Chattanooga Mocs Football Game Notes
No. 9 Jacksonville State Gamecocks (0-1, 0-0 OVC) at No. 13/15 Chattanooga Mocs (0-1, 0-0 SoCon)
Saturday – Sept. 6 – 6:00 p.m. (E.D.T.)
Finley Stadium (20,668) – Chattanooga, Tenn.
Radio: Mocs Sports Network – 96.1 The Beat FM (flagship) – Jim Reynolds (PXP), Todd Agne (Color), Will Poindexter (Sideline)
Online: Live scoring and MocsVision broadcast on GoMocs.com
The Chattanooga Mocs open the 2014 home schedule with one of the biggest regular season showdown’s in Finley Stadium history this weekend. The 13th-ranked Mocs welcome the No. 9 Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 6:00 p.m. (E.D.T.).
Checking in at No. 13 in this week’s Sports Network Top-25, UTC (0-1) is tied for its highest national ranking in the Russ Huesman era. Chattanooga is also No. 15 in this week’s FCS Coaches Poll. The Mocs were also No. 13 in the Sports Network rankings when they lost 14-12 at No. 3 Appalachian State on Sept. 19, 2011.
Jacksonville State (0-1) is the highest ranked non-conference opponent to visit Finley Stadium. The Gamecocks were up to No. 6 in the preseason, but fell slightly after a 45-7 loss at No. 8 Michigan State to open the season.
This is the third time two ranked teams square off at Finley in the regular season. The 23rd ranked Mocs defeated No. 15 Wofford (20-10) last season. UTC was also ranked No. 23 when it scored a 38-17 win over the 10th-ranked Gamecocks on their last visit to the Scenic City on Sept. 10, 2011.
The JSU-UTC rivalry is one of the oldest on the books for both teams. The Mocs hold a 26-11 advantage in the series that dates all of the way back to 1904. Jacksonville State has the upper hand in recent years, winning five of the last six and two out of three in the Russ Huesman era.
WHITEOUT FOR JSU GAME
The Chattanooga Mocs have declared a WHITEOUT for the 2014 football home opener against Jacksonville State on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Finley Stadium. White-on-white uniforms, plenty of giveaways and WHITEOUT T-shirts are sure to enhance an exciting showdown against the ninth-ranked Gamecocks. Fans are encouraged to wear white to the game, or pick up one of the thousands of free white T-shirts at the gate.
MOCS SPORTS NETWORK
The Mocs Sports Network broadcasts the game on 96.1 The Beat in Chattanooga. Jim Reynolds has the play-by-play with Todd Agne giving the color commentary and Will Poindexter on the sideline. There is a free MocsVision video broadcast of the game on GoMocs.com, along with a free audio stream.
Tickets for the game are available now at the UTC Ticket Office by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online on GoMocs.com. In addition to the regular business hours of the UTC Ticket Office (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at McKenzie Arena, the First Tennessee Pavilion ticket window at Finley Stadium will open from 11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) on Friday.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE JACKSONVILLE STATE GAME
• This is the 38th meeting in the regional matchup...UTC leads 26-11...series dates back to 1904 and is one of UTC’s oldest rivalries.
• Following a 13-6 UTC win in Chattanooga in 1983, the series was suspended for 21 seasons until it restarted in 2004...UTC is just 2-6 since then.
• The Mocs are 21-7 all-time at home against the Gamecocks, but just 1-3 at Finley.
• At least one of these two teams has been ranked in each of the last four meetings.
• The Mocs and Jacksonville State have played in the second game of the season six times since 2004.
LAST TIME VS. JACKSONVILLE STATE
No. 24 Jacksonville State 27 - Chattanooga 24 - Sept. 8, 2012
• Mocs fell to 0-2 on the season with a 27-24 loss at No. 24 Jacksonville State on Sept. 8, 2012. JSU’s Griffin Thomas kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired for the win.
• Chattanooga outrushed Jax State 241 to 216.
• After getting flagged 11 times for 95 yards in the season opener at USF, Chattanooga was not called for any penalties in the game.
• Wes Dothard - Three tackles, including one for loss ... forced a fumble.
• Shane Heatherly - First career-sack ... finished with seven tackles.
• Tommy Hudson - Career-highs with six catches for 34 yards.
• Jacob Huesman - 21 carries for 166 yards rushing and one TD ... Most rushing yards by a Moc since Bryan Fitzgerald had 181 at Presbyterian on Sept. 19, 2009 ... 2nd most rushing yards by a QB in school history (197 - Richard Manning at Ole Miss on Nov. 9, 1968) ... 2nd most rushing yards by a freshman in school history ... (202 - James Roberts at ETSU - 10/14/89) ... 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage was the longest rush by a Moc since Brian Sutherland’s 62-yard run against Appalachian State on 9/4/10 ... 18-30 passing for 181 yards and two TDs ... 347 yards of total offense is the most by a Moc since B.J. Coleman had 428 (432 pass/-4 rush) at Furman on Oct. 23, 2010.
• D.J. Key - Game-high 10 tackles.
• Gunner Miller - Second career INT...returned 25 yards ... finished with four tackles.
• Ron Moore - Career-highs with four catches for 55 yards ... third career TD catch.
• Keon Williams - 51 yards rushing on 19 carries ... two-point conversion to tie the game at 24 with 39 seconds left.
LAST TIME AT HOME VS. JACKSONVILLE STATE
No. 23 Chattanooga 38 - No. 10 Jacksonville State 17 - Sept. 10, 2011
• The 23rd-ranked Mocs posted a 38-17 win over No. 10 Jacksonville State at Finley Stadium.
• First win over a top-10 team since UTC beat No. 6 Appalachian State 30-27 on Oct. 28, 2000.
