JACKSON, Miss. – With junior quarterback Burke Moser leading the aerial attack, the University of Chicago football team built a big lead in the second quarter and held on late to beat Millsaps College 31-27 on Saturday.
The Maroons (2-0 record) won their first-ever conference game in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). The Majors dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 and in conference.
Senior cornerback Vincent Beltrano got the Maroons on track on the first series of the game when he picked off a pass and returned it 20 yards deep into Millsaps territory. The drive culminated with a 39-yard field goal by senior kicker Karol Kurzydlowski.
UChicago piled up big yardage through the air in the second quarter. Moser hit senior wide receiver Sam Coleman for a 28-yard gain and two plays later, he tossed a 46-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Chris Mason. The next offensive possession, Moser hooked up with Coleman again for a 35-yard gain to get into the Millsaps red zone. Senior tight end Nathan Massey ended the drive by hauling in a 20-yard touchdown pass to make the score 17-0.
That touchdown kicked off a wild run where the two teams scored three more times in the final three minutes of the half. The Majors broke off a 54-yard run that led to a one-yard touchdown plunge. The Maroons took only three plays to respond. A 63-yard touchdown toss from Moser to Coleman made the score 24-6. But Millsaps put together two big plays of 39 and 33 yards to score again. The halftime score stood at 24-14 in favor of UChicago.
Millsaps kept up its rushing success in the third quarter and ran the ball in from 14 yards to pull within 24-21. The Maroons gave themselves breathing room in the fourth quarter with a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Senior fullback Justin Waney caught a 28-yard pass and Massey reached the one-yard line with a 31-yard catch. Sophomore running back Chandler Carroll barreled in from a yard out to extend the lead to 31-21.
The home side kept things interesting by scoring a touchdown of its own on the very next possession. A 35-yard rushing score made the score 31-27. The ensuing two-point conversion failed. UChicago received the ball back with three-and-a-half minutes left, and the visitors picked up three first downs to effectively run out the clock.
Both teams piled on the offense. UChicago had 425 yards (348 passing, 77 rushing) while Millsaps totaled 470 yards (313 rushing, 157 passing). The Majors were particularly effective on the ground, averaging 6.8 yards per rush.
Moser put up a career-best performance with 348 yards and three touchdowns. The junior completed 17 of his 23 passes (74 percent) and averaged 20.5 yards per completion. Coleman (3 catches, 126 yards) and Massey (6 catches, 111 yards) were his most frequent targets. On the ground, Carroll rushed 25 times for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Maroons made nine tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. Junior linebacker Tim Veselik, freshman safety Jeremy Vincent and sophomore defensive end Peter Casey all made eight tackles each. Casey tallied 1.5 tackles for loss. Beltrano grabbed one interception and collected seven tackles. Ten different players had at least six tackles in the game.
- Saturday, September 26 – Centre College at UChicago, 1 PM