The Chattanooga Mocs hit the road this weekend for a visit to the 11th-ranked Citadel on Saturday, Sept. 22. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, S.C.
UTC is looking to improve on a 1-3 start (0-1 SoCon) but has a tough task against the Southern Conference-leading Bulldogs. The Citadel (3-1, 2-0 SoCon) already has wins over Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. Both the Eagles and Mountaineers were ranked in the top-10 when they lost to the Bulldogs. The Citadel's other win came in the season opener against Charleston Southern (49-14), while their lone loss was last week at N.C. State (14-52).
Chattanooga is coming off a tough 34-17 loss to No. 17 Appalachian State on Homecoming. The game was tied at 10 in the fourth quarter before ASU scored 24 straight points. UTC is 1-3 for the first time in head coach Russ Huesman's career and trying to avoid a 1-4 start for the first time since 2008.
The Mocs have faced The Citadel 45 times since 1926, more than any other opponent in school history. UTC holds a 26-17-2 advantage, but is just 10-12-1 in Charleston.
The last time Chattanooga visited The Citadel, they came away with a 28-10 victory on Oct. 9, 2010. Last year's contest in Finley Stadium featured a big second half comeback by the Bulldogs. UTC took a 24-0 lead into halftime, but gave up 28 unanswered points in the final 30 minutes to lose 28-27.
Fans can catch the game on the radio on the Mocs Sports Network. The flagship station is ESPN Radio 105.1 FM in Chattanooga. Jim Reynolds is in his 33rd year as the play-by-play man for the Mocs. Todd Agne has the color commentary with Will Poindexter as the sideline reporter. The Citadel will also have a pay-per-video broadcast of the game. A link to the video feed is available on the schedule page of GoMocs.com.
SEASON NO. 105
The Chattanooga Mocs are in their 105th season of football in 2012. 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 489-501-35 (.494) and have won 10 conference titles.
COACHES AT A GLANCE
Russ Huesman is 18-19 in his fourth year at Chattanooga after being hired as the 22nd head coach at UTC on Dec. 22, 2008. A 1983 graduate of UTC and a former defensive back, Huesman guided Chattanooga to a 6-5 mark in 2009, equaling the number of wins UTC had seen in the previous three years combined. The Mocs are 2-1 against The Citadel under Huesman.
Prior to his return to Chattanooga, Huesman spent the 25 seasons building a reputation as one of the top defensive-minded assistant coaches in the country. He spent five seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Richmond before joining UTC and also coached at Memphis (1998-2003) and William & Mary (14 yrs), serving as the Defensive Coordinator for the 1996-97 seasons. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Huesman played prep football at perennial power Moeller High School, where he lettered for four years under head coach Gerry Faust.
Head Coach Kevin Higgins (West Chester '77) is in his eighth season at the helm of Bulldog Football after spending four years in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions. Higgins is responsible for leading the Bulldogs to their first winning season in 15 years in 2007. He coached back-to-back NFL draft selections in 2009 and 2010 and in his collegiate coaching career, including seven as head coach at Lehigh, has coached 65 All-Conference selections, three Player of the Year honorees, three All-Americans and five NFL draft picks.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOCS
- Sophomore DE Davis Tull is tied for the SoCon lead and tied for No. 7 in the nation with 4.0 sacks.
- The Mocs are 19th in the nation in total defense, allowing 304.5 yards per game...that is good for No. 3 in the Southern Conference.
- Sophomore K/P Nick Pollard is No. 3 in the SoCon, averaging 41 yards per punt. He is using the same rugby-style punting as Joel Bradford did last year.
- Junior WR Marlon Anthony, the team's leading returning receiver from last season, got his first start of the year against Appalachian State. He was slowed by an ankle injury but posted five catches for 48 yards and a TD in his first extended action.
- Two-time All-SoCon defensive back Kadeem Wise has eight career interceptions and it tied for No. 8 all-time at UTC. His next pick will move him into a tied for sixth with fellow teammate Jordan Tippit (2008-11), Quintez Smith (2003-06) and head coach Russ Huesman (1978-81).
- UTC is coming off a 5-6 2011 record which included five losses by a total of 12 points. The Mocs lost three games by a 28-27 tally.
- UTC has three members of its defense on various preseason All-American teams, including junior linebacker Wes Dothard, senior defensive lineman Josh Williams and junior defensive back Kadeem Wise.
- UTC is picked to finish fourth in the SoCon by the league's coaches and media.
- Chattanooga had eight players named to the preseason All-SoCon teams, including three on the first team defense (Williams, Dothard, Key).
