UT Martin Skyhawks (0-0, 0-0 OVC) at No. 24 Chattanooga Mocs (0-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Thursday – Aug. 29 – 7:37 p.m. (E.D.T.)
Finley Stadium (20,668) – Chattanooga, Tenn.
TV: CSS – Jim Reynolds (pxp), Scott McMahen (color), Keith Cawley (sideline)
Radio: Mocs Sports Nework – ESPN Radio 105.1 FM The Zone (flagship) – Todd Agne (Color), Will Poindexter (color), Wells Guthrie (sideline)
Online: Live scoring and live MocsVision broadcast on GoMocs.com
The No. 24 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team opens the 2013 college football season this week against UT Martin. The Mocs host the Skyhawks on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7:37 p.m. (E.D.T.) at Finley Stadium.
UTC is ranked 24th in The Sports Network preseason top-25 and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches preseason poll. The Mocs return 21 starters from its 6-5 campaign last season. UT Martin is receiving votes in both polls after posting an 8-3 record in 2012, including a second-place finish in the OVC at 6-2.
MOCS SPORTS NETWORK
The Mocs Sports Network broadcasts the game on ESPN Radio 105.1 The Zone in Chattanooga. Todd Agne has the play-by-play with Will Poindexter giving the color commentary. Wells Guthrie is the sideline reporter. A free audio stream of the game is available through MocsVision on GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga is producing the game for broadcast on CSS. Jim Reynolds, the Voice of the Mocs, is moving over from the radio booth to handle play-by-play for the television broadcast.
UTC alum Scott McMahen is providing the color commentary, and Keith Cawley is the sideline reporter. Cawley will be set up in the west endzone pavlion where he will conduct interviews with a number of UTC and Chattanooga dignitaries. CSS HD is available in Chattanooga on Comcast 400/1671 and standard definition on Comcast 27 and EPB 32. Fans outside of the region can check the CSS Channel Finder on www.css-sports.com. The broadcast is also available as a part of the MocsVision package on GoMocs.com.
Tickets for the game are available now at the UTC Ticket Office by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online on GoMocs.com. Remember to use the promo code #gomocs to get print-at-home $13 general admission tickets.
FIREWORKS & GIVEAWAYS
There is a postgame fireworks display, along with a number of giveaways at the gate. Fans should look for blue & gold pom poms, 3,000 Tried & True Blue T-Shirts, 2,500 seat cushions from the Tennessee Forestry Association and schedule magnets from Bi-Lo as they enter Finley Stadium. The UTC Student Section will be packed with 1,500 thundersticks and 1,000 water bottles, courtesy of Zaxby’s.
UTC returns a total of 39 lettermen from the 2012 campaign. There are 20 on the offensive side of the ball, while 17 return on defense. Two specialists also return for the 2013 season. There are 21 starters back, including 10 on offense, 10 on defense and one on special teams. A complete breakdown of starters returning and lost is available on page 13.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOCS
• UTC is coming off a 6-5 record, its third winning season in the last four years. The last time the Mocs had three winning seasons in four years was 1984-87.
• UTC has five on various preseason All-American teams, including senior linebacker Wes Dothard, senior defensive back D.J. Key, senior defensive back Kadeem Wise, junior defensive end Davis Tull and junior tight end Faysal Shafaat.
• The Mocs are No. 24 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the Sports Network Top-25.
• UTC is picked to finish third in the SoCon by the league’s coaches, the highest preseason prediction for the Mocs since 1991.
• Chattanooga had nine players named to the preseason All-SoCon teams, including five on the first team defense (Dothard, Key, Wise, Tull and senior defensive lineman Derrick Lott).
SCOUTING UT MARTIN
The Skyhawks are coming off an 8-3 season in 2012, including a school-record six wins in the OVC. There are 33 letter winners returning, including 12 starters (6 offense/6 defense). Head coach Jason Simpson is in his eighth season at UTM. He has a 45-34 career record. Prior to taking the head coaching position at Martin, Simpson was the offensive coordinator at Chattanooga from 2003-05. UTM was picked fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason polls, based on votes by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Two of UT Martin’s returning starters – senior LB Ben Johnson and senior DL D.J. Roberts – were honored as preseason All-OVC selections.
Johnson was named a Preseason All-American by four different media outlets (Phil Steele Publications, Lindy’s Sports, Sports Network, Beyond Sports Network). That comes after a 2012 campaign which saw him tally an OVC-best 131 tackles (11.91 per game), which ranked sixth in the nation. The Primm Springs, Tenn. native also accumulated five tackles for loss and four sacks on the season on his way to All-OVC first team accolades.
