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Fall of 2023

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11/28/2022 2:20 pm  #1

2022 Season Wrap-up

I was hoping that someone who follows Dukes Football more closely than I might start this thread; but since nobody seems interested I'm opening this topic in hopes that some others may give their opinions.  I follow the scores and have attended some home games in the past when the team was one of the best teams in the NEC; but hardly consider myself to be an expert on Dukes Football. BTW, I don't mean for this to be a forum for lynching the coach and staff; but for meaningful discussion as to the direction of the program. 

I don't know if the last two seasons are indicative of the trajectory of the program; but I hope not.  This season may have been a rebuilding year from the outset; and if that's the case; I don't mind moving-on in hopes of a brighter future.  Perhaps someone else can share their views on the talent-level presently in the program compared to the recent past.  

The season opener at Florida State went as I expected.  The team was simply no match for a middle-of-the road FBS team that had a surprising win over LSU and some disappointing losses.  The Hawaii and YSU games seemed to be missed opportunities for big wins against an FBS team and a YSU team that is typically at a higher FCS level; but both ended in losses; apparently due to poor offensive efficiency.  
I'd label the NEC season as a disaster.  Perhaps the team was destroyed by injuries after playing "up" in class for three games; but if that's the case, maybe a lighter schedule would be the wiser course of action.  The results were certainly not what we've become accustomed to seeing for Dukes Football; losing to just about anyone including a winless LIU team and two new entries into the League and giving up over 50-points in more a few of those losses.  
I guess my question is: "where is this all going"?  Playing "buy" games brings in some revenue; and I get the importance of $$; but with such a small home venue, with little room for expansion, the program seems very limited in growth potential.  I just find it hard to reconcile playing FSU and WVU while not being competitive in the NEC?  Can someone shed some light on the plans for football going forward?  


11/29/2022 1:34 pm  #2

Re: 2022 Season Wrap-up

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you, levon1975.  You bring up some valid questions.  About everything I know about the state of the football program is just speculation.  


