CHICAGO, Ill. – The University of Chicago football team dominated the trenches and rode a potent rushing attack to a 44-23 Homecoming win over Washington University-St. Louis on Saturday.
The Maroons improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Bears dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in the UAA.
More than 2,000 fans were in attendance for the Homecoming festivities on an unseasonably warm October afternoon. The big difference in the game proved to be the line of scrimmage. UChicago ran for a season-best 329 yards (5.1 yards per carry) by opening up holes all over the interior. The running backs gashed Washington for a number of big gains as the home team held on to the ball for 40 of the game's 60 minutes. On the other side, the Bears were stifled by the Maroon defensive line and held to 38 rushing yards on 25 carries (1.5 yards per carry). It marked the fourth time this year that UChicago has held an opponent to less than 85 yards on the ground.
Senior running back Zak Ross-Nash powered his way to 100 yards on 22 carries, while also scoring three touchdowns. Freshman running back Chandler Carroll utilized his quickness to post 78 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Syd Reynolds also got in on the action with three carries for 74 yards. In total, UChicago gained 480 yards (329 rushing, 151 passing) with 27 first downs. Washington-St. Louis recorded 334 yards (296 passing, 38 rushing) and 12 first downs.
The Maroon defense made its presence felt on the opening drive of the game. Washington's receiver was stripped of the ball on a third-down completion and senior linebacker Schuyler Montefalco pounced on it for the turnover. The Bears made up for it on the next drive, completing a 58-yard pass on third down that led to a 28-yard field goal.
It took only three plays for the home team to take the lead. Reynolds caught the defense off guard with a jet sweep on first down and galloped for 65 yards. The very next play, senior quarterback Patrick Ryan threaded a 17-yard touchdown toss to junior tight end Nathan Massey. UChicago soon went up 10-3 on junior kicker Karol Kurzydlowski's 25-yard field goal. The team got prime field position for the field goal after a long snap went flying over the Washington punter's head on fourth down.
On the first drive of the second quarter, UChicago marched down the field to the four-yard line. A hard snap count goaded the Bears into jumping offside on fourth down, and Ross-Nash barreled into the end zone on the next play to make the score 17-3. Later in the quarter, junior wide receiver Sam Coleman dusted the defensive back on his route and was wide open for a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ryan. The home team went into halftime with a 23-3 advantage in hand.
UChicago received the ball to start the second half and promptly drove 75 yards on 10 plays for another touchdown. Ross-Nash rounded the left edge and outran the defenders for a 15-yard touchdown at the drive's conclusion. The Bears got back to within 30-10 after a 77-yard interception return led to a three-yard rushing score.
The Maroon offensive line continually opened up large gaps as the game progressed. The team's next scoring drive late in the third quarter featured 12 run calls out of 13 plays. Once again, Ross-Nash found the end zone, this time from four yards out. UChicago held the ball for nearly 13 minutes in the third quarter and went 4-for-4 on third-down conversions.
Early in the fourth quarter, sophomore linebacker Jackson Garrey and senior defensive end Brandon Bolock stuffed a run on fourth down to set up the offense in prime position. Carroll juked his way for a 24-yard gain on the subsequent play and then ran it in from two yards out to make the score 44-10. Washington scored 13 points on its final two drives, totaling 123 of their 334 yards on those last possessions.
Ryan completed 11 of 19 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran 11 times for 48 yards. Coleman made three catches for 76 yards and one touchdown, while Carroll added receptions for 21 yards.
The Bears struggled with ball security and turned the ball over five times, including four fumbles lost. Junior cornerback Vincent Beltrano led the Maroons defensively with 11 tackles and two pass breakups. Garrey tallied four tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovered and one sack. Bolock tallied six tackles on the day.
- Saturday, November 8 – Carnegie Mellon University at UChicago, 12:00 PM