Roberts earned All-OVC second team honors in 2012 after ranking third in the league with 11.5 tackles for loss. He also registered 53 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE UTM GAME
• The Mocs are 3-0 all-time against UT Martin. All three games were played from 1991-93, with the first two on Chamberlain Field in Chattanooga.
• Chattanooga is 59-45-1 (.567) in all-time season openers.
• The game features a top-25 offense agaisnt a top-25 defense from 2012. UT Martin was 18th in the FCS in scoring (33.6 ppg), 10th in passing (299.5 ypg) and 24th in total offense (427.3 ypg). The Mocs were 18th in scoring defense (20.4 ppg), 12th in passing defense (166.0 ypg) and 10th in total defense (301.9 ppg).
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.”
ALL-TIME HOME OPENERS
The Chattanooga Mocs are 72-30-3 (.700) in home openers all-time. UTC has posted a 10-5 (.667) mark in the 15 at Finley Stadium. It was 62-21-3 (.738) in home openers in the 86 seasons played on Chamberlain Field. The Mocs are 3-1 in the four home openers during the Russ Huesman era.
THURSDAY NIGHT HOME OPENER
This is the eighth Thursday night home game for the Mocs since Finley Stadium opened in 1997. Thursday night games have been very popular in the Scenic City with 30% larger crowds on average, based on the rest of the season’s attendance. Two of the six largest crowds in Finley Stadium history have occurred during these Thursday night contests. UTC drew 14,002 when it hosted Glenville State on Sept. 3, 2009, the fifth-largest number ever at Finley. The Mocs also had 13,186 fans for the Samford game on Aug. 31, 2000, the sixth-biggest crowd at Finley. Chattanooga is 4-3 when playing in Finley Stadium on Thursday nights.
SEASON NO. 106
The Chattanooga Mocs are entering their 106th season of football in 2013. 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 494-503-35 (.496) and have won 10 conference titles.
Five Mocs were elected captains by their teammates for the 2013 season. Senior LB Gunner Miller, Senior DB Chaz Moore, Senior OL Kevin Revis, Senior DB Kadeem Wise and sophomroe QB Jacob Huesman serve as captains for the upcoming season.
10 STARTERS RETURN TO A LOADED DEFENSE
The Mocs return 10 starters to one of the top defenses in the FCS. UTC was 10th in the nation in total defense in 2012, allowing just 307.9 yards-per-game. UTC was 18th in the nation in scoring defense (20.4 ppg) and 12th in the country in passing defense (166.0).
MOCS GRABBING PRESEASON RECOGNITION
UTC is ranked in the preseason in three publications. Chattanooga checks in at No. 20 in the Lindy’s Sports Annuals and The Sporting News polls and No. 18 in the Athlon Sports predictions. The NCAA recognizes the FCS Coaches Poll and The Sports Network Top-25. The Mocs are 24th and 25th, respecively, in those listings.
TULL & DOTHARD ON BUCK BUCHANAN WATCH LIST
Senior linebacker Wes Dothard and junior defensive end Davis Tull are among the 20 student-athletes across the nation tabbed as candidates for the Buck Buchanan Award, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Defensive Player of the Year Award. This is the second straight year Dothard has been on the Buchanan Watch List, and the first time two Mocs have been candidates in the same season. Dothard is a two-time All-American linebacker and finished 19th in the voting last year. He led the Mocs with 94 tackles in 2012, repeating as a first team All-Southern Conference selection. He was also a Buchanan Award finalist as a sophomore in 2011, finishing 25th in the national voting. Tull was the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, leading the league with a school-record 12.5 sacks. He also led the SoCon, and was No. 5 in the nation, with a UTC-record 19.0 tackles-for-loss.
Five Mocs grabbed preseason All-American honors heading into the 2013 campagin. Junior defensive end Davis Tull is on everyone’s list as a consensus first team pick. Senior linebacker Wes Dothard is second team All-American according to The Sports Network and a member of Phil Steele’s third team. Senior defensive back Kadeem Wise is a third-team selection by both The Sports Network and Phil Steele. Senior defensive back D.J. Key and junior tight end Faysal Shafaat are both on Phil Steele’s third team.
EIGHT MOCS ON THE CFPA WATCH LIST
The Mocs have eight student-athletes on the various College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists announced by the group during the offseason. Sophomore QB Jacob Huesman, junior TE Faysal Shafaat, junior defensive end Davis Tull, senior defensive lineman Derrick Lott, senior linebacker Wes Dothard, senior defensive backs D.J. Key and Kadeem Wise and junior punter Nick Pollard are all on the CFPA Watch Lists.
SOCON COACHES PICK MOCS THIRD
The Southern Conference coaches picked the Mocs to finish third in the league race, accorinding to the preseason polls. It is the highest preseason pick for UTC since the media predicted a third-place showing in 1991. The SoCon media selected UTC fourth in its preseason poll. Georgia Southern was No. 1 in both polls, with Appalachian State No. 2 in the coaches and Wofford No. 2 in the media. The Mountaineers were third in the media poll.