- Despite returning 17 starters, UTC is still a very young team in 2012 ... there are just seven seniors on the roster ... 14 starters on the current two-deep are sophomores and freshmen.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE CITADEL SERIES
- The Mocs have faced The Citadel 45 times, more than any other opponent ... UTC holds a 26-17-2 advantage ... the Mocs are 16-6-1 at home and 4-3 in Finley Stadium ... rivalry dates back to 1926.
- Before the road win in 2010, the Mocs had dropped three straight in Charleston.
- The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium was built in 1948...the Mocs are 7-12 all-time in the Bulldogs' current facility.
- The Citadel has won four of the last six overall.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE CITADEL
- The Citadel is tied with Samford at 2-0 in the SoCon race. The Bulldogs are trying to go 3-0 in the SoCon for the first time since 1992. That team won the school's second and most recent conference championship.
- The Citadel is looking to go 3-0 at Johnson Hagood Stadium for the first time since 2008.
- The Bulldogs defeated No. 3 Georgia Southern 23-21 at home on Sept. 8 and No. 17 Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., 52-28 on Sept. 15.
- The triple-option based Bulldogs are third in the SoCon and No. 5 in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 327.3 yards per game.
- Conversely, they are 119 out of 121 FCS schools in passing offense at 78.8 yards per game.
- At 34.5 ppg, the Bulldogs are No. 20 in the nation in scoring offense.
- The Citadel leads the SoCon and is No. 8 in the nation with 19 yards per punt return.
- The Bulldogs allow just 135.8 passing yards per game, No. 1 in the SoCon and No. 7 in the nation. On the other hand, they are 113th in nation in rush defense, allowing 255.3 yards per game.
- Mark Thomas is tied with UTC's Davis Tull for the SoCon lead (No. 7 nationally) with 4.0 sacks.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE CITADEL GAME
- The Mocs are No. 19 in the nation in Time of Possession, holding the ball for an average of 33:11 per game. Despite running the time-crunching triple-option, The Citadel is slightly behind the Mocs in TOP, averaging 32:05 per game.
- The Mocs are 6-6 in SoCon road games under Russ Huesman.
- The Mocs are 4-11 against ranked FCS opponents under Huesman, including 0-2 this season.
COACH TO CURE MD
Coach Huesman and all of the Mocs coaching staff are joining coaches all over America on Saturday in wearing a patch on their left arms to help defeat a terrible genetic disorder. It's called "Coach to Cure M-D." The American Football Coaches Association is working to raise awareness and research funding to cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most prolific genetic killer diagnosed in childhood. For more information, visit www.CoachtoCureMD.prg.
- Citadel freshman Dondray Copeland (DB) and UTC sophomore Tommy Hudson (WR) were teammates at Colquitt County HS in Moultrie, Ga.
NO. 17 APPALACHIAN STATE 34, CHATTANOOGA 17 - SEPT. 22, 2012
- UTC fell to 10-26 all-time against Appalachian State after a 34-17 loss... The Mocs have lost eight straight to the Mountaineers with the last win coming on Oct. 30, 2004 in a 59-56 contest.
- Attendance of 13,726 is the 6th largest all-time at Finley Stadium and the 4th largest in the Huesman Era... It is the largest crowd since October 16, 2010 when 17,414 were in attendance vs. Georgia Southern.
- The Mocs fall to 10-5 in the Russ Huesman era when leading after the 1st quarter.
- Appalachian State is the only SoCon team Huesman has not defeated in his tenure at UTC.
- UTC is 10-26 all-time against ASU ... The Mountaineers have won 25 of the last 28 ... UTC is 2-6 against ASU in Finley Stadium.
- The Mocs were stopped on five of their first six third-down attempts before converting seven of their last 10.
- The Mocs made their first red-zone stand of the season, stopping ASU on fourth-and-1 from the 10-yard line.
- ASU's Brandon Grier had a 70-yard interception return for a TD ... the last time the Mocs gave up a pick-6 was last season against Appalachian State when Jeremy Kimbrough ran one back 46 yards for a score.
- UTC had led or been within a point in the fourth quarter in each of the last four games against Appalachian State. The game was tied at 10 until ASU hit the go-ahead FG with 14:01 left in the contest.
- Marlon Anthony (Jr. - WR) - Caught 1st pass of the year on an 11-yard reception in the 1st quarter...1st first start of the season at wide receiver...Caught 1st touchdown of 2012 on an eight-yard score in the 1st quarter...Finished with five catches for 48 yards.
