Duquesne announced its 2019 football schedule on Friday, as the Dukes look to defend their Northeast Conference title and make a return trip to the NCAA FCS playoffs.
The Dukes will start with their season on Sept. 7 at Rooney Field, when they host Division II Walsh University (Ohio), one of five home dates on The Bluff.
After that, Duquesne will go on a difficult three-game road swing, playing at perennial FCS contender Youngstown State on Sept. 14, rival Dayton on Sept. 21 and CAA power New Hampshire on Sept. 28.
NEC play will begin on Oct. 5 with a new opponent, as Long Island University will be forming a Division I team. The school’s two campuses previously competed separately as Division II LIU Post, which had a football team, and Division I LIU Brooklyn, an NEC member that did not. The new, combined teams do not yet have a nickname.
Following their off week, Duquesne will visit Sacred Heart on Oct. 19, host Wagner on Oct. 26 and St. Francis on Nov. 2 before making the trip out to Moon Township to face Robert Morris on Nov. 9.
The 2019 slate will wrap up with a visit to Bryant on Nov. 16 and a home date with Central Connecticut State on Nov. 23. Last season’s final-week meeting with the Blue Devils ended up being for the conference title, with Duquesne winning on Nehari Crawford’s last-minute touchdown.
The Dukes finished 2018 with a 9-4 overall record and a 5-1 mark in conference play. After wrapping up the NEC against CCSU, Duquesne beat Towson for its first FCS playoff win before falling to South Dakota State to end the season.
The 2019 season will be the 15th for longtime head coach Jerry Schmitt, who has won five NEC titles with the Dukes.