Tartans Score 24 Unanswered Points to Win Opener in Showdown With MIT

Tartans Score 24 Unanswered Points to Win Opener in Showdown With MIT

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team opened its season at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Saturday and scored 24 unanswered points and left with a 24-7 win. The matchup was the first between the two institutions.

MIT outgained Carnegie Mellon 289-275, but he Tartans defense forced three turnovers while the Engineers managed to force one. The Tartans defense was led by senior Long Tran (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) seven tackles, four solo, while also recording a sack. Tran now ranks eighth on the all-time sack list with 12.0 for his career.

Senior Quinn Gaughan (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) also tabbed seven tackles while forcing and recovering a fumble. Sophomore Sean Knight (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) ended with six tackles, four solo.

Junior quarterback JD Dayhuff (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) threw for 148 yards on 9-of-18 and a touchdown. Senior Willie Richter (Leander, Texas/Cedar Park) led the Tartans receivers with five catches for 106 yards and a score. It marked Richter's third career 100-yard game. Junior Luke Bikulege (Greer, S.C./St. Joseph's Catholic) carried the ball 15 times for 56 yards and a touchdown to lead the ground attack.

Chris Mauck completed 9-of-22 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown for MIT, as Keithen Shepard accounted for 92 yards receiving with three receptions and the lone Engineer score. John Robertson led all rushers with 85 yards on 22 carries for MIT.

MIT started the scoring with a 72-yard catch-and-run from Mauck to Shepard with 2:16 to play in the first quarter. The point after attempt made the score 7-0.

With 4:42 remaining in the first half, Carnegie Mellon knotted the game at 7-7 on the second 70-yard plus score of the game. This time the Dayhuff connected with Richter on a 78-yard catch-and-run down the MIT sideline. The touchdown strike marked the longest pass play for the Tartans since 2013 when Tim Swanson scored on a 76-yard pass from Andrew Hearon at Mercer.

The Tartans defense held the Engineers to a three-and-out to open the second half which led to the Cardinal and Gray's second score of the afternoon. Bikulege capped off a 12-play, 65-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run which took 4:48 off the clock to give Carnegie Mellon a 14-7 lead.

On MIT's second play of the ensuing possession, a deflected ball was intercepted by senior Parker Mellott (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) at the Engineers 41-yard line and returned to the 23. The interception led to a 33-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Brandon Nguyen (Maitland, Fla./Lake Highland Preparatory) to give the visitor's a 17-7 lead with 5:22 to play in the third.

Carnegie Mellon wasted little time to push the score to 24-7. On the Engineers next play, a bad snap was recovered by the Tartans senior Michael Lohmeier (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central) in the end zone resulting in Carnegie Mellon's third score in a three-minute span.

The Tartans will travel to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 14 to play the Golden Tornadoes on Geneva College. Kick is set for 7:00 p.m.