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Duquesne safety Leandro DeBrito (#7). Photo provided by Duquesne Athletics.

Football: What to know about Ohio's Week 2 opponent, Duquesne

After a rough start to its season, Ohio will remain in Peden Stadium for its second nonconference game on its schedule where it’ll host Duquesne.

Despite being in the Football Championship Subdivision, Duquesne isn’t a team Ohio will take lightly. Coach Tim Albin said in his press conference Monday that Ohio is in for a challenge, albeit a far different challenge compared to week one opponent, Syracuse.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Dukes:

All-time series: Ohio 1-0. The two programs last met on Oct. 30, 1948, where Ohio beat Duquesne 14-13 in Athens.

Duquesne report: The Dukes are coming off a shortened spring 2021 season in which they only played five games. They made it to the Northeast Conference Championship before being defeated by Sacred Heart 34-27 in overtime.

The Dukes are led by coach Jerry Schmitt, the winningest coach in program history. Schmitt is in his 17th season and has compiled a 102-68 record during his tenure. He also led the Dukes to five NEC championships and two trips to the FCS playoffs in 2015 and 2018.

Quarterback Joe Mischler — who transferred from Ohio in January 2020 — was originally intended to be Duquesne’s starter against Ohio. However, Mischler went down with a knee injury late in the first quarter against Texas Christian and is not listed on Duquesne’s depth chart for week two.

Without Mischler, the Dukes have given the go-ahead to backup Darius Perrantes, who subbed in after Mischler’s injury. Perrantes threw for 76 yards and was 3-for-9 against Texas Christian. Saturday will be Perrantes’ first career start for the Dukes.

Duquesne retains a mass of talent in its receiving core headlined by Cyrus Holder. The graduate was Duquesne’s top receiver last year, and he shows no signs of letting that title go. Holder ended last season with 23 receptions for 491 yards and five touchdowns. 

Last season, Duquesne’s offense averaged 408.8 yards per game, while its defense allowed an average of 321.6 yards per game.

How Ohio beats Duquesne: The loss of Mischler is a major blow to Duquesne’s offense. Still, Ohio needs to focus on shutting down the receiving corps. Holder will be a problem if left unchecked, and he’s backed up by talent like Davie Henderson and Joey Isabella that also hold potential to stir up trouble.

Ohio’s offense needs to solve its issues in the red zone, but it might have a chance to fix them. If Duquesne’s performance against Texas Christian is any indicator, Ohio will be given plenty of opportunities to punch into the end zone. 

Wide receiver Jerome Buckner is starting again. If he receives the attention he did in week one, Ohio will be able to move downfield in record time. Buckner recorded a career-high 102 yards on seven receptions in Ohio’s season opener.

Stat to know: Duquesne is 0-4 against Football Bowl Subdivision teams since it moved up from Division III into the FCS in 1993. 

Player to watch: Leandro DeBrito, safety, No. 7 

DeBrito is a staple of Duquesne’s defense. An All-NEC First-Team safety, DeBrito led the conference with 32 solo tackles. He was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week after recording 10 tackles and an interception against Long Island University.


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