- Wes Dothard (Jr. - LB) - Recorded a season-high 13 tackles...6th game of his career with 10+ tackles.
- Shane Heatherly (Sr. - LB) - Tied career-high with eight tackles.
- Keith Mayes (So. - S) - 1st start of his career at safety.
- Chaz Moore (Jr. - DB) - Grabbed 1st interception of 2012, the 3rd of his career...career-high seven tackles.
- Nick Pollard (So.- K/P) - Career long 60 yard punt in the 1st quarter...42.7 yard average on seven punts...two inside 20.
- Terrell Robinson (So. - QB) - Threw his 1st TD pass of the season in the 4th quarter.
- Faysal Shafaat (So. - TE) - Career-high 58 yards on 5 catches...scored his 2nd TD of 2012 on a two-yard pass from Robinson.
- Davis Tull (So. - DE) - Picked up his 4th sack of the year...forced his 2nd fumble of the year...finished with a season-high seven tackles.
THE CITADEL 28, NO. 15 CHATTANOOGA 27 - OCT. 1, 2011
- The Mocs allowed 28 unanswered points in the final 21 minutes of the game to fall to The Citadel 28-27...UTC dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Southern Conference...it was the first of three 28-27 losses for the Mocs in 2011.
- UTC allowed 62 yards of total offense and no points in the first half...206 yards in the second half.
- The Mocs scored a TD on their first two trips to the Red Zone...The Citadel had allowed just one Red Zone TD in 10 opponent trips on the year coming into the game.
- Chattanooga's second TD was a 6-play, 85-yard drive, capped off by a 60-yard TD strike from Coleman to true freshman Ron Moore.
- Wes Dothard (LB - So.) - Then career-high 12 tackles ... also had a sack, two TFLs and forced a fumble ... third straight game with 10+ tackles ... third straight game with a career-high in tackles.
- Ron Moore (WR - Fr.) - True freshman seeing his first career action ... first catch was a 60-yard TD strike...second catch was a 52-yard strike late in the second half ... finished with two receptions for 112 yards and one TD.
CHATTANOOGA 28, THE CITADEL 10 - OCT. 9, 2010
- UTC got its second SoCon road win of the season, 28-10 over The Citadel in Charleston, S.C...Chattanooga gets multiple road SoCon wins in a season for the first time since winning two in 1998...couple this game with the Western Carolina win on Sept. 25 and UTC has won back-to-back SoCon road games for the first time since defeating The Citadel (7-6) and Marshall (29-23) in 1990.
- The Citadel put up 192 rushing yards in the FIRST HALF...it is the most rushing yards the Mocs have allowed in a GAME this season...they finished with 238 yards on the ground.
- Despite losing the time of possession battle 31:09 to 28:51, the Mocs held the ball for 11:43 of the fourth quarter.
- Gunner Miller (LB - Fr.) - Second-straight game with a career-high nine tackles.
- Keon William (RB - Fr.) - 101 yards on 19 carries...first career 100-yard game...added two TDs
- Kadeem Wise (DB - So.) - Picked off his fifth pass of the season...broke the 32-year old UTC freshman record for INTs held by head coach Russ Huesman (1978).
Of the 1,345 yards of total offense produced by the Mocs this season, all but 217 yards were put up by sophomores and freshmen. That means that underclassmen account for roughly 84% of the Mocs offense. With 17 total starters returning, the Mocs have a lot of experience back. However, UTC is still a young team in 2012. There are only seven seniors on the roster. Of the 62 Mocs that participated in a game last season, 22 were freshmen and another 17 were sophomores. There are 14 sophomores and freshmen who are listed as starters on the two-deep, including nine on offense, three on defense and two specialists.
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."
ROSTER, DEPTH CHART AND BREAKDOWNS
An updated roster can be found on pages 10-11 of the .pdf of the game notes. There is a roster breakdown on page 12 and a list of the starters and letter winners returning and lost on page 13. An updated depth chart is on pages 14-15.
HUESMAN IMPRESSIVE AT QB
Freshman QB Jacob Huesman put up some impressive numbers in his first collegiate start at No. 24 Jacksonville State. He had 21 carries for 166 yards rushing and one TD. It was the most rushing yards by a Moc since Bryan Fitzgerald had 181 at Presbyterian on Sept. 19, 2009 and the second most rushing yards by a QB in school history (197 - Richard Manning at Ole Miss on Nov. 9, 1968). It was also the second most rushing yards by a freshman in school history (202 - James Roberts at ETSU - 10/14/89). His 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage is the longest rush by a Moc since Brian Sutherland's 62-yard run against Appalachian State on Sept. 4, 2010. He was also 18-30 passing for 181 yards and two TDs. His 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.
