CMU football at MIT

On Saturday, the Carnegie Mellon football team traveled to Cambridge, MA to play the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in their first regular-season matchup. The final score of the game was 24–7 for the Tartans.

After a slow first quarter, where the MIT Engineers went up by seven with just two minutes left on a 72-yard touchdown pass, the Tartans responded in kind with a 78-yard touchdown pass right before halftime. On the very first play of the drive, junior quarterback JD Dayhuff threw the touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Willie Richter along the MIT sideline, where Richter drove through the last of the secondary to tie the game heading into halftime.

Taking the kickoff in the second half, the Tartans ran off a 12-play, 65-yard drive to go up by a touchdown. The final play was a five-yard run by junior running back Luke Bikulege. Immediately following the first drive of the third quarter, senior safety Parker Mellott intercepted a pass by the MIT quarterback, returning it to the opponent’s 23-yard line. But the Tartans couldn't convert a first down, and the drive ended in a Tartan field goal, with sophomore Brandon Nguyen scoring from 33 yards.

After the Tartan kickoff and Engineer return, the very first play of the drive saw a bad snap sent back into the Engineer endzone. Senior defensive end Michael Lohmeier picked it up for a Tartan touchdown making the score 24–7 where it stayed for the rest of the game. The 24 unanswered points left the Tartans with a commanding lead at the end of a strong third quarter. There were no points scored in the fourth quarter, as the Tartans moved to run out the clock.

Dayhuff completed 9 of 18 attempted passes for a total of 148 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Dayhuff also attempted five rushes for 37 yards. Leading the team in rushing yards, however, was Bikulege with 56 yards on 15 attempts. Nguyen, beyond hitting the field goal, went three for three on his extra points.

The totals for each team looked similar, with Carnegie Mellon having two fewer first downs and a less efficient third-down conversion percentage; however, Carnegie Mellon has fewer penalties and penalty yards. The Engineers also turned the ball over three times on two fumbles and an interception to the Tartans single turnover, an interception.

Carnegie Mellon and MIT both rushed for 127 yards. Carnegie Mellon passed for 148 yards; MIT, for 162. The Tartan defense was led by senior defensive end Long Tran with seven tackles and a sack. Richter led the receiving yards for the Tartans with 106.

The next football game for the Tartans is Saturday, Sept. 14 against Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m.