• UTC locked down on defense in the second half, holding Jacksonville State to just 17 yards on 23 plays.
• The Mocs held JSU to 1/13 on third downs in the game.
• The Mocs actually trailed 14-7 after the opening quarter.
• Chattanooga outgained JSU 212-55 in rushing yards. The Mocs are 12-2 when outrushing their opponent under Huesman.
• RB - Chris Awuah - 170 all-purpose yards (77 rush, 57 catch, 36 return) ... game-high 77 yards on 17 carries with 2 TDs ... 2nd career game with 2+ rushing TDs.
• WR - Joel Bradford - Tied a career-high with 15 catches ... totaled 162 yards and on TD.
• QB - B.J. Coleman - 23-33 passing for 296 yards and two TDs ... career long 19-yard run in the first quarter.
• LB - Wes Dothard - 30-yard INT return for a touchdown ... finished with a five tackles, forced fumble, PBU and QBH.
• DL - Joshua Williams - 1.5 sacks ... six tackles and one QBH.
IT’S ALL IN THE NAME
On first reference, it is acceptable to refer to us as the “University of Tennessee at Chattanooga”. After that, we prefer to be called “Chattanooga” or “UTC.” Our nickname is “Mocs.”
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOCS
• UTC head coach Russ Huesman is in his sixth season at his alma mater. He is 31-26 overall and 23-17 in Southern Conference action. The Mocs only won 32 games total in the 10 years prior to Huesman’s arrival.
• Coming off an 8-4 record and a share of the SoCon title in 2013, Chattanooga was ranked as high as No. 14 in the FCS preseason polls. Currently, UTC is No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 13 in The Sports Network Top 25, the two polls recognized by the NCAA. The Mocs are tied for their highest ranking in the Russ Huesman era.
• Senior DE Davis Tull is on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List for the second year in a row. He is the FCS active leader and the Mocs’ all-time record holder with 26.5 sacks in three seasons. He is the two-time defending SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and the coaches pick to win the award again.
• Junior QB Jacob Huesman is on the Walter Payton Award Watch List. He was the 2013 SoCon Offensive Player of the Year and No. 4 in the nation with a 68.3 completion percentage.
SCOUTING JACKSONVILLE STATE
• Jacksonville State returns 77 letterwinners, including 18 starters, from last season’s team that finished with an 11-4 record and reached the FCS quarterfinals. The team’s final No. 10 ranking by The Sports Network was the highest in the program’s Division I history.
• JSU lost its season opener 45-7 at No. 8 Michigan State on Friday, Aug. 29.
• JSU entered 2014 ranked No. 6 by The Sports Network and No. 8 in the FCS Coaches Poll and is the preseason favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference.
• The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach John Grass, who served as the program’s offensive coordinator in 2013. An alumnus of JSU, Grass previously coached at the high school level for 17 years, compiling a 122-61 record.
• Sophomore quarterback Eli Jenkins, who earned Freshman All-America honors last season, ranked second on the team in rushing (953 yards) while also completing 60 percent of his passes (74-for-124) for 887 yards and three touchdowns. He started eight games as a red-shirt freshman.
• Jenkins split time with former Minnesota transfer senior Max Shortell. Shortell was 10-18 for 117 yards and a TD against the Spartans.
• JSU also has Georgia transfer Christian LeMay at QB. He was 3-6 for 23 yards and an INT, while rushing five times for 23 yards at Michigan State.
• Senior running back DaMarcus James returns following his junior All-America campaign that saw him set single-season school records with 1,477 rushing yards, 29 rushing touchdowns and 174 points. He also set a single-game JSU record with five rushing TDs at Austin Peay. James was named a second-team preseason All-American by The Sports Network and the preseason Offensive Player of the Year in the OVC.
• The Gamecocks return their top-eight receptions leaders from last season, including Josh Barge, who garnered Freshman All-America accolades after recording 58 catches for 885 yards; both of those totals rank third most in a JSU single-season.
• Two SEC transfers highlight their defensive line. LaMichael Fanning, a junior from Alabama, is in his first year for the Gamecocks, but has already picked up third-team preseason All-America honors from The Sports Network. Fellow junior Chris Landrum, an Auburn transfer, is a preseason OVC selection after recording four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss last season.
• Jacksonville State returns six starters on defense, which features a 3-4 alignment.
SEASON NO. 107
The Chattanooga Mocs enter their 107th season of football in the fall of 2014. The University of Chattanooga was founded in 1886 and football began play in 1904. No teams were fielded in 1917 and 1918 due to World War I. There was also a two-year hiatus from football action during World War II in 1943 and 1944. The Mocs have an all-time record of 502-508-35 (.497) and have won 11 conference titles.
ALL-TIME HOME OPENERS
The Chattanooga Mocs are 72-31-3 (.693) in home openers all-time. UTC has posted a 10-6 (.625) mark in the 16 openers at Finley Stadium. It was 62-21-3 (.738) in home openers in the 86 seasons played on Chamberlain Field. The Mocs are 3-2 in the five home openers during the Russ Huesman era.
ATTENDANCE IN THE HUESMAN ERA
UTC has seen a dramatic growth in attendance at home football games since the hiring of Russ Huesman in December 2008. Seven of the Mocs’ top 10 crowds in school history have come in the 26 home games of the Huesman era. Chattanooga is averaging 10,603 fans per game since the start of 2009. Prior to Huesman’s arrival, UTC averaged 5,767 fans per game in the 2008 season. UTC averaged over 9,500 fans per game in each of his five years. Only once in the previous 12 seasons before Coach Huesman did Chattanooga football have that big of an average.