He is currently No. 5 in the SoCon with a 125.2 pass efficiency rating and sixth in the league with 211 yards of total offense per game. He leads the team with 56 rushing yards per game. Against Glenville State, Huesman threw for 210 yards on 16-26 passing with two TDs. It was the most passing yards by a UTC freshman since Stan Nix put up 221 in a 16-14 win over Furman on Sept. 26, 1987.
DOTHARD NAMED TO BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior linebacker Wes Dothard was named to the 2012 Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. Dothard is one of 20 players up for the top defensive honor in the Football Championship Subdivision presented by The Sports Network. He is also a consensus Preseason All-American. Dothard is coming off an outstanding sophomore season that included 98 tackles, five forced fumbles, two defensive scores and First Team All-American honors from the Sports Network. He currently leads the team with 31 tackles, including three for a loss, a forced fumble and an interception.
WILLIAMS A CONSENSUS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Senior defensive end Josh Williams has been named to various preseason FCS All-American teams heading into 2012. He is the Mocs' all-time leader in sacks with 21.5 in his career. The Griffin, Ga., native led the SoCon in sacks last season (9.5) and earned first team honors from the league. He has started 34 of 36 games in his career. So far this season he has six tackles, a pair of QBHs and recovered a fumble.
WISE NAMED TO PHIL STEELE PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
Junior defensive back Kadeem Wise joined Dothard and Williams on the Phil Steele FCS Preseason All-American team. Wise made the fourth team while Dothard and Williams were third team selections. Wise is a two-time All-SoCon performer with eight career interceptions. He was the 2010 SoCon Freshman of the Year and a second team all-league pick in 2011. He has started every game of his career at cornerback and is the only Moc to be named All-SoCon in his first two seasons. He is currently third on the team with 22 tackles.
POLLARD NAMED TO FRED MITCHELL AWARD WATCH LIST
Sophomore Nick Pollard is one of 44 student-athletes on the 2012 Fred Mitchell Place-Kicker Award Watch List the selection committee announced prior to the season. The annual Fred Mitchell Award is provided to the nation's top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. Pollard (Smyrna, Tenn.) is coming off an outstanding 2011 season that saw him break the Mocs' freshman scoring record with 61 points. He connected on 31-of-33 PATs and was 10-of-14 on field goals, earning Southern Conference All-Freshman honors. This season he is 3-5 on FGs and 9-10 on PATs. He is also handling the punting duties and has a 41.0-yard average per kick.
MOCS CONTINUE TREND OF PLAYING TOP BCS OPPONENTS
Like most FCS teams, Chattanooga takes on at least one FBS squad each year. However, the Mocs have faced some of the best in recent years. Here is a rundown of the FBS opponents in the last four years and where each ranked when they faced UTC.
USF won 34-13 on Sept. 1, 2012
No. 10 Nebraska won 40-7 on Sept. 2, 2011
No. 2 Auburn won 62-24 on Nov. 6, 2010 - eventual BCS Champion
No. 2 Alabama won 45-0 on Nov. 21, 2009 - eventual BCS Champion
Florida State won 46-7 on Sept. 13, 2008
No. 4 Oklahoma won 57-2 on Aug. 30, 2008
UTC also faced the eventual Heisman Trophy winner for three straight seasons from 2008-2010, including Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (2008), Alabama's Mark Ingram (2009) and Auburn's Cam Newton (2010). The Mocs was the first of only two teams to sack Newton three times in a game in 2010.
The Mocs return a total of 45 lettermen from the 2011 campaign. There are 25 on the offensive side of the ball, while 19 return on defense. One specialist will also return for the 2012 season. There are 17 starters returning, including eight on offense, eight on defense and one on special teams. A complete breakdown of starters returning and lost is available on page 13 of the game notes pdf.
EIGHT MOCS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-SOCON TEAMS
UTC had eight student-athletes named to the SoCon Preseason All-Conference Team. Dothard, Williams and junior DB D.J. Key made the first team defense. Senior Adam Miller and sophomore Faysal Shafaat were on the second team offense while Wise and sophomore DL Davis Tull made the second team defense. Pollard was the second team kicker.
Key was Second Team All-SoCon last season, finishing with 77 tackles, three interceptions and nine pass breakups. He had a school-record 85-yard interception return for a touchdown against Western Carolina. He currently leads the team with 17 tackles and one interception.
