Football falls 16-8 to host Washington University

Carnegie Mellon football opened University Athletic Association (UAA) play Saturday, losing 16–8 to the Bears of Washington University in St. Louis at Francis Field. This game marks the 26th time the Tartans contested a game against the Bears, who they lead 14–11. Both teams came in with a season record of 4–3, but the Tartans’ loss caused their record to drop to 4–4, while the Bears moved up to 5–3.

After the Tartans fumbled the opening kickoff, Wash. U. picked it up on the Tartan 22-yard line. Bears sophomore Jim O’Brien was able to take the ball into a 2-yard touchdown after five plays, creating a score of 7–0 only 2:31 into the game. Minutes into second quarter, the Bears were able to take their lead up to 10–0. Unfortunately, the Tartans couldn’t hold on to the ball and fumbled again, giving the Bears the opportunity to regain control with Wash. U.’s Alex Akman picking it up on the Carnegie Mellon 21-yard line.

Carnegie Mellon’s defense worked hard to come back as junior outside linebacker Socrates Zacharias intercepted with a one-handed grab from Wash. U.’s senior quarterback Buck Smith on a 3rd-and-13 play and brought it up to midfield. However, Wash. U.’s defense made a similar statement as the Bears stopped the Tartans on a 4th-and-1 at the 10-yard line, keeping Carnegie Mellon back. With an opportunity to gain some points and only 15 seconds in the first half, Carnegie Mellon’s Colin Marks’ attempt at a 25-yard field goal was blocked when Wash. U. senior Drew Makar came through the line. At the end of the first half, the Bears were still leading with a 10–0 score.

By the time the game reached the 6:39 mark of the third quarter, Wash. U. had added six points to the game score, now 16–0. Smith threw the ball 53 yards to Wash. U. wide receiver Tom Gulyas leaving the ball at the 2-yard line. Smith was able to complete a pass to junior Greg Lachaud for the 2-yard touchdown that took the Bears to the 16.

Decreasing the gap in the second half, Carnegie Mellon was able to score some points with a 31-yard touchdown, with only 4:05 minutes left in the game, made by sophomore Anthony Ruzga. This was only completed with help from junior linebacker Stanley Onyimba, who captured the ball after a fumble by the Bears followed by three plays that totaled a 37-yard gain. Wash. U.’s lead was cut to eight points with a score of 16–8.

When it comes to yardage, the Tartans were outshined by the Bears, 319–219, Carnegie Mellon gaining 169 on the ground. This is the second time this season the Tartans have had yard rush less than 200. Eighty of these yards came on 13 carries by Ruzga, the leading rusher in the UAA, averaging 91.4 yards per game. Junior Devin Murray had nine tackles, six by himself, 1.5 for a loss, and forced one fumble. Senior defensive lineman Clay Crites put down eight tackles, 1.5 for a loss, and forced one fumble as well. Wash. U.’s Smith brought in 226 yards by converting 23 of 31 passes, and Gulyas claimed just under 100 yards with eight catches. The face of the defense for the Washington Bears was Tim Olivos, who completed 10 tackles.
Carnegie Mellon heads to Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday to continue UAA play against the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University.