MEADVILLE, Pa. – Carnegie Mellon exacted revenge on Allegheny after the Gators thrashed the Tartans last season in Pittsburgh. On Saturday and in front of nearly 3,000 fans, Carnegie Mellon dominated Allegheny on both sides of the ball en route to a 37-7 victory at Frank B. Fuhrer Stadium.
Featured on Fox College Sports as well as ESPN3, the Gators (1-1) lost all of their momentum from an exciting comeback victory at Wooster as Carnegie Mellon (2-0) delivered a near-flawless performance on the road. The Tartans outgained the Gators, 461-207, while averaging 7.7 yards per play. One week after orchestrating a superb defensive stand that ignited a terrific rally, Allegheny's defense surrendered its most yards against in a single game in three years.
CMU's Rob Kalkstein threw for a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-12 passing. Tim Kitka highlighted the aerial assault with four catches for 158 yards and two scores. The Tartans also pounded out 261 yards on the ground, with 10 players adding to the rushing totals.
Trailing 3-0, Allegheny grabbed its only lead of the day after piecing together a 13-play, 77-yard drive on its first possession of the game. Senior Taylor O'Brien set the tone early with several nice runs, while Ben Perko's 16-yard scamper set the Gators up inside the CMU one-yard line. O'Brien punched it in on the next play to give the Blue and Gold its short-lived lead.
The Tartans held the ball for nearly 10 minutes in the second quarter, while wearing down the Gators' defense with a pair of long drives. Patrick Blanks scored on a rush from nine yards out midway through the quarter to give the lead back to the visitors, while CMU extended its advantage to 10 as Kalkstein hooked up with Kitka on a 39-yard pitch and catch with less than two minutes remaining before halftime.
As far as momentum goes, one of the defining plays of the afternoon occurred on the ensuing kickoff. Taking the ball from the two-yard line, sophomore Derrick Emigh raced 98 yards down the far sideline for what appeared to be Allegheny's second touchdown of the game. However, a pair of holding penalties wiped out the play, and the Gators were never able to recover their swagger.
Allegheny was absolutely sensational in the second half last week against the Fighting Scots, although the Tartans emphatically erased any thoughts of a repeat performance as Kitka scored on an 82-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter. The Tartans went 44 yards on four plays on their next possession to stretch the lead to 30-7, while taking the capacity crowd completely out of the game.
Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter as Allegheny showcased a lot of it younger talent late in the action.
Joe Dawida finished 10-of-21 for 75 yards in his first career start. He was sacked four times and was unsuccessful in moving the Allegheny offense after a strong opening series.
O'Brien led the Gators with 28 yards rushing, while four other players also rushed for at least 20 yards. Emigh and Andrew Nicklaus each had three catches for 30 yards to pace the receiving corps.
Allegheny enters into its bye week and will be in action next at nationally-ranked Wabash on Sept. 22.