St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 2, 2017 – The Washington University in St. Louis football team suffered a 28-7 loss to Carnegie Mellon University in the season opener Saturday at Francis Field in St. Louis.
WashU's defense held its own in the loss despite being on the field for 37:15. The Bears allowed 430 yards of total offense and recorded two interceptions, and limited All-American running back Sam Benger to 52 yards on 24 carries.
"We played hard and took us a while to acclimate to the speed of the game. It also took us a while to get our offense in gear," said 29th-year head coach Larry Kindbom. "We played a good football team today and have to get back to the basic things we need to do to get better."
WashU struggled on offense in the opening half punting on all eight possessions and was limited to 97 yards of total offense.
Carnegie Mellon totaled 264 yards in the first half, including 205 yards passing by quarterback Alex Cline. Benger scored from four yards out in the first quarter, and then Cline plunged in on a QB sneak early in the second to make it 14-0. The TD for Benger was the 50th of his career.
John Prather had seven receptions for 132 yards in the first half for CMU, and set the Tartan career receiving record. Prather hauled in a 12-yard TD reception with 49 seconds left made it 21-0 at the half.
Marcus intercepted Cline midway through the third to halt CMU's second drive of the half. Junior Jake Coon also had an interception in the third quarter after sophomore defensive back Justin DiCarlo broke up the pass and the ball bounced up to Coon.
Senior running back David Nees scored from six-yards out with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter to get the Bears on the scoreboard. The touchdown for Nees was the first of his career.
WashU was limited to 211 yards of total offense, and was just 3-of-19 on third down. Junior running back Logan Bash ran for 45 yards on 14 carries, while senior wide receiver Marcus Ramspott had five receptions for 42 yards.
Sophomore Johnny Davidson punted 11 times with a 41.5 average, including a long of 57 and three inside the 20.
WashU (0-1) hosts the University of Chicago on Saturday, Sept, 9, in the annual Founders Cup Game. Kickoff is set for Noon at Francis Field.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Carnegie Mellon, 18-17, and the Tartans snapped a two-game losing streak to the Bears … The Bears are 20-9 in season openers under Kindbom … WashU has a 17-4 record at Francis Field the past five seasons … CMU snapped its four-game season-opener losing skid.