St. Louis, Mo., October 30, 2010 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team overcame three first-half turnovers to rally for a 20-13 overtime victory over Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday afternoon at Francis Field in the University Athletic Association (UAA) opener for both teams.
Trailing 13-6 late in the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Stephen Sherman orchestrated a seven-play, 63-yard drive to tie the game with 1:10 remaining. Freshman Drew Sexton caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sherman to send the game to overtime. The key play of the drive was a 21-yard crossing route from Sherman to junior Austin Morman on 3rd-and-8 on the Bears' 39-yard line.
Carnegie Mellon, which dropped its second-consecutive overtime game, won the toss in overtime and elected to defer. It took Washington U. just three plays to score, as senior running back Jim O'Brien marched in from 15 yards out to make it 20-13. O'Brien ran the ball two times for 25 yards in the extra period, and finished the contest with 113 yards on 17 carries. He also moved past Don Polkinghorne (1954-57) into third on the Washington University all-time rushing list with 2,304 yards.
The Tartans picked up four yards on their first play in overtime, but quarterback Rob Kalkstein was intercepted by freshman Scott O'Brien to secure the victory by the Bears. The interception for O'Brien was the second of his career.
Washington University's defense limited Carnegie Mellon to 259 yards of total offense, and forced three punts, a missed field goal and an interception in five second-half possessions. Senior Kyle Huber made a career-high 12 tackles and had 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss in the victory. Senior Greg Larson also had a career-high on the defensive side of the ball, registering a career-high nine tackles, including 1.5 for loss.
Carnegie Mellon (4-4, 0-1 UAA) took advantage of the first miscue of the game by the Bears late in the first quarter to get on the scoreboard first. A punt by Richard Pattison landed at the Washington U. 30-yard line, but deflected off junior Mark Sholte and was recovered by the Tartans. Nine plays later, Justin Pratt scored from one-yard out to make it 6-0. The extra point was wide right by Elli Carnevale to keep it a six-point game.
WUSTL answered right back with an 11-play, 69-yard drive off its own. O'Brien capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 6-6 with 12:59 left in the second quarter. The extra point by sophomore Eric Chailfour was blocked.
Another miscue by the Bears resulted in Carnegie Mellon's second touchdown of the game, after Sherman was sacked by Owen Parker attempting to pass deep in the Bears' territory. Sherman fumbled the football on his way to the ground, and Nick Karabin recovered the ball in the end zone to make it 13-6 at halftime.
The two teams combined for 214 yards (114-CMU; 100-WU) of total offense in the first half. Jim O'Brien was the lone offensive bright spot for the Bears in the first half, picking up 58 yards on 10 carries.
Sherman finished the day 20-of-35 for 160 yards and a touchdown, while freshman quarterback Adam Banks completed a pass on a fake punt for 25 yards. Sexton caught a career-high nine balls for 99 yards and a touchdown, while senior wide receiver Tom Gulyas (three catches, 31 yards) and O'Brien (three catches, 10 yards) each caught three balls. Morman shined on special teams for the Bears, with five punts for an average of 46.2.
Prior to the contest, Washington University honored its 17 seniors who played their final regular season game at Francis Field on Saturday. This year's senior class holds an overall record of 22-16 (.579).
Washington University (6-2, 1-0 UAA) continues UAA play at Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Nov. 6. Kickoff is set for Noon (ET), in Cleveland Ohio. The Spartans had their 38-game regular season winning streak snapped with a 24-20 loss at the University of Chicago on Saturday.
Bear Notebook: The overtime win for head coach Larry Kindbom was the first of his career … Senior Brandon Brown made his 38th-conecutive start at defensive back … Carnegie Mellon leads the all-time series with Washington U., 15-13 … The Bears have won six-straight home games dating back to last season, and ends the 2010 season a perfect 5-0 at home … Gulyas moved into seventh place in all-time receptions (114) … Washington U. has won five-straight games for the first time since 2005-06 … The conference victory was Washington University's 50th all-time.