St. Louis, MO — Senior Jim O'Brien rushed for 119
yards and a touchdown as the Washington University in St. Louis
football team opened the 2010 season with a 34-3 victory over Knox
College on Saturday night at Francis Field in St. Louis, Mo.
O'Brien picked up 104 yards on 15 carries in the first half, and played sparingly in the third quarter before giving way to sophomore Chris Castelluccio. O'Brien upped his career total to 1,792 rushing yards, moving him past Jim Burst (1951-54) into sixth on the all-time list.
Castelluccio finished the day with a career-best 65 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns as Washington University pounded out 225 yards on the ground. The Bears were also 22-of-30 for 220 yards in the air, for a total of 435 yards of offense. The defense was not too shabby either, as Washington U limited Knox to 134 yards of total offense in the victory.
The Bears scored on all five possessions in the first half and outgained the Prairie Fire, 275-40, as the Bears built a commanding 27-0 lead.
O'Brien scored from 10 yards out on the Bears' first possession to make it 7-0 with 8:32 left in the first quarter. O'Brien ran the ball six times for 53 yards on the opening drive. After another defensive stop, senior Stephen Sherman found junior tight end Brennan Fox for a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0. Sherman connected on his first 10 passes of the game for 91 yards.
Sophomore Eric Chalifour drilled a 20-yard field goal to push the advantage to 17-0, and then Castelluccio scored from 10 yards out to make it 24-0. Chalifour, a sophomore transfer from UCLA, drilled a career-long 44-yard field goal with 1:52 to push the halftime advantage to 27-0.
A nine-yard touchdown run by Castelluccio extended the lead to 34-0 with 11:40 left in the third quarter. Castelluccio carried the ball five times for 31 yards on the drive. The Praire Fire ended the Bears' attempt at a shutout after Sam Frank nailed a 35-yard field goal with 12:24 left in the third quarter.
Sherman was 16-of-21 for 159 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore QB Dan Burkett was 6-of-8 for 61 yards. Junior Austin Morman led the receiving corps with seven catches for 85 yards.
Junior linebacker Nick Hillard led the defensive unit with nine tackles, while senior Kyle Huber had seven stops and senior defensive lineman Greg Larson added six tackles. Larson also added four tackles for loss, one sack, a forced fumble and a break-up in the win.
Washington University (1-0) continues play at Rhodes College on Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Fargason Field in Memphis, Tenn. The Lynx suffered a 20-17 loss on the road at Westminster in their season opener on Saturday.
Bear Notebook: Washington University leads the all-time series with Knox, 6-0-1 … Senior Brandon Brown made his 31st-consecutive start at defensive back … Larry Kindbom coached his 270th career game on Saturday … The victory improved Washington University's season opener record under Kindbom to 17-5 … The Bears had a 37:31-22:29 advantage in time of possession … Washington U. was 7-of-14 on third downs and 3-of-3 on fourth downs.