NINE MAKE PRESEASON ALL-SOCON TEAM
The Mocs put nine on the preseason All-Southern Conference team, as selected by the league’s coaches. Five made the first team defense, including seniors Wes Dothard (LB), D.J. Key (DB), Derrick Lott (DL) and Kadeem Wise (DB) and junior Davis Tull (DE). Tull was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Junior TE Faysal Shafaat made the first team offense. Senior OL Kevin Revis, junior WR Terrell Robinson and sophomore QB Jacob Huesman were second team offensive picks.
FOUR GAMES ON ESPN3...SEVEN ON TV OVERALL
The Mocs have four games broadcast on ESPN3 in 2013. The SoCon games against Furman, Wofford and at Samford, as well as the non-conference game at Georgia State, are all slated for ESPN3 distribution. ESPN3 is available in approximately 75 million homes to fans who receive their Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel. ESPN3 programming is also available to subscribers through Xbox LIVE and through the free WatchESPN app available on smartphones and tablets. The WatchESPN app is now available through Apple TV. UTC’s home opener is on CSS. Western Carolina is producing the game on Oct. 5 which will air on WTVC-TV (9.2) in Chattanooga. The Alabama game is also schedule for broadcast on the SEC Network.
COACH HUESMAN AT A GLANCE
Russ Huesman is 23-21 in his four years 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. Huesman is 21-17 against FCS teams with 12 of those losses coming against ranked opponents, including eight in the top-10.
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.
ROSTER, DEPTH CHART AND BREAKDOWNS
An updated roster can be found on pages 10-11 of the .pdf of the Summer Prospectus. There is a roster breakdown on page 12 and a list of the starters and letter winners returning and lost on page 13. A summer depth chart is on pages 14-15.
SEVEN ALL-SOCON SELECTIONS RETURN IN 2013
Of the eight Mocs who made the All-SoCon team in 2012, seven return for 2013. All-Americans Davis Tull (DE), Wes Dothard (LB) and Faysal Shafaat (TE) are all back. All-SoCon performers D.J. Key (DB), Kadeem Wise (DB), Derrick Lott (DL) also return along with SoCon All-Freshman Jacob Huesman (QB). Adam Miller (OL) is the lone All-SoCon honoree not returning.
14 CURRENT MOCS HAVE BEEN HONORED BY THE SOCON DURING THEIR CAREERS
In addition to the seven All-SoCon team members who return in 2013, there are seven others who have received either All-SoCon or SoCon All-Freshman honors in their careers. Marlon Anthony, Josh Freeman, Marquis Green, Gunner Miller, Nick Pollard, Terrell Robinson 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 88 members currently on the Mocs’ roster, 75 list Tennessee (46) or Georgia (29) as their home state. That means 85% of the roster is from Tennessee or Georgia, including 52% from Tennessee and 33% from Georgia. Seven Mocs are from Alabama, four from Florida and one each from New York and West Virginia.
MOCS ROSTER INCLUDES A NUMBER FROM THE CHATTANOOGA AREA
UTC’s football roster boasts 21 members from the Chattanooga area. Be sure to check out page 12 to see a full breakdown of the 2013 spring roster.
THREE MOCS IN THE NFL
Three former Mocs are on either practice squads or active rosters in the NFL. B.J. Coleman (2009-11), the seventh round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers in 2012, is battling for a spot as the backup quarterback. Chris Lewis-Harris (2008-11) saw action in the playoffs with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. Buster Skrine (2007-10) was a fifth round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and was a regular on the field in 2012.
2012 QUICK RECAP
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team put together at 6-5 record in 2012, finishing tied for fourth in the Southern Conference at 5-3. The Mocs have posted 6-5 winning seasons in three of the last four years, the first time that has happened since 1984-87.
CLOSE CALLS, TOUGH LOSSES
All four of UTC’s FCS losses came against teams who were ranked at the time. Three of Chattanooga’s four losses were by a total of 14 points and the Mocs were tied in the fourth quarter in all four losses.
SEASON TICKET SALES PUSH
The Mocs are looking to break the 2,500 season ticket sales number for the fifth year in a row. Chattanooga started the recent trend with the arrival of head coach Russ Huesman in 2009, setting a school record with 2,527 season tickets sold in his first season. The Mocs topped that with 2,676 in 2010 and 2,761 for the 2011 season. Sales took a slight dip last season with 2,506 sold.
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 20 home games of the Huesman era. Chattanooga is averaging 10,790 fans per game since the start of 2009. Prior to Huesman’s arrival, UTC averaged 5,767 fans per game in the 2008 season.