This weekend, Duquesne travels to the Aloha State to play the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Surprisingly, this is Duquesne’s second trip to Hawaii in 4 years. This comes after not having a trip west of the Rocky Mountains since a 1947 trip to San Francisco. The Dukes were competitive in the last meeting, leading 14-7 after the first quarter and only trailing 21-14 at halftime before Hawaii won 42-21.
This isn’t even Duquesne’s first FBS trip to one of the United State’s warmer states as they made a Week Zero trip to Florida State, where they lost 47-7.
The trips to Tallahassee, and now Hawaii have to be fun for the fans that do make the trips to those vast destinations. Duquesne’s counterparts in the Pittsburgh area do not give their fans this luxury when they schedule FBS paycheck games.
St. Francis scheduled its first FBS opponent last year with Eastern Michigan and played Akron in week one of this young season. Every year until 2026, they will visit a MAC team.
On the other hand, nearby Robert Morris has also visited three MAC schools since 2019. Their future FBS opponents are more impressive than St. Francis, but still do not compare in intrigue to Duquesne’s trips, as the Colonials travel to the Air Force Academy in 2023 and West Virginia in 2025.
While West Virginia is a Power Five program and Saint Francis has visited some cool mid-sized Midwestern cities, they do not compare to the thrill of trips to Hawaii and Tallahassee for fans. Trips like these also give local players a chance to visit areas they normally would not visit.
This edge may be the most significant recruiting advantage for the Dukes as they reside in the same conference as St. Francis, and Robert Morris plays in the OVC-Big South alliance, which is a league of similar strength.
The non-conference trips that Robert Morris and St. Francis have given their fans simply do not compare to Duquesne’s. Hawaii-Duquesne may seem like another FCS-FBS paycheck game on the surface, but it is proof of Duquesne's unique plan to garner interest for its program from recruits and fans alike.