Coming off of two losses, the Duquesne Dukes were a team looking to get back into the swing of things with a normal routine against their cross-town foe Robert Morris. The Dukes did just that, extending their recent dominance in the Pittsburgh rivalry with a 48-24 win over Robert Morris, improving to 11-3 against the Colonials under head coach Jerry Schmitt.
The first drive of the game gave pause to the idea that Duquesne was back on track and instead inspired more a feeling of “here we go again.” The Dukes marched right down the field, drove to the Robert Morris four-yard line, and then coughed the football up in a quarterback-running back exchange.
Coming off of a four-turnover performance that saw a fumble at the one-yard line and a fumble returned for a touchdown just last week, it was starting to feel as if the Dukes were sealing their fate again with turnovers.
However, down 7-0, the Dukes marched right down the field to tie the game up. Then, their defense made sure that we would not see a repeat of last week.
The Dukes got a couple of turnovers themselves to turn the tables. The turnovers led to an offensive explosion that featured three A.J. Hines rushing touchdowns in the first half, matching a career high for Hines. Up 14-7, a Tom Jurkevic interception led to a deep Nehari Crawford touchdown reception to take a 21-7 lead. Jonathant Istache picked off the very next pass thrown by Jimmy Walker and the Dukes capitalized with a field goal to take a 24-7 lead. From there, the Dukes used their power back between the tackles to salt away the Colonials and walked away with the victory.
The team rode Hines for 17 carries in the first half. Hines rewarded them with 92 yards, 5.4 yards per rush. Hines finished his big day with 27 carries for 182 yards, over 6.7 yards per carry.
After recording just his second 100 yard game of the season, A.J. Hines will look to build off of that next week, and get closer to his total of six 100 rushing games last season. The Dukes will be at St. Francis.
Daquan Worley does it all
With P.J. Fullmore on the sideline for the fourth time in six weeks, the Duquesne Dukes got creative in their usage at backup running back. They relied on senior cornerback Daquan Worley to provide a contrast in the backfield to A.J. Hines. The bold call paid off, as the speed of Worley was indeed a shock when compared to the power of Hines.
Worley added seven carries for 96 yards, and two touchdowns. He broke one right up the middle into the open field for a 23-yard touchdown. Then, in the fourth quarter he got a line to the sideline and exploded down the field for 52 yards. Whether they knew it or not, Duquesne has a legitimate big play threat in Daquan Worley.
Worley also set the edge on defense as a staunch run defender. He burst a kick off into the open field with a 32-yard return and tracked punts. Worley was impacting the game in all three areas on Saturday.
Defensive Line Pressure
The Robert Morris offensive line came into their matchup with Duquesne allowing just six sacks all season. Despite their season-long reputation, Duquesne was not concerned and knocked the group down a peg. Quarterback Jimmy Walker was under constant pressure from start to finish.
He was sacked twice and threw two interceptions under pressure. The two stars of the Duquesne defensive line wreaking havoc were Kam Carter and Jalen Booker. The two combined for two sacks, three tackles for loss, and Carter’s pressure was the sole reason for the Jurkevic interception.
Robert Morris is coming off scores of 35 and 46. Booker and Carter have to take the credit for keeping them in line in this game.