Football hosts Chicago during Homecoming

Credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff Credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff Credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff Credit: Alan Vangpat/Photo Staff

The anticipated Homecoming game was a disappointment for the football team, which lost a tough game to University Athletic Association (UAA) foe the University of Chicago. Carnegie Mellon’s Gesling Stadium was buzzing on Saturday, full of alumni and students celebrating Homecoming weekend. The day was highlighted with free food, a chili cook-off, and activities in Wiegand Gym. Unfortunately, the Tartan football team couldn’t keep up with the Maroons of Chicago on Saturday, losing 61–22 in front of a packed crowd. Carnegie Mellon had won three out of its last four match-ups with Chicago, but was overpowered by the passing game of the Maroons, who totaled 419 yards passing on the day. The loss drops the Tartans to 4–5 on the season and 0–2 in UAA play.

The Tartans opened up the game with a touchdown by sophomore Jake Nardone, but Chicago quickly jumped ahead to a 21–7 lead in the first quarter, and the Tartans could never erase the difference.

Carnegie Mellon stayed with Chicago in the second quarter, keeping the spread at 14 points, as the score was 34–20 going into the half. Unfortunately for the Tartans, Chicago sophomore Dee Brizzolara ran back junior Tartan Pat Garrett’s second-half opening kick off for a touchdown, and there was no looking back for the Maroons. The Tartans managed to get two points back after senior Richie Pattison blocked Chicago’s point-after-touchdown attempt and sophomore Luke Sharked returned it for a score, but Carnegie Mellon couldn’t get back on the scoreboard after that. Chicago scored a total of 27 points in the second half, and Carnegie Mellon’s offense couldn’t overtake the Maroons’ lead. Chicago’s passing attack was led by quarterback Marshall Oium, who had 410 yards passing and six touchdowns, and wide receiver Brizzolara, who had 235 yards receiving and three touchdowns on only eight receptions.

Tartan junior Ray Johnson said about Chicago’s offense, “Defensively we had trouble containing their passing game. We couldn’t force turnovers and gave up some big plays.”
Even in the loss, the Tartans’ running game was consistent as usual. Senior Justin Pratt continued his great season, running for 107 yards and one touchdown on the day. With that effort, Pratt now has 1,399 rushing yards for his career, 13th in school history. Sophomore Jake Nardone also had a solid day for Carnegie Mellon, recording 91 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Junior running back Chris Garcia was the only other Tartan to score, as he had a rushing touchdown in the first half. The Tartans’ strong run game wasn’t enough on Saturday, however, as Chicago’s offense more than doubled Carnegie Mellon in total yards.

Carnegie Mellon’s defense was led by seniors Brandon Vantassel and Mike Shedlosky and junior Ray Johnson. Vantassel and Johnson had seven tackles each, and Shedlosky recorded five. With those five tackles, Shedlosky moved himself into 14th place in all-time tackles in Carnegie Mellon football history.

The Tartans aim to recover from Saturday’s loss this upcoming weekend. Carnegie Mellon football has had 35 consecutive seasons with a final record at .500 or better, and the team looks to make it 36 seasons with a win against Case Western Reserve University this Saturday, in their final game of the season.

Junior cornerback Dan Miller is looking to keep the streak alive and finish the season strong. “The streak is always in the back of our minds, but at this point we are more concerned about finishing the season on the right foot with a win. The best thing we can do after a tough loss like today is to come out fighting next week,” he said.
The Tartans hit the road this week and will play Case Western Reserve this Saturday.