The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team is back on the road this weekend, visiting No. 15 Georgia Southern. The Mocs open Southern Conference action against the Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Ga. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m.
The Mocs are off to a 2-1 start, including consecutive wins over Georgia State (42-14) and Austin Peay (42-10). UTC lost its season opener to UT-Martin (21-31) on Aug. 29.
Georgia Southern is 2-1 overall, with wins against Savannah State (77-9) and St. Francis (Pa.) (59-17). The Eagles are 0-1 in SoCon action after dropping their league opener to No. 10 Wofford (20-30) on Sept. 14 in Spartanburg.
Both teams are coming off a bye week. UTC is 3-1 following a week off under head coach Russ Huesman, including last year’s 31-10 win at Furman on Oct. 13. This is just the second time in the Huesman era that the Mocs are facing a team coming off its bye week. The other was a 45-10 loss at Elon on Oct. 24, 2009. Chattanooga also faces The Citadel on Oct. 26 after the Bulldogs’ week off.
MOCS SPORTS NETWORK
The Mocs Sports Network broadcasts the game on ESPN Radio 105.1 The Zone in Chattanooga. Jim Reynolds is in his 34th year as the play-by-play Voice of the Mocs. Todd Agne has provided the color commentary for the past 17 years, while Will Poindexter is back as the sideline reporter. A free audio stream of the game is available through MocsVision on GoMocs.com. MocsVision live video is also available on GoMocs.com.
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.”
LAST TRIP TO STATESBORO
This is the Mocs last trip to Georgia Southern for the foreseeable future and its last game against the Eagles as Southern Conference opponents. Georgia Southern is making the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision and will compete in the Sun Belt Conference next season.
TOP TWO SCORING OFFENSES IN THE SOCON
Georgia Southern is not listed in the NCAA FCS rankings since it is making the transition to the FBS level and has more scholarships than FCS schools allow. If not, the Eagles would boast the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation at 52.0 points per game. The Mocs are currently No. 2 in the SoCon and No. 28 in the country in scoring offense at 35.0 ppg.
TOP-10 RUSHING OFFENSES
Georgia Southern has the top rushing offense in the nation at 407.7 yards per game. The Mocs are No. 3 in the SoCon and No. 9 in the FCS, averaging 271.0 yards per game on the ground.
Both teams are ranked in the top-25 in scoring defense and total defense. The Mocs are No. 1 in the SoCon and 15th in the nation, allowing just 18.3 ppg. They are also second in the league and No. 25 in the FCS, allowing 321.3 yards per game. Georgia Southern is No. 2 in the SoCon and No. 16 in the country in scoring defense at 18.7 ppg. The Eagles lead the league and are No. 21 nationally in total defense, allowing 308.7 yards per game.
TIGHT GAMES WITH GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Each of the four games against Georgia Southern in the Russ Huesman era have been decided by 10 points or less. The Eagles won last year’s game 39-31 in triple-overtime and took the 2011 contest 28-27 after stopping a two-point conversion attempt late in the game. The Mocs won 35-27 in 2010, while GSU won 30-20 in Huesman’s first season in 2009.
Georgia Southern 30 - Chattanooga 20 - Oct. 17, 2009 - Statesboro, Ga.
Chattanooga 35 - Georgia Southern 27 - Oct. 16, 2010 - Chattanooga
No. 1 Georgia Southern 28 - No. 23 Chattanooga 27 - Oct. 8 - Statesboro, Ga.
No. 2 Georgia Southern 39 - Chattanooga 31 (3OT) - Oct. 27 - Chattanooga
MOCS DEFENSE IS A COLLECTIVE EFFORT
The Mocs have five defensive players on the preseason All-SoCon first team and four earned preseason All-American honors. UTC is currently leading the league in scoring defense (18.3 ppg) and second in the SoCon in total defense (321.3 ypg). However, not one of UTC’s defenders is in the top-20 in the SoCon in tackles. Senior Kadeem Wise is tied for No. 24 with 20 stops on the year.
MORE NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOCS
• As team, UTC is No. 22 in the FCS in pass efficiency with a 151.98 rating.
• The Mocs are tied for the SoCon lead and No. 31 in the FCS with a +2 turnover margin.
