CHICAGO – Chandler Carroll made his final home game a memorable one. The running back racked up 249 rushing yards on a rainy Senior Day to lead the University of Chicago football team to a 19-14 victory over Macalester College on Saturday afternoon.
The Maroons (5-4 overall, 3-2 MWC) snagged the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Conference North Division and will play next Saturday at Lake Forest College – the No. 2 seed from the South Division. The Scots dropped to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in conference action.
Before the game, UChicago honored its 18 seniors on the field with their families. This senior class has a cumulative record of 23-15 over the past four years and won the 2014 University Athletic Association title.
With a light, rainy mist in the air all game, UChicago decided to turn definitively to its run game to grind out yards. Carroll was more than up for the challenge. Despite slick footing on the Stagg Field turf, the senior cut and reversed direction all over the field, leaving grasping defenders in his wake. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage to create lanes, and was particularly effective at setting the edge for Carroll to burst for big chunks of yardage. Even when caught in the backfield, Carroll continuously turned losses into 5-10 yard gains with quickness and guile.
All told, UChicago ran the ball 56 times versus only 10 passes. Carroll carried the ball 46 times for 249 yards – the second-most rushing yards of his career. The senior also secured the third-straight 1,000-yard season of his career (1,013).
On the other end of the spectrum, Macalester's spread offense took to the air almost exclusively. Christian Adams threw the ball 49 times on the day for 262 yards. UChicago's defensive unit stopped the run game dead in its tracks. Several botched snaps led to 44 negative yards, and the defensive line did the rest to bottle up designed runs. The final statistics saw the Maroons limit the Scots to -42 rushing yards on 15 carries (-2.8 yards per carry).
The slippery conditions did not do Macalester any favors. The visitors fumbled the ball four times and lost two. The Maroon secondary also picked them off three times on the day.
UChicago reached the red zone on three of its opening four drives. However, touchdowns proved hard to come by as running lanes closed up. Junior kicker Mike Kurzydlowski was called upon, and he converted all three chances in the first half from 21, 27 and 23 yards.
Defensively, sophomore Ben Christensen was opportunistic in the first half. The defensive end scooped up a fumble that was heading out of bounds in the first quarter, then intercepted a pass early in the second quarter. By halftime, the Maroons led 9-0 and Carroll already had 149 rushing yards to his credit.
The opening drive of the second half saw Kurzydlowski add to his tally, booting a 38-yard field goal to make it 12-0. Kurzydlowski soon contributed in his punting role as well. He pinned the Scots on their own one-yard line with a 51-yard punt in the third quarter. The field disadvantage forced a short Macalester punt out of its own end zone that set up UChicago on the 22-yard line. Carroll struck pay dirt two plays later with a 25-yard touchdown jaunt down the left sideline – his 14th rushing score of the season.
Down 19-0, Macalester began to show more life offensively for the duration of the game. But UChicago's secondary clamped down when it counted. Sophomore safety Bill Rotnicki jumped a route for an interception with under three minutes left in the third quarter. Then junior safety Jeremy Vincent hauled in a pick of his own at UChicago's one-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
The Scots pulled to within 19-14 in the fourth quarter, thanks to a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a 10-yard touchdown pass. Their final opportunity came with 3:03 left in the game starting a drive from their own 10-yard line. However, a dropped pass on fourth down ended the threat and UChicago kneeled to run out the clock.
Sophomore linebacker Zach Atiyeh led the team in tackles with nine. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Senior defensive end Peter Casey was active in the backfield with three tackles for loss, giving him 18 for the season. First-year cornerback Ryan Montgomery tallied eight tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss, and rookie linebacker Dylan Faires posted seven tackles (0.5 tackle for loss).
- Saturday, Nov. 11 @ 1:00 PM – UChicago at Lake Forest College