent the teams could be Pitt (gold), Duquesne (red), CMU (white) and RMU (blue).
The Elmer Layden Cup Steel City Collegiate Football Challenge Cup
Elmer Layden was the first Duquesne coach to play both Pitt and Carnegie Tech (Later Carnegie-Mellon). Layden had been one of Grantland' Rice's famed Four Horsemen of Notre Dame and later went on to become the NFL's first commissioner. The Dukes would win their first New Years Day game under Layden, the 1934 Festival of Palms Bowl. The bowl was re-named the Orange Bowl the following year. Duquesne would win the Orange Bowl again later that decade.
Past winners of head to head Pittsburgh Rivalry games are listed below.
1901- Pitt over Duquesne 18-0
1903- Duquesne over Pitt 10-6
1910- Pitt over Carnegie Tech 35-0
1923- Carnegie Tech over Pitt 7-2
1924- Carnegie Tech over Pitt 6-0
1925- Pitt over Carnegie Tech 12-0
1931- Duquesne tied Carnegie Tech 0-0
1932- Pitt over Carnegie Tech 6-0
Pitt over Duquesne 33-0
1933- Pitt over Duquesne 7-0
1934- Carnegie Tech over Duquesne 3-0
1935- Duquesne over Carnegie Tech, 7-0
1936- Duquesne over Pitt 7-0
Duquesne over Carnegie Tech 13-0
1937- Pitt over Carnegie Tech 25-14
Pitt over Duquesne 6-0
Carnegie Tech over Duquesne 6-0
1938- Carnegie Tech over Duquesne 21-0
Pitt over Duquesne 27-0
1939- Duquesne over Pitt 21-13 (Last Pitt-Duquesne)
Duquesne over Carnegie Tech 22-7
1940- Duquesne over Carnegie Tech 14-7
Pitt over Carnegie Tech, 6-0
1941- Pitt over Carnegie Tech, 27-0 (Last Pitt-Carnegie Tech)
1980- CMU over Duquesne 39-7
1981- Duquesne over CMU 27-10
1982- CMU over Duquesne 19-0
1983- CMU over Duquesne 14-11
1984- CMU over Duquesne 20-14
1985- CMU over Duquesne 31-10
1986- CMU over Duquesne 33-22
1987- CMU over Duquesne 17-13
1988- CMU over Duquesne 24-14
1989- Duquesne over CMU 11-10
1990- CMU over Duquesne 31-8
1991- CMU over Duquesne 28-14
1994- Robert Morris over Duquesne 28-6
1995- Robert Morris over Duquesne 38-20
1996- Robert Morris over Duquesne 28-26 (ECAC Bowl)
1998- Duquesne over Robert Morris 24-22
2003- Duquesne over Robert Morris 33-28
2004- Robert Morris over Duquesne 34-14
2005- Duquesne over Robert Morris 23-12
2006- Duquesne over Robert Morris 27-7
2007- Duquesne over Robert Morris 17-14
2008- Robert Morris over Duquesne 34-27
2009- Duquesne over Robert Morris 34-20
STEEL CITY FOOTBALL RIVALRIES
It was in 1901 that that Pitt, then known as Western University of PA, would win the first recorded contest between Steel City teams with a 18-0 win over Duquesne. Duquesne was known at the Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost until 1911. Duquesne or PCC/HG returned the favor in 1903, beating Pitt 10-6. In 1906 Pitt beat up on Carnegie Tech 35-0. Tech got revenge in the next game, but had to wait 17 years in 1923 by a score of 7-2. Duquesne’s teams reached prominence under coach and former Notre Dame Four Horseman, Elmer Layden. One of their standout early players was Steeler founder and namesake of Rooney Field, Art Rooney Sr.. Art Sr. was their quarterback and place kicker in the 1920’s. It took Duquesne’s 41st year after starting a program to play in an inter-city game with Carnegie Tech, drawing 0-0 in a charity game in 1931.
