CHICAGO – A dominating display at the line of scrimmage allowed the University of Chicago football team to record its best rushing performance in a decade, as the Maroons won Saturday's Homecoming game 55-12 over Beloit College.
The Maroons ran their record to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the Midwest Conference. The Bucs remained winless at 0-7 (0-3 MWC).
The run game was the big story of the day. UChicago's stout offensive line imposed their will all afternoon long, opening up gaping holes on the interior time after time. The running backs exploited the open space and raced through for big gains. With the backfield churning up the field with such regularity, UChicago's coaching staff handed the ball off as much as it could. The home team totaled 49 runs versus a mere 12 passes at Stagg Field.
The persistence in the trenches paid big dividends. The Maroons finished with 433 rushing yards and averaged 8.8 yards per carry, with nine of the runs traveling 20 yards or more. It was their most yards rushing since November 2007 when they totaled 467 against Eureka College.
Senior Chandler Carroll shouldered the load initially. The shifty running back's first carry of the day went 28 yards, and the next one found the end zone for a 12-yard score on the game's opening drive. Two possessions later, Carroll leapt over the pile and crossed the plane for a one-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-Goal. He scored his third and final touchdown of the day with a 28-yard dash to make it 28-0 with nine minutes left in the first half. The senior watched the rest of the game from the sideline as he needed only 12 carries to rack up 123 rushing yards (10.2 yards per carry). He also caught three passes for 54 yards.
Sandwiched between Carroll's second and third jaunts into the end zone was equally impressive running by freshman Riley Trettel. Despite getting only five touches, Trettel broke out for 115 rushing yards. His final three carries resulted in gains of 22, 25 and 48 yards. The rookie dragged a would-be tackler for the last 17 yards of his 48-yard touchdown that pushed the lead to 21-0.
It was Vittorio Tricase's turn to gobble up yards later in the second quarter. The freshman running back accounted for 57 yards on one drive to get UChicago into the red zone. On third down, freshman quarterback Campbell Garrett hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Dante Nepa for a 15-yard reception that sent the home team into the break with a 35-0 lead.
UChicago's advantage eventually expanded to 49-0 midway through the third quarter. Garrett found freshman running back Mike Martinson in the left flat and Martinson took care of the rest with a 31-yard touchdown scamper up the sideline. The next possession, junior running back Henry Imburgia posted three-straight runs that went 59 yards and ended in another Maroon score.
UChicago salted away the game from that point on and turned to its reserve players to close out the rest of the second half. The scoring concluded in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard run over right tackle by senior running back Floyd Pitts for his first career touchdown.
With the offense providing a big cushion, the Maroon defense bottled up Beloit completely with its first unit. After an interception put the Bucs onto UChicago's 13-yard line midway through the first quarter, the home side stoned the Bucs near the goal line. A fourth-down pass was dropped, which would have been negated by a declined penalty even if caught, to give the ball back to the Maroons. The defensive line constantly harassed the quarterback on drop backs and swallowed up runs in the middle. Beloit was held off the scoreboard until 4:31 left in the third quarter.
Junior defensive tackle Mike McGinley got into the backfield for three tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Peter Casey added one sack, while freshman linebacker Blake McBeth had 1.5 tackles for loss and half a sack. Junior linebacker Sean Bloks led the team with seven tackles, including one for a loss.
Garrett completed 6 of 8 passes for 103 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
- Saturday, Oct. 28 @ 1:00 PM – UChicago at Ripon College