Duquesne 2015 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

George Hammond

Duquesne Dukes
Northeast Conference

The Dukes won four straight games to end the regular season, including a NEC-winning title game against St. Francis, in a winner-take-all scenario in Pittsburgh. This is Duquesne’s first outright NEC title since joining the conference in 2008. It shared the crown in 2011 and 2013, but lost out on the postseason because of the league’s tie-breaker system. When Duquesne moved to the NEC in 2008, it offered 18 scholarships, now the number has increased to 37.

2015 Record: 8-3, 5-1
Coach: Jerry Schmitt

Big Wins: 11/7 at Sacred Heart (41-14), 11/21 Saint Francis (30-20)
Bad Losses: 9/26 at Albany (14-17), 10/17 at Bryant (17-38)

This is a veteran team that returned 14 starters this season so even though the playoffs are new, this group has experience and knows how to win the big game. Quarterback Dillon Buchel leads the offense and he has thrown for more than 2,400 yards. For the season he had 18 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Chris King is the club’s top receiver and the Dukes have a solid kicker in Austin Crimmins, who has 42 career field goals to be the school’s all-time leader in that category. Defensively, Christian Kuntz leads the way. The linebacker, who is a candidate for FCS Defensive Player of the Year, has 23 tackles for loss and four interceptions. Duquesne is 10th in the nation in turnover margin and seventh in scoring defense.

This is a balanced team that isn’t going to dazzle you with gaudy numbers. Duquesne is in the bottom half of the FCS as far as penalty yardage per game goes and the Dukes don’t necessarily control the clock. In their worst loss (to Bryant, 38-17), the Dukes yielded 330 passing yards and had only 86 yards rushing. That was a familiar theme in their loss to Albany, too. Duquesne had only 67 yards rushing in that contest. If it wants to win a playoff game, it will need to get the ground game going.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Rafiq Douglas, RB, 1,017 yards
Passing: Dillon Buechel, QB, 2,448 yards
Receiving: Chris King, WR, 915 yards
Tackles: Sam Martello, LB, 72
Sacks: Christian Kuntz, LB, 9.0; Nathan Stone, LB, 9.0
Interceptions: Christian Kuntz, LB, 4

2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 176.4 (42nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 223.3 (49, 3)
Total Offense: 399.7 (49, 1)
Scoring Offense: 28.9 (48, 2)
Rushing Defense: 128.3 (25, 2)
Pass Defense: 197.6 (37, 3)
Total Defense: 325.9 (26, 3)
Scoring Defense: 15.9 (7, 1)
Turnover Margin: 1.00 (10, 1)
Sacks: 2.90 (11, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.20 (26, 2)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
No Tournament History

*all team stats through 11/14


Playoff Central