The Pittsburgh college football rivalries took off BIG TIME after that. All three teams, Pitt, Duquesne and Carnegie Tech, were ranked often in the first national college football rankings put out by the Associated Press.
As the teams became better, the rivalries became bitter. All three teams played nationally known opponents including Notre Dame and the then powerful service academies. But they often faced more determined battles in their own back yards. Pitt, Duquesne and Carnegie-Tech all played in New Year’s Day Bowls, but National Championships were up for grabs when they met during their regular season. Back then only the very top teams played in the Rose, Orange (First known as the Festival of Palms Bowl) and Cotton Bowls. There were no Outback Bowls or the dozens of other modern bowls that cheapen the achievement today.
The college game and its rivalries actually dominated local sports to a point where the same Art Rooney had to take the Steelers on the road to places like Johnstown, Louisville, and New Orleans to sell tickets.
Unfortunately the rivalry between Pitt and Duquesne ended in 1939 with a Pitt loss to the Dukes. Pitt was ranked #1 in the nation by the AP going into the game. The Dukes went on to an undefeated season that year and finished in the AP Top Ten and #1 in the Massey Ratings (See article below). The last game of the great city rivalry came in 1943 when Pitt also ended their series with Carnegie Tech, beating the Tartans handily 45-6. By then, Duquesne had folded its team for World War II and only briefly tried again after the war. Pitt’s rivalries then turned to Penn State and today’s Backyard Brawl with West Virginia.
The Pittsburgh collegiate rivalry lay dormant for decades until Duquesne’s club football team stepped up to Division III and re-ignited their rivalry with the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon. CMU and Duquesne played spirited games from 1980 to 1991 at times even at Three Rivers Stadium. When Duquesne stepped up again to 1-AA, the Steel City Rivalries ended again.
It didn’t end for long. A new collegiate team would be founded a century after Pitt and Duquesne began theirs in Pittsburgh. Robert Morris started from scratch under the direction of former NFL head coach Joe Walton. Duquesne’s series with the Colonials began in 1994 with the Dukes holding a slight edge 5-4. Both teams were consistently ranked at or near the top of non-scholarship 1-AA football. Now, both teams are stepping up in talent when the NEC member Robert Morris began offering scholarships three years ago. Duquesne offered its first scholarship since 1950 when it joined the Northeast Conference this year.
And so, with both teams now in the same conference and stepping up in competition, the Steel City Football Rivalry is on again.
MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL 1941: THE DUKES WERE # 1 !
More About Duquesne and Major College Football Rankings
Many recognized collegiate football ranking systems begin declaring national champions dating back to 1869 when Princeton was declared national champion by most systems. Controversy exists even in that year’s selection of the nation’s best by some systems rating Rutgers at the top. Back then there were no polls taken by sports writers such as the AP Top 25 or the USA Today Poll or the now defunct UPI Coaches Poll.
The most familiar and accepted current system, The Associated Press only released their first collegiate football ranking in 1934. No AP Poll was released in 1935 but they have been releasing continuous rankings since 1936. The only inconsistency with the AP Poll since 1936 relates to the years when they would not issue a final yearly ranking after the college bowl games.
College football teams from 1869 to the present are ranked very accurately and without regional prejudices by statistically based systems such as the Sagarin, Massey, Sorrenson, RPI, Dunkle and other computer models. Most of these commonly accepted and statistically sound models are fairly consistent since they all basically look at a teams record against their strength of schedule. Their formulas as to how to factor in data from when in the year a team lost or home field advantage do rate teams differently.
Thus, even when bias from a sports writer, coach, or fan is not considered, there is seldom a year when all agree as to who is the nation’s best college football team. Even then, who is to say the fans, coaches and writers shouldn’t have a say over cold computer calculations.
The current BCS System makes an effort to achieve some consensus by relying on both polling data and computer ranking systems. Obviously, even the BCS Series Rankings has never made all of the people happy all of the time.