11/29/2022 2:33 pm  #3

Re: 2022 Season Wrap-up

No answers here just my random observations (Forgive for errors trying to write while working). I hate to put a kid down per se but I think first on the field was the decision to stick or start Mischler. You hate to take away a job from injury but it seemed like they stayed with he “FBS” transfer too long. Almost like that was the reason. I think they should have stayed with the hot hand in Perrantes. I just think he was more on a roll and or at least should have gone to him sooner in the year. It seemed as a whole the team was less confident in the personal decisions starting with the QB. I can’t say, except for St Francis, the NEC was that much improved or better as a whole but it seemed like the Dukes did not play with “heart” or a chip. More of a “ we are upper echelon in the league and will win because we showed up. They found out abruptly they have been a better program but others do not think of them as an Alabama juggernaut of of the league. Resting on their laurels
Second I am not big on all the coach “dismissal” bandwagon but I think more of a combination in that some things are stale in the program. For the coach it seems he has lost, either not getting or end up leaving, some of the local kids. I guess what I am trying to say  I love when an institution such as my IUP gets some local kids that have pretty big names accept a scholarship there. It is not lost on recruits if other “under” recruited big name local stars end up at a local institution. Look at the rise of Cal football a few years ago. They started to get more and more decent, not stretches or D3 talent kids, local school kids as they won with the first group of local talent they got. Others from schools nearby take notice and jump on the bandwagon. A number of those kids even ended up on NFL rosters. The Dukes seem to have bought in to the infatuation with the 5th string “Florida” kid that is automatically better than a slightly short  measurable local kid. Duquesne being in a reputable mid to higher league basketball conference and history should and could imho have the local higher end talent that IUP, the Rock and Cal have. They should have or should have first dibs on those players. I know some automatically will look down upon us state schoolers but many of these kids should be able to be “coached up” in the classroom in addition to on the field.  You can’t do it on all local talent alone, but I’ll take a few first and second teamers and solid starters from the local rosters of these other schools. The NEC “New Entries” are essentially their state(s), Massachusetts, D2 schools that moved up. I will take PSAC PA talent pool any day over MA’s. Become what you are. The highest best local football option to “big time” arguably after Pitt.
…The time to go that course is now more than ever while your “peer” RMU, yes they are now especially that they “moved up” in basketball, seems to be lagging at this point on the football field. In football They moved up to a higher profile conference. Higher than the NEC. While not the Taj Mahal they have an on campus football field that at least is more of a 5-6A field than the equivalent of a lower end Class single A field. Duquesne is still a better more traditional big time alternative option in Western PA from PSU going west. Also don’t look now but while St Francis may not be everyone’s cup of tea campus wise Chris Villareal has made them relevant. Again maybe Coach Schmidt is “stale” in comparison.  The second part of the combination “stale” is the University needs to step up the football facilities. I realize they seem to still hold out hope basketball is the bell cow historically and by conference. It is but with transfers and overall basketball competition the program is in a paradox or sorts. They either need to “drop” football, Just accept being “bad” for good in an NEC low scholarship league, or drop to Pioneer an even lesser scholarship league. I just don’t know if they can reach similar heights to a basketball “peer” in a similar situation to Xavier. “X” gave up the football program decades ago. They truly went gonads to the wall and built the Cintas, right on par with The Bearcats 5/3 rd building. The Coop is nice but its still more a fieldhouse than arena. Realistically while Pitt is down Dukes basketball can be top dog without question but that remains to be seen. I like the Cooper center but facility wise is it that much of a jump up? Or is it just a refurbished “Palumbo” center? Any better or more attractive than RMU or even IUP’s Kovalchuk center. Saying that they should make a fairly “stand out” football facility to again keep the edge if serious. I know about 50 mil was probably spent of the basketball center and another on the new medical buildings. Less than 20 million could get you a great view and “respectable” capacity that could bring in more positives. Space, and still money, limiting I think the University could still keep Rooney but build a mini vertical grandstand over or in front of  over Academic walk. It’s out of the box thinking and overkill but something not unlike a mini  compressed double tiered (https://gtgrandstands.com/images/uploads/homepage/image3_gssub.jpg) grandstand. Expand current seating on that side from 10 yard line to ten yard line and a second tier above that. Nothing too huge to completely block out the Walk but it would rise up for some of the capacity to see the Bluffs view. It gives a nice view of across the river, albeit some blocked by press box, with a plausible 2000 - 3000 more seating capacity. Without something even respectable facility wise not sure if you can break any perpetuity of mediocrity. The Bluff needs to be more “buff”. Not talking like Pitt fans a whole stadium built somewhere but again at least a decent high school stadium, not a glorified practice field.
…The big game beatdowns can help raise that money sooner than later. I think it is great scheduling these FBS teams. Even in playing above their weight class they did beat Ohio. Ohio beat P5 teams including Pitt in it’s history. St. Francis should have beat Akron. Keep scheduling these closer schools, I.E. WVU, Pitt ( 😊 ), Kent, Akron that is treat for a fanbase to make a close trip. It also shows being serious about the sport.  Also with any semblance of a stadium you can finally have a “bigger” team come to Pittsburgh. Other exposure things to show a serious commitment to a higher profile football program is have a YSU,  Kent or Akron come to Pittsburgh by having the Rooney’s use their influence to schedule a game at Acrisure. Heck the Rock has played regularly at the Big House. Make it an outdoor “hockey” game type bi annual event.
In summary in my convoluted thoughts is maybe some but not wholesale shakeup in coaching. Maybe a little more of a local focus from assistants. Scheme wise I don’t think the Dukes need blown up but as with anything possible better tweaks depending on what you have in the cupboard as opposed to assuming next men up have same skill set each and every year to give yourself a better chance to win. Build the “fence” with better local talent. Again  your not going to get the 3-4 star kids but the under recruited that matriculate to the PSAC powerhouses current rosters can most days play with and beat the Dukes. Again become the “third” best option for these kids. The more you have that produce success will get more looking your way down the road. Develop your amenities. It is not too late. Again I give RMU credit for their jump. Unfortunate for them and fortunate for the Dukes it is starting to look like a dumpster fire. They invested also in “respectable” facilities and while the Walton is not great it is at least a semblance of a true stadium and by hosting some WPIAL events they should have made headway into the hearts of locals. But again some of it is I think the coaches are looking at far away places to land a kid on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. We are not FL or TX but there is enough “mid level” talent still to supplement ones worth anything you may be able to get from an oversaturated recruited Florida. A or 4th stringer form Pahokee is not always going to be better than a starter for the Quips or North Hills.   


11/30/2022 9:38 pm  #4

Re: 2022 Season Wrap-up

Thanks for the detailed post, Big Ike 1914. That’s a lot to unpack.


12/01/2022 2:26 pm  #5

Re: 2022 Season Wrap-up

I love the passion Big Ike, but see a couple problems.

I agree the Dukes need to be playing in a better venue. Even if it were feasible and even as a one time special event, I don’t see Heinz Field working though (unless of course it were a Pitt home game). Even if tickets were free how many people would go to a Duquesne - Akron football game at Heinz Field? The lack of support for the basketball program gets brought up all the time, but the lack of support for the football program is downright embarrassing.I forget who here came up with the Highmark idea, but I think it’s a great one.

Bringing in local kids should be a priority too, but division 2 talent isn’t going to win many division 1 games, even low level. Obviously the Dukes proved last year that teams aren’t automatically worse than teams in better levels. By and large it’s going to be true though. I’ll admit to having never seen any IUP or Cal U games, but I have a hard time believing they’re better than even this year’s disappointing Dukes team.


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