The University of Chicago’s football team hits the road on Saturday, squaring off against the Beloit Buccaneers. UChicago enters the contest 3–3 overall, 1–1 in conference. The Maroons opened up the season 0–2, rattled off four straight wins, then dropped a 21–20 decision last weekend after a late rally against St. Norbert. The Bucs enter the contest at 1–5 overall. Their only win occurred two Saturdays ago at home, where they defeated Knox College 23–20. UChicago and Beloit have played one common opponent: Illinois College. The Maroons won their matchup 56–9, while the Bucs lost 20–63.
Third-year leader defensive lineman Jameson Clay said of the season so far, “This season has been a blast. Some of the results haven’t been what we have wanted but our goal is to send the seniors off right.”
The Maroons had been struggling offensively, but statistically look to improve this performance on Saturday. The Maroons average just over 100 yards per game on the ground, and the Bucs, on average, give up over 220 rushing yards per game. Beloit is also allowing 37.8 points per game, higher than the South Siders’ season average of 31.8. The Maroons will look to stop the most consistent unit on the Bucs’ sideline: their offense. Beloit averages 19.2 points per game, gaining 149.2 yards per game on the ground, and throwing for 172.6 yards through the air. UChicago is only allowing 12.5 points per game, 140.2 rushing yards, and 161.7 passing yards per game.
Clay spoke on the Beloit game, saying, “We are looking forward to playing Beloit. After a tough loss, our team can’t wait to get back on the field for another opportunity.”
UChicago has played three quarterbacks so far in the year, but is led by first-year quarterback Jeffery Jackson. Jeffery Jackson has thrown for 12 touchdowns and rushed for three, while averaging over 230 passing yards per game and just over 30 rushing yards per game. The receiving corps includes Jeffery Jackson’s brother, first-year Jacob Jackson. The two have connected for five touchdowns and an average of over 93 yards per game. On defense, the Maroons are led by second-year Jackson Ross, who has totaled 65 tackles on the year, 3.5 for loss. Fourth-year Mike McGinley and third-year Ben Christensen each have three sacks on the year.
Beloit is led by their quarterback Erick Mitchell, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns and averages over 160 yards per game in the air. Tyler Korous is the leading Bucs receiver, accounting for six of their 10 touchdowns and averaging over 70 yards per game. Joey Werner leads the Bucs on the ground, averaging 82 yards per game but only getting into the end zone once. On defense, Patrick Nicolas leads the way with 50 tackles in the year. Linebacker Trey Bichop is also a key defensive piece, with six tackles for loss.
The Maroons and Bucs kick off this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Beloit, WI.