The Yellowjackets were swept in the midst of a squall Saturday in the Windy City as the University of Chicago Maroons easily dispatched the Yellowjackets 42-7 in what UR head coach Mark Kreydt called “easily our most disappointing day of the season.” The loss, which drops UR to 1-6 overall and 0-1 in the University Athletic Association, was especially disappointing, according to Kreydt, because of the hard work and improvement seen in practice since last week’s loss to Union College. “We had a good week of practice so no one expected to experience what we experienced on Saturday,” Kreydt said.
The game against the Maroons was characterized by an inability to sustain drives, an inability to move the ball down the field and an inability to execute what Kreydt called the “little things” of a successful football team like making the right block, getting a proper read of receivers down field and other fundamentals of the gridiron that the Yellowjackets often take for granted.
Things started positively for the Yellowjackets, taking the lead in the first quarter with a three yard touchdown run by junior tailback Gerard Hopkins that was set up by an interception by junior defensive back Kasim Howell followed by a 24-yard run by junior wide receiver Patrick Roman. Junior Chris Johnston kicked the extra point to put UR on the scoreboard 7-0.
The Maroons tied things up early in the second quarter on a two yard touchdown run by Aaron Carlock followed by a PAT by Micha Morzenti. Things quickly turned sour for the Yellowjackets, as freshman quarterback Pat Manuel’s pass was intercepted and returned 42 yards by Maroon Jay Stiffler for a touchdown. Morzenti’s kick failed, leaving the score 13-7. The University of Chicago scored once more in the first half, this time on a one yard run by Josh Dunn into the end zone.
Hopkins was tackled in the end zone for a two point safety early in the third quarter, allowing the Maroons to start another drive that culminated in a six yard touchdown run by Carlock. The Maroons’ attempted a two point conversion that was no good, but substantial damage had been done as UR now trailed 28-7. Chicago scored twice more in the fourth quarter, a 76-yard touchdown run by Carlock followed by a 20-yard touchdown run by Tony Pulice. This concluded the scoring, resulting in a final tally of 42-7 in favor of the Maroons.
“I don’t think we improved on any aspect of the game on Saturday,” Kreydt said. “The disappointing thing is that we thought we had a good week of preparation but when we stepped on the field we didn’t play with any confidence.” When asked if the travel to Chicago had any impact on the level of play, Kreydt said that the travel aspect of college football is “a challenge, but something we have to overcome. To win the University Athletic Association ? a conference of schools as geographically diverse as UR, Emory University and Washington University in St. Louis ? somebody is going to have to go on the road and win games.”
Even though the Yellowjackets are not having the season they hoped to have this fall, Kreydt believes that the foundation for a successful program is sound. “We have a basic philosophy and some basic packages that we adjust each week. We adapt our game plan by what our injury situation looks like and what our competition looks like and these along with other things tend to dictate what happens on Saturday. It’s hard to say this when you’re 1-6 but I have confidence in these guys. This is a good group that is a lot closer to success than they sometimes think. For now, what we need to do is go out next week and play with confidence.”
The Yellowjackets return home to Fauver Stadium next week at noon, where they will face off against defending UAA champion, Washington University in St. Louis.
Schloss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.