If you’re looking for a score update for Duquesne’s game this Saturday afternoon, you’re not going to find one.
Don’t worry, WJAS-AM hasn’t gone off the air. Don’t re-load the Stadium website. The Dukes’ crack social media team isn’t asleep at the wheel.
The game has a 6 p.m. start — Hawaii time. That means it’ll actually be Sunday by the time the Dukes kick off their game against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors this weekend.
It should be one worth staying up for. The Dukes are 3-1 this season, with their only loss coming the only other time they’ve faced an FBS opponent in a 63-15 Week 1 loss at UMass.
The Warriors, meanwhile are 3-1 in their own classification, having defeated Navy and Rice at home and Colorado State on the road before losing at Army, 28-21, last week.
Duquesne (3-1) at Hawaii (3-1)
When: Saturday, Sept. 22, 12:00 a.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Radio: WJAS-AM 1320/IHeartRadio
The Dukes will almost be fighting two battles. The first was just getting there, as the team had to ship its game-day uniforms and pads out ahead of time, leaving just walk-throughs to be had at Rooney Field this week. They then departed for the Aloha State early on Wednesday morning to take extra time to get used to the six-hour time difference.
The time difference between the East Coast and the West Coast is typically enough to throw off the internal clock of players making that trip. Hawaii is twice as far, and that’s going to be an issue for Duquesne.
It’s made for quite home-field advantage for the Warriors, who haven’t lost to an FCS team since 2000.
SECOND CHANCE AT BIG TEST
If the Dukes’ opening-week loss to UMass was a test to see where the program stands in the greater scheme of things, they pretty much flunked it, with turnovers, an inefficient passing game, a leaky defense and way too many mistakes in all three phases.
But four weeks later, the Dukes are much different team. Quarterback Daniel Parr has settled in and finally got all-conference wide receiver Nehari Crawford going in last week’s win over Dayton. The running game with preseason All-American A.J. Hines has been able to move the ball and the defense has held three straight opponents under 27 points.
That’s exactly where the Warriors were last week in their loss to Army. The option attack of the Knights limited the total number of possessions, but Hawaii got just 41 rushing yards in the game while Army rushed for 303.
If the Dukes can avoid the mistakes that got them in an early hole against UMass and get Hines rolling, they could hang with the Warriors in an attempt to win their first game against an FBS opponent since 2014.
If they can’t get over the time and distance, or play sloppy early football, the Warriors could roll.
Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald is the FBS leader in passing yards with 1,486 and touchdowns with 15. He’s also never thrown an interception in 152 career drop-backs. He needs 31 more attempts without throwing a pick to break Cole Brennan’s school record.
The Dukes have just two picks this year, with Jonathant Istache and Daquan Worley each grabbing one.