Duquesne lost to Dayton today in a tight one. Close ones have been the name of the game in this series of late, and that held true again today as the Dukes fell 23-20.
The difference was largely turnovers, with 14 Dayton points coming off of three Duquesne turnovers. One notable instance was in the first half, when a bad connection between punter Aaron Fleck and the long snapper resulted in Dayton taking over at the Duquesne one yard line. They needed three plays to punch it in, but they did come away with a touchdown. Another significant moment came in the second half, when wideout Dave Thomas was stripped of the ball at the Dayton 19, ruining the Dukes’ best chance to score that half.
The Dukes had plenty of opportunities on offense, but the Dayton defense proved to be too good when they needed to be. After going wild in the first half, Dayton managed to largely nullify Gianni Carter in the second. Duquesne was also unable to solve the Dayton run defense, which returned to form today after being torched against Youngstown State. The running backs managed just 75 yards on 21 attempts, and one of those was a 42 yard run from Douglass. Take that play out of the equation and you can see how stifling the run defense was.
There are still positives to take out of the loss. Dillon Buechel continued to be strong, with a 295 yard performance. He was alert and again poised, shrugging sacks on occasion to make something happen with his feet. Gianni Carter had yet another 100 yard game and looked great until he was taken out of it late. Christian Kuntz looked quite good, with two sacks and a fumble recovery. The defense played reasonably well considering the position that they were put in by some of the Duquesne turnovers as well as limiting the Dayton offense to three field goals to close out the game. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t convert.
Duquesne continues the 2013 campaign in two weeks at Youngstown State University, who at the time of writing is beating Morehead State 67-13.