It’s not often you find a team that owns an edge on the Dayton Flyers, but Duquesne is one such program. The Dukes lead the all-time series 9-6 and they’ve won six of the last eight games as the Flyers head to Pittsburgh to renew the rivalry Saturday at noon.
“Duquesne is probably one of the best teams we’ll play all year,” Chamberlin said. “They are well coached, they’re disciplined, they’re athletic and Coach (Jerry) Schmitt always has them ready to play the Dayton Flyers.”
Dayton (1-1) is coming off a 40-21 loss at Southeast Missouri last week that wasn’t as lopsided as the score might indicate. The Redhawks scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter thanks to a couple of big plays.
In the final 5:30 of the game, the Dayton defense was stung by a 73-yard touchdown pass and a 95-yard TD run.
“I thought we played hard,” senior receiver J.P. Forcucci said. “It was just the mental mistakes, the mental toughness especially in the fourth quarter. Just not being in the right spot at the right time.”
The Dukes (2-1) were blasted at UMass in their season opener but they’ve won back to back games, including a 23-21 win at home over Valparaiso last Saturday.
Duquesne has 13 transfers from FBS schools on its roster. Seven of those players are starters, including quarterback Daniel Parr, who joined the Dukes from Florida Atlantic University.
The Flyers are still trying to adjust from the loss of four-year starting quarterback Alex Jeske in the season opener. Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Jack Cook threw for 297 yards and a touchdown in the loss at Southeast Missouri.
“Last week was his first start and he did a fine job,” Chamberlin said. “He made a couple of rookie mistakes but we need to get him going and the timing of our offense as we go into conference play.”
The Flyers open the conference season Sept. 22 at home against Davidson. The Wildcats should be well rested as they pushed up their game against Guilford — a record-setting 91-61 win — to Thursday night to avoid any issues from Hurricane Florence.
Davidson set two Football Championship Subdivision records — total yards (964) and rushing yards (685) — and broke or tied six school records against the Division III Quakers.