It is GAMEDAY! The Dukes need a win today in a big way. This game isn’t going to be any easier than the others, but the goals may may be simplified this time just because of how the opponent is. At this point, the Dukes’ flaws are their flaws; they’re not going to change some of their issues at this point in the season so there’s no point harping on some of it. Still, some things will have to be in sync, and this is a game that the Dukes can win. How are they going to do it? Let’s take a look.
1. Stop Holloman
The CCSU offense goes through him, hands down. He is, like the past few opponents’ RBs, one of the best backs in FCS. The quarterback, Nick SanGiacomo, is not mobile but is a decent passer. They get touchdowns through the air, but a lot of their movement comes on the ground so limiting the Blue Devils in this way will cripple them. Central Connecticut does have a star wideout, so they’ll have to give respect to the pass, but stopping Holloman is key. SanGiacomo has had 9 TDs in conference, but also 8 picks. Forcing him to throw could work out.
2. Offensive Efficiency
Three and outs. Turnovers. Penalties. No gain. Tackled for a loss. These are terms that the Dukes offense really can’t hear during this game. Opponents have been able to match CCSU’s own offense in general, and DU can do the same. But they also can’t force the run.
3. Complete Game
This has not yet happened; the closest that we’ve seen was the Wagner game, and that had the mid-game lull for all of quarter two and most of quarter three. SFU was arguably close, yet there were times when that game could easily have gone the way of Bryant. This game is big – the Dukes need the win to stay in competition for the NEC title – and they need to play like it. It’s time for the Dukes to get it going on all cylinders.
I don’t know what to say at this point. Here’s how I think this goes down, though, based on how the season has gone…
Duquesne will win, possibly in a strong fashion… DU 35, CCSU 14.
SHU will lose to RMU, keeping the Dukes in the hunt, but SFU will dash the Dukes’ hopes by losing to RMU in the final week. The season has been one of hope, then dashed hope. It’s easy to feel like the Dukes will finally put it together only to have things fail to work out at the end.
And that would be fitting. There were many times this year that the Dukes could have paved their own way, but they failed to make it happen.