• Chattanooga is No. 12 in the nation for fewest penalty yards per game at 33.3.
• UTC leads the SoCon and is No. 9 in the nation in 3rd-down conversions (21-40 - 53%).
• The Mocs have only allowed 14 points in the first half this season.
• UTC allows the fewest first downs in the SoCon and are No. 22 in the FCS (17.3 per game).
• Sophomore QB Jacob Huesman is No. 1 in the SoCon and No. 12 in the nation in points responsible for (6 TDs passing and two rushing).
• Junior TE Faysal Shafaat is second in the SoCon and No. 11 in the FCS with four receiving TDs. Shafaat leads the team with 129 yards on nine catches.
• Junior RB Keon Williams is second in the SoCon and No. 24 in the FCS with four rushing TDs. He leads the team and is second in the SoCon with 97.7 rushing yards per game.
• Senior DB Kadeem Wise leads the SoCon and is No. 11 in the nation with five passes defended.
• 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.
• 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).
MORE NOTES ON GEORGIA SOUTHERN
• Georgia Southern leads the SoCon in passing defense, allowing just 125.0 yards per game...that is also No. 6 in the FCS.
• The Eagles are also No. 1 in the SoCon in pass efficiency defense at 77.9.
• Georgia Southern is last in the SoCon in penalty yards at 78.0 per game.
• GSU leads the league in third down defense, allowing just 32% (16-50).
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE GEORGIA SOUTHERN GAME
• UTC is 5-12 against ranked FCS opponents in the Russ Huesman ear.
• This is the 27th meeting in the series that has historically been owned by Georgia Southern...dating back to 1984, UTC is just 4-22 against the Eagles.
• Three of the Mocs four wins in the series have come in the last seven years.
• UTC is 1-12 in Statesboro...the lone win was a 27-26 triumph on Sept. 22, 2007.
MOCS IN SOCON OPENERS
In 36 years in the Southern Conference, the Mocs have won their league opener only 12 times
... UTC is 6-10 when opening SoCon play at home, 6-14 on the road. The Mocs have not won their SoCon opener since a 45-38 OT win at Georgia Southern on Sept. 22, 2007.
COACH HUESMAN AT A GLANCE
Russ Huesman is 25-22 in his five 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 22-17 against FCS teams with 12 of those losses coming against ranked opponents, including eight in the top-10. He is 17-157 in SoCon action, including 9-7 on the road in league action.
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.
GAME NOTES VS. AUSTIN PEAY - SEPT. 14
• Mocs scored on the opening two drives for the second-straight game.
• Chattanooga led 35-7 at the break … UTC has outscored its opponents 56-14 in the first half this season.
• UTC’s 35 first-half points are the most in the first 30 minutes of a game since scoring 42 in a 72-17 win over Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 16, 2000.
• The Mocs have scored 40+ points in back-to-back games for the first time since a 51-7 win against Western Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011, and a 42-18 win at Elon on Oct. 22, 2011.
• This is the second-straight game the Mocs have posted four rushing TDs.
• The Mocs have put up 671 rushing yards in the last two games combined…most rushing yards in consecutive games since 1991 – 307 vs. UT Martin (8/31/91) and 367 vs. Tennessee Tech (9/7/91).
• The Mocs defense allowed 121 yards in 27 plays on APSU’s two scoring drives … the Governors had 69 yards on 37 plays in their other 10 drives of the game.
• Jacob Huesman – So.-QB - 15-20 passing for 142 yards, TD and INT ... 19th career TD pass … 10th all-time at UTC ... ran 12 times for 40 yards.
• Gunner Miller – Sr.-LB - Fourth career INT .... second career pick-6…last was at Elon (10/22/11) ... one of only five Mocs with two career pick-6s.
• Muhasibi Wakeel – Jr.-LB - Career high and tied for team high with seven tackles.
• Keon Williams – Jr.-RB - 106 rushing yards and three TDs on 11 carries ... second straight 100-yard game … 3rd of his career ... 2nd multi-rushing TD game of his career…first was at The Citadel on 10/9/10 ... 21 carries and 253 yards with no yards lost in last two games ... first Moc with three rushing TDs since Terrell Robinson at Georgia Southern on Oct. 8, 2011.