Shafaat was on the SoCon All-Freshman team after making 19 catches for 179 yards and two TDs in 2011. Miller was a preseason pick last year and is a three-year returning starter at right tackle. He is a two-time Academic All-SoCon honoree and has twice been named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star team. Tull was a SoCon All-Freshman choice in 2011, posting 30 tackles and five sacks while starting all 11 games.
MOCS PICKED FOURTH IN SOCON PRESEASON POLLS
UTC was picked No. 4 in both the SoCon Coaches and Media preseason polls for the second straight season. Prior to that, UTC had not been picked that high in both polls since 1991.
FOUR ALL-SOCON SELECTIONS RETURN IN 2012
Of the seven Mocs who made the All-SoCon team in 2011, four return for 2012. All-American linebacker Wes Dothard heads the list that includes defensive end Josh Williams and defensive backs Kadeem Wise and D.J. Key.
15 CURRENT MOCS HAVE BEEN HONORED BY THE SOCON DURING THEIR CAREERS
In addition to the four All-SoCon team members who are returning in 2012, there are 11 others who have received either All-SoCon or SoCon All-Freshman honors in their careers. Marlon Anthony, Chris Awuah, Josh Freeman, Marquis Green, Gunner Miller, Nick Pollard, Keyon Reed, Terrell Robinson, Faysal Shafaat, Davis Tull and Keon Williams were all members of the SoCon All-Freshman team during their respective first seasons at UTC.
MAJORITY OF THE MOCS ARE FROM TENNESSEE AND GEORGIA
Of the 86 members currently on the Mocs' spring roster, 77 list Tennessee (47) or Georgia (30) as their home state. That means 89% of the roster is from Tennessee or Georgia, including 54% from Tennessee and 35% from Georgia. Four Mocs are from Florida, four from Alabama and one from North Carolina.
MOCS ROSTER INCLUDES A NUMBER FROM THE CHATTANOOGA AREA
UTC's football roster boasts 19 members from the Chattanooga area. Northwest Whitfield High School in Tunnel Hill, Ga., is currently the biggest feeder to the program with four former members on the Mocs' roster, including Adam Miller, Dustin Tate, Dean Haynes and Synjen Herren. Be sure to check out page 10 to see a full breakdown of the 2012 roster.
32 MOCS MAKE THE HONOR ROLL, 23 ON THE DEAN'S LIST
The Mocs football team set a new program record with 23 student-athletes on the Dean's List for having a 3.2 g.p.a. in the 2012 spring semester, including: Don Cope, Mike Hammons, Robert Harrison, Shane Heatherly, Brandon Henry, Irvin Hernandez, Will Hewitt, Shaun Hill, Jacob Huesman, T.J. Hurless, J.J. Jackson, Zach McCarter, Adam Miller, C.J. Murrell, Steven Nease, Brynn Oliver, Ethan Poe, Nick Pollard, Keyon Reed, Travron Taylor, Davis Tull, Robert Wagner, Austin Wilson. The following nine members of the football team made the Athletics Director's Honor Roll for posting a 3.0 g.p.a. in the spring: Nick Craig, Synjen Herren, Tommy Hudson, Deshion Kendall, D.J. Key, Michael Slowey, Darian Stewart, Jeff Veres and Muhasibi Wakeel. The 23 that made the Dean's List were also on the Athletics Director's Honor Roll.
TEAM CAPTAINS CHOSEN FOR 2012
Following the 2012 Blue & Gold Spring Game, team captains were named for the upcoming season. Selected by the players and coaches, the position of team captain for the Chattanooga Mocs is one of honor and responsibility. LB Shane Heatherly (Sr. - Waynesville, N.C.), RB J.J. Jackson (Sr. - Marietta, Ga.), DB D.J. Key (Jr. - Centerville, Tenn.) and OL Adam Miller (Sr. - Cohutta, Ga.) are charged with the task of leading Mocs Football in the classroom, on the field and in the community for the next year.
SEASON TICKETS TOP 2,500 AGAIN
The Mocs are looking to break a season ticket sales record for the fourth year in a row. Eventhough the year has started, season tickets will be on sale through the Georgia Southern game. UTC has sold 2,561 season tickets for the 2012 season as of Tuesday, Sept. 18. Chattanooga started the recent trend with the arrival of head coach Russ Huesman. In 2009, the Mocs sold 2,527 season tickets, topping that with 2,676 in 2010. UTC sold a school-record 2,761 for the 2011 season.
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 17 home games of the Huesman era. Chattanooga is averaging 11,234 fans per game since the start of 2009. Prior to Huesman's arrival, UTC averaged 5,767 fans per game in the 2008 season.