Moser shatters records, leads UChicago football to 49-30 win at Sewanee

Burke Moser and Dante Nepa
Burke Moser and Dante Nepa

SEWANEE, Tenn. – With quarterback Burke Moser slinging the ball all over the field, the University of Chicago football team broke 10 offensive passing records en route to a 49-30 victory at Sewanee on Saturday.

The Maroons evened their overall record at 4-4 and moved to 4-3 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). The Tigers remained winless on the season at 0-8 and 0-6 in the SAA.

The story of the afternoon was Moser, who smashed five individual records and five team records on the same day. Moser completed 26 of 42 passes for 558 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. In the process, he set new school marks in the following categories:

  • 558 passing yards in a game, individual & team (previous records: 472 by Marshall Oium in 2009)
  • 7 touchdown passes in a game, individual & team (previous records: 6 by Oium in 2010)
  • 2,861 passing yards in a season, individual & team (previous records: 2,605 by Oium in 2009 / 2,728 in 2002)
  • 24 passing touchdowns in a season, individual & team (previous records: 21 by three quarterbacks / 22 in three years)
  • 406 passing attempts in a season, individual & team (previous records: 373 by Josh Dunn in 2002 / 391 in 2002)

The 558 passing yards also set a new SAA record. Freshman wide receiver Dante Nepa was the main benefactor of Moser's career day. He made seven catches for a season-high 190 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Chandler Carroll was limited to only five yards rushing, but he made up for it on the receiving end with nine receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Syd Reynolds also reached triple figures with 106 yards on three catches with one touchdown.

UChicago's offense gobbled up yards with big plays all day, as the Maroons averaged 11.1 yards per play (543 yards on only 49 plays). The quick-strike attack featured four scoring drives that took up less than a minute of game time. As a result, Sewanee held the ball for more than 45 minutes, while UChicago only possessed for 14:17. UChicago took to the air at an unprecedented rate, with only seven team rushes versus 59 by the hosts.

Saturday's game got off to a bumpy start for the visitors. Sewanee took a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter, which included a 12-yard interception return for a score. UChicago shook off its slow start and immediately responded three plays later when Moser hooked up with sophomore Trevor Anderson for a 46-yard touchdown.

The home side missed a 44-yard field goal on the next drive, and the Maroons chopped the deficit to 17-14 with a lightning-fast drive of their own. Moser guided the team 73 yards in 59 seconds, capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass to Carroll.

After halftime, the two teams exchanged interceptions and Sewanee capitalized to stretch its lead to 24-14. Three plays later, Moser and Nepa connected for a 66-yard touchdown pass-and-catch to draw closer at 24-21.

With the third quarter winding down, the Maroons took their first lead 28-24. Nepa entered the end zone once again, this time from 60 yards. The next touchdown early in the fourth quarter came courtesy of junior wide receiver Jamie Rieger traversing 29 yards for the score.

The Tigers made one last push and scored on a 23-yard run to claw to within 35-30. But UChicago put the game away after that with consecutive scores of 55 yards by Reynolds and 50 yards by Carroll.

Defensively, the Maroons tied their season high with 11 tackles for a loss to go with a season-best three sacks. Junior defensive end Peter Casey was a disruptive force with four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and nine tackles total. Senior linebacker Jackson Garrey led the way with 14 tackles and tallied two tackles for loss. Junior defensive back Guy Stockwell made an impact with five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, half a sack and one interception. Freshman linebacker Zachary Atiyeh collected nine tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, Nov. 5 – Carnegie Mellon University at UChicago, 12 PM