GAME NOTES VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN - OCT. 27, 2012
• Chattanooga falls to No. 2 Georgia Southern 39-31 triple overtime...the Mocs drop to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the SoCon...Georgia Southern improves to 7-1 ... 6-1 in league action.
• The Mocs gave up a season-high 372 rushing yards to the Eagles...it was actually below Georgia Southern’s season-average 389.3 yards per game...GSU came into the game No. 2 in the nation in rushing yards.
• The last time UTC was in an OT game was a 45-38 win at Georgia Southern on Sept. 23, 2007.
• Sophomore Marquis Green lost a fumble on a kickoff return in the first quarter. It was the first turnover for the Mocs since the Appalachian State game on Sept. 22. The Mocs lost two fumbles on special teams tonight.
• After giving up a season-high 21 points in the first half, the Mocs held Georgia Southern to just three in the second half. Georgia Southern had just 114 yards of total offense in the second half.
• QB Jerick McKinnon ran for 141 yards and three TDs on 28 carries...it was the most yards and TDs the Mocs have allowed to an individual this season...the last time the Mocs allowed three TDs to an individual was to Taylor Martinez against Nebraska on Sept. 3, 2011.
• McKinnon’s 40-yard pass to Zach Walker - who had an outstanding one-handed catch on the play - was the longest pass play the Mocs have allowed this season.
• Georgia Southern’s 39 points and 427 yards of total offense were the most allowed by UTC this season.
• The Mocs’ 31 points are the most allowed by Georgia Southern this season...the Eagles came into the game ranked No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.4 ppg.
• Jacob Huesman’s 170 rushing yards are the most allowed to an individual by Georgia Southern this season...he also had the first multi-TD game against the Eagles in 2012.
• Toyvian Brand (DL - So.) - Career-high seven tackles.
• Wes Dothard (LB - Jr.) - Tied a career-high with a game-high-tying 15 tackles ... third game this season with 10+ tackles...eighth of his career.
• Jacob Huesman (QB - So.) - Career-high 170 yards and two TDs on a career-high 26 carries... second most rushing yards in a game by freshman in UTC history...James Roberts had 202 against ETSU on Oct. 14, 1989 ... most rushing yards in a game by a UTC player since Bryan Fitzgerald had 181 at Presbyterian on Sept. 19, 2009 ... Huesman was also 11-20 for 102 yards and one TD ... second game this season with 100 yards passing and rushing ... caught one pass for 16 yards.
• D.J. Key (DB - Jr.) - 11 tackles and a PBU ... third game this season with 10+ tackles...seventh of his career.
• Derrick Lott (DL - Jr.) - Career-high and game-high-tying 15 tackles ... nine were solos.
• Davis Tull (DE - So.) - Career-high 12 tackles ... career-high and game-high 3.0 TFLs.
WILLIAMS RUNNING STRONG
Junior running back Keon Williams has twice been named the league’s offensive player of the week this season. He is second in the league with 97.7 rushing yards per game and four rushing TDs. He posted 106 yards on 11 carries with three scores against Austin Peay. He also had 147 yards and a TD on 20 carries at Georgia State. He currently leads the league with 7.5 yards per carry.
HUESMAN OFF TO A HOT START
Sophomore QB Jacob Huesman is off to a fast start to the 2013 season. He is currently No. 4 in the SoCon with 222.0 yards of total offense per game. He is also fifth in passing at 150.7 passing yards per game, third in passing efficiency with a 150.4 rating and 8th in rushing at 71.3 yards per game.
Huesman is also starting to make a mark on the Mocs career lists. He has 19 touchdown passes and is one shy of Cedric Stevens (2004) for ninth on the Mocs all-time list. He should also break into the top-10 for career passing yards (2,164) before the end of the season. He also topped 1,000 career rushing yards (1,118) against Georgia State.
POLLARD CLIMBING SCORING LIST
Junior PK Nick Pollard went 6-6 on PATs against Austin Peay, tying a career-high. He is No. 8 on the Mocs all-time scoring list with 132 career points. He needs six more points to pass Craig Camay (2006-09) for seventh place.