Greencastle, Ind., September 29, 2012 — Washington University in St. Louis had the advantage in total offense but committed four turnovers in a 17-14 loss at DePauw University on Saturday afternoon at Blackstock Stadium in Greencastle, Ind.
Washington University, which dropped its overall record to 1-4 heading into the bye week, has committed 13 turnovers in the four losses this season. DePauw picks up its first win of the season and improves to 1-3.
Special teams would play a huge role in the fourth quarter as Washington U. entered the final quarter with a deficit of 17-7. The Bears blocked a punt by DePauw that resulted in great field position at the 39-yard line. Two plays into the drive, backup quarterbackJohn O'Connor connected with senior wide receiver Drew Sexton for a 38-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-14.
DePauw's Eric Malm missed a 44-yard field goal with 2:25 left to give Washington U. one last chance to tie. O'Connor was picked off by JD Robinson with under two minutes to play to seal the victory for DePauw. O'Connor, who came into the contest for starting quarterback Dan Burkett in the second quarter, was 9-of-20 for 123 yards and a touchdown and was picked off three times.
Sexton had a career game for Washington U. with seven receptions for a career-high 121 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Mike McGovern added three catches for 49 yards, and had a career-high 188 yards of total offense.
Washington U.'s defense struggled in the opening quarter allowing 112 yards of total offense to the Tigers. On DePauw's second possession, quarterback Justin Murray capped an 11-play, 90 yard drive with a two-yard TD run to make it 7-0 with 1:27 left in the first quarter. Nikko Sansone had a 42-yard reception that got the Tigers deep into WUSTL territory.
Penalties played a huge role in the game for both sides in the opening half, and cost DePauw midway through the second quarter after a pass interference call that kept a drive alive for the Bears. Two plays later, Burkett connected with sophomore wide receiver Tim Bartholomew for a 38-yard touchdown down the right side to make it 7-7 with 6:10 left before half.
DePauw answered back with a touchdown of its own following a three-yard run by Armani Cato to make it 14-7 just before halftime. Pre-season All-American Taylor Wagner's 52-yard kickoff return gave the Tigers great field possession to start the drive at the WUSTL 43-yard line.
With O'Connor under center for the Bears, he guided them on a drive to the DePauw 30-yard line with less than a minute to play before half after a 27-yard pass completion to Sexton. Two plays later, O'Connor was picked off in the end zone after throwing into double coverage. Washington U. outgained DePauw 193-149 in the opening half of play, but was hampered by a pair of turnovers.
DePauw added a 32-yard field goal by Malm on its first possession of the third quarter to extend the lead to 17-7. After Washington U. punted for the fourth time on the day, the Bears' defense came up with a big play after junior defensive back Andrew Skalman picked off Murray on the DePauw 28-yard line. The interception for Skalman was his conference-best third of the season.
Washington U. would drive to the DePauw 11-yard line on the ensuing drive, but senior Eric Chalifour's 27-yard field goal was no good. The Bears have kicked just one field goal (1-for-4) this season in five games played.
The Bears' defense held DePauw to 277 yards of total offense, its second-straight contest limiting the opponent less than 300 yards. Sophomore defensive back Cody Deterding and sophomore linebackerFade Oluokun each had 11 tackles in the loss. Deterding's 11 stops were a career-best, after entering the contest with 11 tackles in the first four games. Freshman defensive lineman Jonathan Cohen added five tackles, including three for a loss.
Murray finished the day 22-of-31 for 213 yards and an interception, while Sansone hauled in five catches for 69 yards. Paul Simon and Cody Crook led the DePauw defensive unit with seven tackles each.
Washington U. returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, at home against No. 17 ranked Wabash College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Francis Field.
Bear Notebook: The two teams met for the first time since 1986 … DePauw leads the all-time series with Washington University, 9-1 … The victory was the first for DePauw interim coach Scott Srnka … Three of Washington U.'s four losses this season have been by six or less points.