Friday, July 13, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 9 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

November 22, 2003 - Football hosts Monmouth University in the ECAC Classic, winning 12-10 and going on to earn the Sports Network Cup as the NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major National Champions.
  Head coach Greg Gattuso would lose ECAC Bowls in 2001 and 2002 before winning this 2003 game. Duquesne unquestionably had the best NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major team in the country during the 2002 regular season, but a heartbreaking -- some would say, unfair (due to the weather) -- season-ending loss to the University at Albany that year, gave the Sports Network Cup to the University of Dayton (whom the Dukes defeated earlier in the season). The Dukes were in contention for the overall NCAA Division I-AA playoffs that season, but the Albany loss ended those hopes.
  In 2003, despite finishing the season with an 8-3 record, the Dukes were named national champions with their upset victory over Monmouth coupled with a Morehead State University loss in the Pioneer Football League championship game. Morehead State had defeated the Dukes earlier in the season, so the happenings to Duquesne in 2002 had been completely reversed.
  Gattuso and the Dukes' 2003 captains would be honored with the Sports Network Cup during a ceremony on the eve of the I-AA championship game that year.

(Image: The Sports Network Cup, Copyright The Sports Network)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The greatest game in modern Duquesne Football history. The events of the year before left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players. No other game before or since has the Dukes won held such pressure and significance as the ECAC Bowl against Monmouth.