Tigers eye first win against Carnegie Mellon


After last Saturday’s 52-14 road loss at the hands of Wittenberg University, head coach Robby Long was dismissed, providing a host of challenges for a newly-directed DePauw football team. The Tigers lock horns next with Carnegie Mellon University (3-0).
The Tartans are another Midwest opponent amid a daunting DePauw schedule that adds to the turmoil with what is already becoming a season of adversity for the Tigers.
Defensive coordinator Scott Srnka takes the reigns as interim head coach before Saturday’s road contest. The out-of-conference matchup is Srnka’s first time as a head coach in more than two decades as an assistant. Srnka has also spent time in defensive coaching roles at Rhodes College, Urbana University and Baldwin-Wallace University.
“[Head coach] is an interesting transition,” Srnka said on 91.5 WGRE’s Tiger Talk on Wednesday. “My philosophy doesn’t change. I’m still me, and I’m going to coach the same way. The administrative duties have been overwhelming, but I’m starting to settle in slightly. The great thing is I’ve got a tremendous amount of support.”
Srnka’s veteran leadership and relationship with his players ensures the Tigers won’t lose focus with eight games still on the schedule.
“I want the players and parents to know that I treat these kids like they are my own children,” Srnka said. “I’m going to be hard on them when I need to and encourage them when they need to be encouraged.”
Despite the coaching turnstile already set in motion with widespread feelings of dissatisfaction over the timing of Long’s dismissal, the Tigers are motivated this week in practice and feel that Carnegie Mellon is a winnable contest.
“[Carnegie Mellon] is always extremely well-coached and disciplined,” Head Coach Srnka said. “They have some good skill guys. That’s not to say we aren’t going to beat them because we are.”
The Tartans are unlike any opponent DePauw will face this season. Carnegie Mellon is lead by head coach Rich Lackner, who has manned the program since 1986. Under Lackner’s leadership, the Tartans have just one losing season and his 178 career victories put him in sixth place for all of Div. III active coaches.
The Tartans employ a ‘wing-T’ offense that uses misdirection, speed and a variety of running backs to confuse defenses. Carnegie Mellon’s ‘wing-T’ is highlighted by an electric passing game from junior quarterback, Rob Kalkstein.
Averaging nearly 430 yards of offense per game, the Tartans rank No. 1 in the country for passing efficiency. Lackner’s Tartans also feature a diverse running game that is lead by Jared DeLello who has scored two touchdowns for 199 total yards on the campaign.
DePauw will begin its quest for Srnka’s first win Saturday at 1 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon’s Gesling Stadium.