WORCESTER -- Niel Loebig threw for four touchdowns as Duquesne beat Holy Cross, 31-7, yesterday in the season opener for both teams.
Loebig was 21 of 40 for 348 yards and two interceptions for Duquesne, the defending MAAC champions. Holy Cross, of the Patriot League, committed six turnovers and struggled under new head coach Tom Gilmore.
Holy Cross quarterback John O'Neil completed 17 of 35 passes for 167 yards, but was intercepted three times.
After the Crusaders failed to score on first and goal from the 9, Loebig led Duquesne on a 92-yard scoring drive, capping it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dan Spriggs late in the first quarter.
Duquense got the ball back on Armar Watson's interception. Two plays later, Loebig threw a 30-yard TD pass to Bruce Hocker for 17-0 lead with 13:07 left in the half.
Chris Campbell caught a 41-yard TD pass from Loebig later in the second quarter as Duquesne led, 24-0, at halftime.
Loebig led Duquesne on a 13-play, 76-yard scoring drive to start the second half, throwing a 3-yard TD pass to Michel Warfield.
Holy Cross scored with 2:21 remaining on Steven Silva's 21-yard run. Silva gained 83 yards on 10 carries to lead the Crusaders.