This debate and controversy over whose team is the best is really part of what being a college football fan is all about.
Duquesne’s National Major Football Championship
All this being said, there was a time and respected system that has declared the Duquesne Dukes the National Champion. That honor belongs to the undefeated and untied 1941 edition of the Duquesne Dukes. This rating is no fluke. The ’41 Dukes gave up only 21 points all season and were led the nation in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense. No major college team since has given up fewer points.
Only Duquesne, Minnesota and Duke finished the 1941 season undefeated and untied among major programs. Admittedly, Minnesota has been recognized by most ranking systems, including the AP as being the # 1 team in the nation that year. However the Massey Rating System has looked at the data and declares Duquesne to be the #1 team in the nation that year. Duquesne was considered to play in the Cotton Bowl that year. Had they been selected and gone on to beat Texas A & M they would have had a good claim over Minnesota.
The Massey System.
The first questions that most would ask are what is the Massey system and is it legitimate? It is legitimate to the point that the current BCS Series currently uses it to determine which teams are selected to play in the BCS Bowls and for the National Championship. The Massey Ratings may be the most scientific and full-featured system available.
Kenneth Massey has been doing these ratings since 1995 and offers previous ratings back to 1930 based upon available data. Massey’s system takes no short cuts. For example, most ratings give a standard home field advantage factor of about 4 points to all home teams. Massey makes the home field advantage factor more precise by analyzing each team’s performance at home vs. away and neutral site games to determine a more accurate facet in rating teams. In other words, winning at home doesn’t and shouldn’t have the same degree of advantage for all teams rated.
The Massey Ratings are also thought to be considerably accurate when considering strength of schedule. This is no easy task when considering the college football world of 1941 when the best in the country often still played considerably lesser-developed programs.
National Major College Football Classifications and Ratings
Duquesne’s first team was fielded in 1891. As most other college teams of the era, the original Dukes’ opponents were not necessarily from other colleges. They included athletic clubs and even high school teams. Nor were there restrictions that all team members had to be current or former students. This began to change as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), was established on March 31, 1906 to set rules for college athletics. The IAAUS became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.
Prior to 1937, ranking colleges was difficult since programs varied widely as to the class of opponents each school would play. Going undefeated against a schedule that included Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan was obviously more impressive than one that included lesser opponents. With the advent of Bowl selections, the college football had to start separating the apples from the oranges.
In 1937 the NCAA began issuing a system that divided its collegiate football programs into Divisions and placed restrictions on how often teams from each division could play each other. In 1937, the top division was the “University” or “Major College” Division. In 1973, The NCAA restructured its classifications to rename the major programs “Division I”. Division I was subdivided into “I-A” and “1-AA” in 1978. Currently, Duquesne plays in Division I-AA or as the NCAA now officially calls it the “Championship” Subdivision of Division I vs. the “Bowl” Subdivision. Other current NCAA Divisions are II and III. The NAIA and the NCCAA govern smaller college athletic programs.
Massey considered all 119 NCAA Major College football programs when he ranked Duquesne # 1 in 1941. (See link at- http://www.masseyratings.com/cf/years.txt )
Duquesne’s Past Collegiate Classifications
Until the NCAA began to define the caliber of competition, Duquesne was considered an “Independent” collegiate football team along with all other college teams. When the University or Major Division was established in 1937, Duquesne was among this group of just over 100 other colleges and universities. Massey’s 1941 rating considered 119 Major Division teams when it selected Duquesne # 1 in the nation.
Unfortunately, just as Duquesne Football was reaching its highest potential nationally, the team was cut by the University due to the Second World War. Both the AP and Massey had ranked Duquesne teams throughout the 30’s and 40’s prior to the war. Massey ranks the 1933 Dukes at #8 and the 1936 Dukes # 2 in the nation. The AP ranks them at # 14 and # 8 respectively.
