Starting 2-0 in a 4-game season is a pretty great spot to be in. It’s hard to think about this program’s current standing and not have a good feeling about its potential season outcome.
However, head coach Jerry Schmitt’s philosophy has always been simple: the biggest game on the schedule is the one that’s up next.
“We’re just one game at a time,” Schmitt said. “We’re not allowed to look at the scoreboard during the football game, except to understand situations. We’re not allowed to think about winning a football game until that final gun goes off, and the same goes for the season. I can’t tell you that people don’t look ahead, it’s human nature, but when our guys go to work, they go to work with a focus on what they’re doing right now.”
That next game on the schedule is Sunday at Rooney Field against the LIU Sharks, who are coming off a 35-7 loss at the hands of Sacred Heart. The Dukes, on the other hand, are coming off a dominant 17-0 shutout win against Wagner.
Their defense shut down the Seahawks, only allowing 136 yards of total offense, but the offense scored on just three drives.
Duquesne’s offense has been more successful than expected in the first two games, but the slight struggle has come in the red zone. The Dukes have just 3 touchdowns in nine red zone trips. Schmitt attributes these struggles to the lack of execution.
“We’ve driven the ball, we’ve sustained drives and we get in the red zone or near the red zone and we’ve made some mistakes that cost us from continuing to move the ball or put points on the board. It’s just the execution part of it that we have to dial in on and focus being in an extended drive like that.”
Schmitt says he’ll be happy to be back at Rooney Field, where the Dukes’ match up with the Sharks is set for noon on Sunday.