The score was 7-7 before three minutes were gone in the first quarter as both teams opened with no-huddle offenses.
The Dukes got the opening kick. Senior Kevin Rombach was 4-4 with the Dukes scoring on his 36-yard toss to classmate Michael Rasky. Bucknell answered via a 41-yard pass from Marcello Trigg to Marlon Woods.
Duquesne regained the lead on true freshman Eric Duale's 19-yard field goal with 5:42 to go in the first quarter.
With junior Connor Dixon calling signals, the Dukes extended the lead to 17-7 on sophomore Bill Bair's 33-yard run midway through the second period.
The Bison cut the edge to four via Trigg's one-yard run with 14 seconds left before the halftime break. Drew Orth's extra-point kick missed to keep the Dukes' more-than-field goal edge.
Rombach left the game in the final minute of the first quarter with what has been reported to be a concussion.
Duquesne's football team has a 17-13 lead over Bucknell after the first half of the season opener Saturday night at Rooney Field.