The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team hits the road this week as the Mocs travel to Burlington, N.C., to take on Elon at 1:30 p.m.
The Mocs are 4-2 on the season and are coming off a 31-9 win over Furman. It was the first time the UTC has beaten the Paladins at Finley Stadium, snapping a 20-year home losing streak to Furman.
Elon is 2-5 this season with a 1-2 Southern Conference record. The Phoenix came up just short of upsetting No. 12 Wofford on the road last Saturday, falling 27-31 to the Terriers in Spartanburg, S.C.
UTC Head Coach Russ Huesman visited with the media at the Mocs Media Luncheon in McKenzie Arena today. He was joined by sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman and freshman defensive back Dee Virgin.
Below are excerpts from today’s interviews. The full interviews can be seen on MocsVision and are attached to this story.
Chattanooga Head Coach Russ Huesman
Thoughts on the win over Furman
“I thought we played pretty well, and after watching it on film I thought it was a great effort by our guys. I thought we played our best game of the year and the defense was exceptional. I think sometimes you take your guys for granted, but to give up 189 yards to a good team in the league is a good thing from the defense. I expect them to do that every time, but I thought we used great knee bend and used our hands. We fit gaps and didn’t give up big plays. We were efficient of offense and I thought we threw the ball well. I think the way we ran the ball and played defense was a good recipe.”
On the play of Davis Tull and Danny Ring
“He has been around the quarterback all year. I think he is doing a really good job, and what really helped him was getting Furman into some third-and-longs. There’s your blood in the water. He can get into that four-point stance and just shoot out of it. That’s when he is really special. We haven’t gotten a lot of teams into a lot of third-and-longs, and that’s what we have to do for Davis, Danny Ring and a few of those guys. I thought Ring played a good game and he had some great pass-rush moves. And he made a big sack on third down. He is turning into a really good player. There was a great combination of things that helped them out this weekend.”
Thoughts on Elon’s offense
“Elon is running the ball effectively and that’s what makes it tougher to defend Elon. We can’t just cover and spread people out to defend the pass. We have to defend both with the people we have in the game. They have always been good at throwing the football and they have great receivers, but now they are mixing in a good running game and it’s going to make them tougher.”
Jacob Huesman, Sophomore, Quarterback
On running the ball more as of lately
“We want to try to balance out our offense with the running and passing game. We don’t want teams to be able to say they’re going to load the box and it’s going to be over. We didn’t throw the ball 19 times in the first half against Western Carolina and that’s something that takes away from the passing numbers, but that’s something we don’t want to change. We want to spread it around and not be so one dimensional.”
Thoughts on making more short passes than long passes
“We haven’t been dropping back and throwing the ball deep. They’ve been quick passes and screens. We will bust one here and there, but we haven’t proven we can do that yet. We can do it, but it hasn’t worked out for us. We are trying to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and take a little pressure off the offensive line.”
Dee Virgin, Freshman, Defensive Back
On the defense’s improvements since Western Carolina
“We performed so much better this Saturday than last Saturday because we were so ready and energized. Coach Huesman told us we didn’t defend well against Western Carolina and we didn’t want a repeat of that game. We wanted to go out there and make plays. The seniors on defense really helped lead the way.”
Thoughts on the defensive line
“The front line is doing a tremendous job. The defensive back are sticking with the receivers and the line is doing their job in the backfield. Everyone was ready to come out and play after a great week of practice. Everyone was focused and ready to play.”