Duquesne football prepares for its title defense with opener vs. Walsh | TribLIVE.com
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Duquesne football prepares for its title defense with opener vs. Walsh

Tim Benz
Duquesne head coach Jerry Schmitt coaches during a game against Massachusetts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Amherst, Mass.

The Duquesne football team is taking the field for the first time this weekend.

And they are doing so as defending champions.

The Dukes won the NEC title then went on to upset Towson for the school’s first FCS playoff victory.

Now, head coach Jerry Schmitt leads his team on a path to repeating. It begins 4 p.m. Saturday at Rooney Field against Walsh on NEC Front Row.

Schmitt joins me to look at the 2019 campaign on Thursday’s podcast.

Bruising A.J. Hines and his 3,849 career rushing yards return at running back. We discuss how much better he can be in his senior season.

Quarterback Daniel Parr and dangerous receivers Kellon Taylor and Kareem Coles are back, as well. Schmitt discusses how explosive the offense can be with all that talent and experience.

However, the squad lost four starters along the offensive line and star receiver Nehari Crawford. He was the program’s all-time leader in catches and receiving yards.

Both Crawford (New York Giants) and lineman Matt Fitzpatrick (Seattle Seahawks) found their way into spring practices with NFL teams. So those will be massive holes to fill.

Also, the club needs to make up for departing two-way star Daquan Worley and some starters at each level of the defense. Schmitt gets into those challenges and how they are mitigated by a veteran special teams group.

We also dive into the story of alumnus Christian Kuntz and his appearance on the Steelers this preseason.

LISTEN: Duquesne coach previews football team’s opener, title defense

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Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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