Head coach Mark Kreydt and his troops might not have been completely satisfied with their recent play, but it is hard to find fault in a thrilling triple-overtime 34-28 homecoming win over Canisius College during Sequicentennial Weekend, Oct. 14.
Sophomore Greg Lozeau picked up the final 20 yards of his career high-tying 140 yards on the second play of the final overtime, giving UR its fifth win of the season in front of more than 4,600 fans. The crowd was the largest in 13 years to see a Yellowjackets? home football game.
UR rushed for 274 yards and threw for 169 more. The total yardage 443 was a season high.
?Going in, I thought we could move the ball well against Canisius,? Kreydt said. ?We did that at times. It was nice to score enough points to win for once instead of having to hold them down.?
The game went into overtime after freshman Jonathan ?Nebraska? Sarich missed a 25-yard field goal with no time left, which would have given the Yellowjac-kets the victory.
In the first overtime, Canisius and UR traded touchdowns. Golden Griffen back-up Mark Nachreiner threw a 14-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage after he replaced injured starter Blake Slavonic.
Lozeau was accountable for all of his team?s 25 yards on its possession ? he caught a four-yard pass and rushed four times for 21 yards, capped off by a three-yard touchdown run. Sarich made the extra point, extending the game.
Both defenses held in the second OT, and UR held again in the third, giving the offense a chance.
After Lozeau gained five yards, he ran outside on the second play for the long scoring dash.
?We had run that pitch about 10 times in the last three periods. Every time we had their cornerback run outside the receiver, but this time I saw him cut to my right, and our receiver just kept blocking him that way so I ran right by him,? Lozeau said of the final play.
?I was looking at the film and the whole team was pretty much on the field by the time I was in. It was an amazing feeling,? he continued.
Despite the win, Kreydt voiced concern over several facets of his team?s play. Sarich?s potential game winner and blocked punt that led to a Canisius touchdown added up to a sub-par special teams day.
?I am very concerned about it,? Kreydt said. ?The kicking game is something we have preached all year long and the last two weeks it has hurt us. On the punt block we had a mental breakdown that led to a physical breakdown.?
Both Kreydt and Lozeau felt the offense could have been more consistent as well.
?Again we underestimated our opponent,? Lozeau said.
?After our first drive of the game when we marched right down and scored we were feeling pretty good. But we took it for granted that they weren?t really here to play, and we went three and out a few times after that.?
The following week on Oct. 21, the Yellowjackets played yet another opponent who has given them a lot of problems the past few years ? University Athletic Association rival Washington University in St. Louis. Last year Washington beat the Yellowjackets 41-7. This year, the men again dropped to the Bears 24-14 the at Fauver Stadium.
However, the Yellowjackets finished their season in winning fashion, with a big victory against Case Western Reserve University at home 41-10.
The winning season is UR?s first since 1993.