UChicago football grinds down Birmingham-Southern 28-14

Chandler Carroll and Vincent Beltrano
Chandler Carroll and Vincent Beltrano

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the second-straight week, the University of Chicago football team turned to Chandler Carroll to lead the charge. The sophomore running back delivered once again with 245 rushing yards as the Maroons ground out a 28-14 victory at Birmingham-Southern College on Saturday.

The Maroons are off to a 4-0 start for the third year in-a-row. They also improve to 3-0 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). The Panthers fell 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the SAA.

A week after setting a new school record with 311 rushing yards, Carroll ran wild once again. The sophomore carried the load all day, toting the rock 38 times for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry as the offense imposed its will at the line of scrimmage.

UChicago struck first at the start of the second quarter. The visitors capped a 14-play, 89-yard drive with Carroll's one-yard touchdown plunge to go up 7-0. Junior quarterback Burke Moser kept the chains moving with a 30-yard completion to senior wide receiver Sam Coleman on third down, a 17-yard pass to senior tight end Nathan Massey, and three runs for 30 yards.

On the next Maroon possession, Carroll busted out for a 53-yard touchdown run. UChicago headed into halftime with a 14-7 lead behind 111 rushing yards by its starting running back.

The Panthers kept the game close with its quick-strike offense. Birmingham-Southern's two scoring drives on the day ate up only three minutes of game clock combined. Both touchdowns came courtesy of wide receiver Jamal Watkins on long receptions of 55 and 57 yards.

However, UChicago cornerback Vincent Beltrano also had a career day in the secondary. The senior tied a school record with three interceptions while also making a team-high 13 tackles. His third pick of the day in the fourth quarter gave Beltrano 15 career interceptions – tied with Colin Carrier (2002-05) for the most in school history.

The visitors went ahead 21-7 in the third quarter on a key defensive play. Senior linebacker Nick Pielech forced a fumble after a completed pass and senior cornerback Chris Dengler scooped the ball up and took it 25 yards to the house.

The score was narrowed to 21-14 going into the fourth. But on the first drive of the quarter, Carroll broke out another huge run, this time a 45-yard touchdown. BSC's next three drives ended with a punt, an interception and a turnover on downs. UChicago then took a knee at the end to close out the win.

The Maroons finished with 431 yards (282 rushing, 149 passing) and the Panthers ended up with 334 yards (87 rushing, 247 passing). UChicago's offense converted 9 of 17 on third down (53 percent).

In addition to his 245 rushing yards, Carroll also caught two passes for 14 yards. Moser completed 12 of 28 for 149 yards and two interceptions. Coleman hauled in five catches for 51 yards and Massey recorded four catches for 73 yards.

UChicago forced four turnovers defensively, but also committed three turnovers of its own. Alongside Beltrano's big performance, junior linebacker Jackson Garrey and freshman defensive end Stash Rowley tallied five tackles each. Junior nose tackle Eddie Giannina made four tackles with one sack and one forced fumble. Pielech totaled four tackles and a forced fumble. Sophomore defensive end Peter Casey racked up three tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, October 10 – Berry College at UChicago, 12 PM