LINCOLN, Neb. --- The 21st-ranked Chattanooga Mocs football team put up a good fight in a 40-7 loss at No. 10 Nebraska. The Mocs opened the season against an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision for the 10th time in school history, making their first trip to historic Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
Senior linebacker Ryan Consiglio (Franklin, Tenn.) and sophomore defensive back D.J. Key (Centerville, Tenn.) led a Mocs defense that gave up 364 yards of total offense in the game, but won the turnover battle by recovering a pair of fumbles against one tipped interception. Consiglio had a game-high 14 tackles with two for loss, a forced fumble and pass breakup, while Key made 11 stops with one for loss and a fumble recovery.
UTC was led offensively by senior QB B.J. Coleman (Chattanooga, Tenn,), a 2011 Walter Payton Award Candidate. Coleman was 19-33 for 174 yards, one touchdown and the one pick. He hit eight different receivers with Joel Bradford (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Chris Awuah (Marietta, Ga.) and Faysal Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) each capturing four apiece.
Taylor Martinez was the star for the Cornhuskers. Martinez ran for 135 yards on 19 carries while completing 11 of 22 passes for 116 yards. He had touchdown rushes of seven, 43 and 47 yards.
Big plays haunted the Mocs from the outset. Nebraska converted nine third downs in 18 tries, six for 11 in the opening half. Of the Cornhuskers 260 first half yards, 144 came on third down and another 43 on fourth.
The Huskers went on top five minutes into the game behind a Taylor Martinez seven-yard run. That score was set up by a 52-yard run by Rex Burkhead on third and six. Nebraska threatened again late in the opening frame, but the Mocs were able to hold their hosts to a 50-yard field goal.
Another FG from Brett Maher in the second quarter was followed by a long scoring run from Martinez. On fourth-and-one, Martinez ran the option left, keeping around the corner and breaking away for a 43-yard TD scamper. The Huskers tagged on one more field goal before the half to take a 23-0 lead into the locker room.
UTC came out of the locker room with an impressive seven play, 72-yard drive. Coleman started the drive with a 25-yard pass to Awuah out of the backfield. It was capped by a 13-yard TD pass from Coleman to sophomore WR Marlon Anthony (Acworth, Ga.).
That was as close as the Mocs would get on the scoreboard. They did threaten in the fourth quarter, but freshman Nick Pollard's (Nashville, Tenn.) 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Nebraska's Josh Williams.
Bradford, a preseason All-American, led Mocs receivers with 47 yards. Awuah and Shafaat had 43 and 34 yards, respectively. Freshman Marquis Green (Palmetto, Fla,) provided a spark with 37 rushing yards on seven carries, 31 coming in the second half.
Burkhead had 75 yards on 11 rushes for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska totaled 229 of its 364 yards on the ground. Brett Maher was a special teams star for the Huskers. He made four field goals from 50, 48, 34 and 21 yards, while averaging 52 yards per punt with two downed inside the 20. Maher also had three touchbacks on kickoffs.
Chattanooga punter Mike Hammons (Benton, Tenn.) made his own mark. He averaged 44.2 yards per kick with two downed inside the 20 and two of 50 yards or more which ties his total from last year.
Chattanooga returns to the friendly confines of Finley Stadium next Saturday, September 10, to welcome Jacksonville State. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m., kickoff. Tickets are available at GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
Quarter Score Time Play
1 0-7 10:08 Taylor Martinez 7 yd rush (Brett Maher Kick)
Drive: 4 plays, 63 yards in 1:45.
Key Play(s): 3-6-H41, Rex Burkhead 52 yard rush to UTC 7
1 0-10 1:52 Maher 50yd Field Goal
Drive: 7 plays, 27 yards in 3:23.
Key Play(s): 3-9-H42, Martinez 31 yds to Quincy Enunwa
2 0-13 10:11 Maher 48yd Field Goal
Drive: 12 plays, 40 yards in 3:53.
Key Play(s): 3-7-H32, Martinez 13 yd rush; 3-9-H46, Martinez 13 yds to Kyler Reed
2 0-20 2:07 Martinez 43 yd rush (Maher Kick)
Drive: 10 plays, 76 yards in 4:35.
Key Play(s): 3-10-H24, Martinez 12 yd rush
2 0-23 0:10 Maher 34yd Field Goal
Drive: 8 plays, 40 yards in 0:46.
Key Play(s): 2-10-V43, Martinez to Ben Cotton 27 yds
3 7-23 11:43 Marlon Anthony 13 yd pass from B.J. Coleman (Nick Pollard Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 72 yards in 3:10.
Key Play(s): 3-4-H41, Coleman to Joel Bradford for 12 yds
3 7-26 8:30 Maher 21yd Field Goal
Drive: 7 plays, 38 yards in 3:12.
Key Play(s): 3-2-V2, D.J. Key tackles Martinez for 1 yd loss
3 7-33 7:28 Rex Burkhead 3 yd rush (Maher Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 3 yards in 0:04.
Key Play(s): Cameron Meredith interception at Mocs 3
3 7-40 6:08 Martinez 47 yard rush (Maher Kick)
Drive: 1 plays, 47 yards in 0:11.
Key Play(s): N/A
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