For a team that faced the prospect of replacing its leading rusher and passer, Duquesne's start to the 2013 season has, to some extent, exceeded expectations.
The Dukes are 1-1, with a victory against Albany followed by a loss to Dayton, but face their stiffest challenge of the season today at Youngstown State. The Penguins (2-1), a perennial Division I-AA power, are a fringe top-25 team coming off a 55-17 loss last Saturday at Michigan State.
Redshirt freshman Dillon Buechel, a Montour graduate, has been impressive in his first two starts, completing 66.2 percent of his passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns.
The chance to play a program like Youngstown State is an excellent one for Duquesne.
"We know it's a great opportunity to play in front of a big crowd and against a program with a great tradition," said coach Jerry Schmitt.
Washington & Jefferson (1-1) at Grove City (2-0), 7 p.m., Robert E. Thorn Field -- In a matchup of two of the PAC's top teams, the Presidents look to rebound from a lopsided loss last week to St. John Fisher. The Wolverines have outscored their first two opponents, 70-10.
Slippery Rock (2-0) at Gannon (1-1), 6 p.m., Gannon University Field -- Led by quarterback Nigel Barksdale (769 passing yards, 10 touchdowns), The Rock's offense has averaged 54.5 points per game. The Golden Knights have scored more than 35 points in each of their first two games.
IUP (2-0) at Seton Hill (0-2), 6 p.m., Offutt Field -- The Crimson Hawks, the PSAC West preseason favorite, have averaged just less than 40 points per game. Meanwhile, the Griffins, who were picked to finish last in the same division, are a week removed from a 70-7 home loss.
Mercyhurst (1-1) at Clarion (2-0), 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium -- Picked to finish second-to-last in their division, the unbeaten Golden Eagles are already halfway to their win total in 2012. The Lakers are led by Brandon Brown-Dukes, who has rushed for 223 yards.
Edinboro (1-1) at California (2-0), 3:30 p.m., Adamson Stadium -- The Vulcans defense has been stout in its first two games, giving up an average of 14.5 points. Last week, the Fighting Scots hung tough with nationally ranked Bloomsburg until the final minutes.
Saint Vincent (0-1) at Waynesburg (2-0), 1:30 p.m., John F. Wiley Stadium -- Waynesburg quarterback Carter Hill threw for 483 yards and three touchdowns last week in a victory against Frostburg State, and the Yellow Jackets put up their highest single-game point total since 2008.
Geneva (2-0) at Thiel (0-2), 7 p.m., Alumni Stadium -- The undefeated Golden Tornadoes would match their 2012 season win total with a victory after averaging 49 points in their first two games. Last season, the Tomcats, who were also 0-2 at that point, defeated Geneva in overtime.
Carnegie Mellon (1-1) at Catholic (1-0), 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium -- The Tartans got their first victory of the season last week against Allegheny as running back Troy Witt rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals won last season's matchup, 35-17.duquesnesports - sportscollegedistrict
Craig Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @CraigMeyerPG.