The young Yellowjacket defense contained the Washington University in St. Louis Bears to a mere 41 yards of rushing Saturday at Fauver Stadium, but UR turnovers and the capitalization of good field position proved enough to put the visiting Bears ahead of the Yellowjackets 28-14 as UR dropped another loss on the gridiron.
“Defensively we did some nice things to stop the run, but the mistakes we made offensively resulted in turnovers that really hurt us,” said head coach Mark Kreydt. “Most of the points that they scored came from drives that resulted from our turnovers.” The Yellowjackets turned over possession six times Saturday afternoon, once from a fumble and the remaining five from interceptions. Kreydt, however, was quick to point out that the fault does not lie squarely on the shoulders’ of freshman quarterback Pat Manuel. “There are a lot of reasons for the turnovers we gave up. We had breakdowns in pass protection as well as reads from the quarterback position.”
Washington scored first with a 35-yard field goal by Ben Lambert at the end of the first quarter to put the Bears ahead 3-0. The Bears reinforced their lead midway through the second quarter with a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nathan Szep to Toby Neighbors. The Yellowjackets blocked the PAT, resulting in a score of 9-0.
The Yellowjackets responded with a touchdown of their own, an 11-yard run by senior John Breedy. Breedy was the primary ball carrier of the Yellowjackets on the day, netting 95 yards and two touchdowns on nineteen carries. Junior Chris Johnston missed the extra point, putting the score at 9-6. Lambert booted a 25 yard field goal for the Bears with only seconds left in the half, increasing UR’s deficit to 12-6 at halftime.
Washington wasted no time after the halftime break as Szep hit receiver Brad Duessing for a pass that turned into a 62-yard touchdown reception only seconds into the second half. The PAT was good, making the score 19-6. Lambert kicked his third field goal of the day several minutes later, a 20 yard try to tack on another three points to the Bears’ already substantial lead.
UR continued to struggle into the fourth quarter, allowing Szep to complete a 10-yard spiral to Blake Westra in the endzone for a touchdown. The Yellowjackets blocked their second extra point of the day, leaving the score 28-6. Breedy scored his second touchdown of the afternoon in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter with a four yard run followed by a successful two point conversion.
“Statistically, we obviously ran the ball better than we threw the ball,” Kreydt said. “John [Breedy] did some good things for us. We played better than we did against Chicago, but not good enough to win, and of course that is the ultimate goal.” The Yellowjackets take on Case Western Reserve University next week and an offense that Kreydt called “explosive.” “Hey, we’re young, we’ve been banged up, and we are going to do the best we can in the next two weeks to get this thing back on track,” he said.