In order to go into Amherst, Massachusetts and pull off an upset over the FBS-level UMass Minutemen in Saturday, the Duquesne Dukes would have had to play a nearly flawless game.
Instead, the Dukes turned the ball over four times, including an opening-drive interception, and UMass scored on each of its first three possessions en route to a 63-15 rout.
Redshirt junior quarterback Daniel Parr made the start, beating out Brett Brumbaugh in a training camp battle after transferring from FAU in the offseason. Parr finished 16 of 29 for 123 yards and a touchdown, but also had three interceptions.
Parr was picked off by UMass’ Bakhari Goodson on the third play of the game. On the fourth play, Minutemen quarterback Andrew Ford hit Brennon Dingle for a 32-yard score and UMass had a lead it would never relinquish.
After a Duquesne three-and-out, it took just two more plays for UMass to find a wide-open Andy Isabella for a 60-yard score. On UMass’ next drive, Bilal Ally had a 66-yard carry down to the Duquesne 1-yard line and then punched it in from a yard out to give the Minutemen an early 21-0 lead.
The Duquesne defense was outclassed all afternoon, allowing a total of 572 yards from scrimmage, 282 on the ground and 290 in the air.
The Dukes got on the board with a late first-half field goal and Nehari Crawford caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Parr to end the first half, but two more UMass touchdowns, on a 14-yard carry by Isabella and the other on a 2-yard rush by Marquis Young put the score at 35-14 heading into the break.
In the third quarter, Isabella scored his third touchdown of the game on a 44-yard pass from Ford, Brice McAllister intercepted Parr and returned it for a touchdown and Ross Comis scored on an 18-yard rush to put the game out of reach.
Parr added a 2-yard rushing touchdown late.
Crawford led all Duquesne receivers with five catches for 59 yards to go along with his touchdown. Kellon Taylor grabbed three balls for 25 yards and Kareem Coles had four catches for 23 yards.
Preseason All-American running back A.J. Hines averaged 6.3 yards per carry but got the rock just nine times for 57 yards thanks to the large early deficit.
Isabella finished with five catches for 131 yards, 14 rushing yards and three scores for UMass. Dingle caught three passes for 61 yards. Ally had nine carries for 112 yards, while young had 15 rushes for 90 yards.
The Dukes will return to Pittsburgh for their home opener next Saturday, when they host Lock Haven at Rooney Field at 2 p.m.