Duquesne briefly tried to re-establish the team after the war as a Major Division program, but gave up after the 1950 season. Students and volunteers would start Duquesne’s next team as a club.
Duquesne’s Other National Collegiate Football Championships
When Duquesne re-started its football program in 1969 as a club team, it was sanctioned by the now defunct NCFA. Duquesne was recognized as the National Club Champions in 1973 when they went 10 – 0 under coach Dan McCann and defeated Mattatuck 13-7 in the National Championship game played Three Rivers Stadium.
In 1979, the University again took over sponsorship of the program as an NCAA Division III program. Interestingly, Division III would be the only classification where Duquesne Football could not claim a national championship rating or ranking.
The program would be “upgraded” again in 1993 when it would move to the NCAA Division I-AA. However, the move to I-AA did not necessarily mean that the Dukes would be able to compete on even terms with most other I-AA programs since they would join an odd group of schools who were considered I-AA, but would not be allowed to award scholarships and would have severe limitations on the amount of money they could spend on travel or coaching staffs. This “cost containment” approach to keeping the university at the NCAA Division I for the rest of the school’s athletic programs would evolve into a strange subdivision within the I-AA subdivision known at the “Mid-Majors”.
The Sports Network (TSN) and Don Hansen’s Weekly Football Gazette both developed a bit of love for this odd group of so-called major programs who would not or could not commit the resources to compete with the other major programs of Division I-A and I-AA. Generally, there were about 30 college programs that would either play as independents or populate the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Northeast Conference and the Pioneer Conference. All three were officially recognized by the NCAA as belonging to the I-AA Division, but were not given automatic berths to the I-AA Playoffs.
Duquesne would come as close as any of the Mid-Majors to competing with their better-funded I-AA brothers. Greg Gatuso’s squad often played scholarship programs and often won. Not only were these Duquesne team often ranked # 1 by the TSN and Hansen Polls, but were often ranked in the regular I-AA polls. Their highest ranking in the National I-AA Coaches Poll was # 14 before losing their only game of the 2002 season to Albany in the ECAC Classic. Both the TSN and Hansen rankings would select the Dukes the following years as the # 1 Mid-Major National Champions in 2003 when they beat Monmouth to win that year’s ECAC Classic.
Now the “Mid-Majors” are no more. Duquesne and most of the other Mid-Majors have either begun to offer scholarships or have folded.
The Dukes have laid at least partial claim to National Football Championships from the Club level to the I-AA Mid-Majors to, according to the Massey Ratings, the Major College level. What does the future hold for the Dukes at the regular I-AA level now that they have begun to award scholarships? The NEC, the Duke’s new conference will be eligible for a bid to the Division I-AA National Championship beginning in 2010.
The 1941 Massey Ratings
1941 Teams Rated: 119
Team W L T PF PA Off Def Sched Rating Dom
1 Duquesne 8 0 0 17.88 2.62 4 2 44 33.84 0.736
2 Minnesota 8 0 0 23.25 4.75 5 4 41 29.26 0.609
3 Mississippi St 8 1 1 19.10 5.50 28 1 4 26.63 0.530
4 Notre Dame 8 0 1 21.00 7.11 6 11 49 26.20 0.517
5 Alabama 9 2 0 23.91 7.73 8 8 5 26.09 0.514
6 Georgia 9 1 1 29.00 7.73 3 26 28 23.63 0.440
7 Texas 8 1 1 33.80 5.50 1 36 38 23.50 0.436
8 Oregon St 8 2 0 14.30 4.90 23 3 30 23.21 0.427
9 Michigan 6 1 1 18.38 5.12 17 6 22 22.32 0.401
10 Navy 7 1 1 21.33 3.78 16 7 34 21.97 0.390
Filling In Duquesne's Football Tradition: The Real Record
For example, how many times did Duquesne play Pitt on the football field and what was their record? Duquesne's media guide lists the record at 2-4 with the recognized games being in the 1930's when Duquesne and Pitt were both nationally ranked powers.
