Fourth Quarter Woes Lead to Loss

Just 16 minutes stood between the South Siders and a win against Carnegie Mellon, but turnovers and short offensive possessions in the fourth-quarter led to a 37–24 loss.

By Siddharth Kapoor

Conceding 23 points in the fourth quarter without scoring any in reply, UChicago lost to the Carnegie Mellon Tartans on Saturday 34–27. However, after holding a double-digit lead after the first three quarters, the South Siders were assuredly disappointed to come out of the game with a loss.  


The Maroons came into the game with a 4–4 record (0–2 UAA) whereas the Tartans entered with a slightly better record of 5–3 (1–1 UAA). But with home field advantage and momentum on Chicago’s side after a strong win against Sewanee, it promised to be a fiery and tightly contested encounter.  


As has become the norm, fourth-year quarterback Burke Moser had another stellar game, exceeding more than 400 yards for the third time in his career. The wide receiver pair of first-year Dante Nepa and fourth-year Syd Reynolds benefited with a combined 300 yards between them. In addition, third-year star running back Chandler Carroll ran for 122 yards with one touchdown rushing, while also catching 13 passes for 77 yards. 


The game started with an ebb and flow. Chicago took the lead after Carroll and Reynolds combined to lead the Maroons down the field and subsequently punch the ball in from five yards. CMU fought back almost instantaneously, scoring on its first possession after Chicago’s interception was cancelled out by a penalty. But, as time passed, Chicago started to grab a foothold on the game, scoring back-to-back plays leading to a 17–7 lead at halftime for the South Siders.  


There was more back-and-forth play after halftime as both teams scored plays in the third quarter. The key play came when the Tartans pickpocketed Moser and the resulting play brought the score to 24–21. This was followed by barrage from the Tartans. In the end, they scored 28 points over the course of five plays and the Maroons had no answer to the eventual winners.  


While the loss was disappointing, one player who is not losing hope is Carroll. “We talk a lot about competing in our team room. A big aphorism for us is, it's not if we win or if we lose, but how we win or how we lose. And how we lost the game was a bit disappointing last Saturday,” Carroll said. “However, we are excited as we have an opportunity to compete against a formidable opponent this weekend in Washington University in St. Louis.” 


Looking forward to the next game, Carroll said, “Our next game is a great opportunity, and one that we have had marked on our calendars for almost a year now. We are playing to bring the Founder's Cup back to Chicago. Additionally, a win against our rivals would allow us to carry a lot of momentum into the offseason as we prepare for the 2017 football season. More importantly, it's just another opportunity to play the game we love.” 


The game against Wash U will take place this Saturday at noon. It is also Senior Day, and the Maroons will honor the fourth-years who will play their last game at Stagg Field.