Pitt's football records are a bit more complete and show that the first Pitt-Duquesne game turned out to be an 18-0 Pitt victory over the Dukes in 1901. However, the Panthers don't recognize a loss to Duquesne in 1903 by a score of 10-6.
Part of the reason for the confusion could be that Pitt, at the time of both earlier games was known as the Western University of Pennsylvania and Duquesne was officially known as the Pittsburgh College of the Holy Ghost.
Instead of Duquesne's Media Guide record of 2-4 and Pitt's version of 2-5, the actual record is 3-5. This record is now verified by the College Football Data Warehouse.
By cross checking available records from Pitt, West Virginia, Washington and Jefferson, I.U.P., Thiel, Westminster, St. Francis, Geneva, University of Buffalo, Bethany, California University of PA and others, Duquesne's documantable all time record should stand at 395 wins, 287 losses and 25 ties.
Duquesne's Media guide does not include a proud 1891-1901, first decade record of 33-17-5 in its all time record. It does, however, now list Duquesne's first documented collegiate game, a 1893 loss to Washington and Jefferson by a score of 22-19.
It would be a great recognition of a proud football tradition to claim our 400th win if it occurs this year!
TEN REASONS TO ADD MORE SEATS TO ROONEY
2. Scheduling- It will be very hard to attract quality out-of-conference opponents to Rooney Field. Even the soccer teams that come in think the field looks “quaint” to be polite.
3. Attendance- I’ve brought along friends to see a game at Rooney and it really doesn’t feel like a real college game atmosphere. They enjoyed the game, but would be more likely to come back if there was more atmosphere.
4. Crowd Noise/Emotion- Emotion feeds emotion. It is extremely difficult to get a crowd into the game with so few rows behind you.
5. Home Field Advantage- This crowd noise obviously help the home team.
6. Financial Benefit- It would be easier to charge admission to build a revenue base. Football needs to be a moneymaker for the rest of the department (or at least support itself) as it does for many other colleges. Too many fans, particularly from the opponent’s side of the field are just walking up without paying. A better field will also attract more paying customers and also could be a chance for student groups to set up booths as they do at other universities.
7. Press Coverage- If given a choice between covering a game at other college with a lower or same classification, but a better field facility, we are not competitive. TV highlights from games at Rooney look small time.
8. Hosting Games- Central Catholic actually decided to hold its games elsewhere due to the lack of seating capacity. This is a good school to keep associated with.
9. Academic Excellence- Who knows how many students come on campus to consider Duquesne when Central Catholic plays here or when they take a campus tour or if they come to see a Dukes game and get the feel of a real college game? The students we want to attend Duquesne are those with school spirit who want to picture themselves as being part of something fun and exciting. Rooney’s size does not paint this picture.
10. School Pride- This field just looks small time in comparison to other local fields such as Walton Stadium.
09/04 DUKES 17-BUCKNELL 13
09/11 DUKES 35-DAYTON 31
09/18 Delaware 30-Dukes 6
09/25 DUKES 28-ALBANY 17
10/02 MONMOUTH 1:00
10/09 CCSU 31-Dukes 29
10/16 Dukes 37-SACRED HEART 17
10/23 Dukes 21-Wagner 20
10/30 Robert Morris 34-Dukes 11
11/13 Dukes 41-ST FRANCIS 17
11/20 Dukes 37-Bryant 29
Duquesne University Fight Song-Rev. Thomas Quigley 1926
We'll sing hooray for the Red and Blue,
A big hooray for the Red and Blue;
For the flag we love on to victory,
And when the foe is down,
we will raise a mighty shout
And sing hooray for the Red and Blue;
We're all your sons and daughters true.
Now with all your might, give them
for the grand old Red and Blue.
DUQUESNE DUKES ALL-TIME FOOTBALL RECORD (1891-2011)*
Winning %- .574
~DUQUESNE GLORY/GORY YEARS~
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