The No. 23 Chattanooga Mocs host what is being called the biggest regular season game in Finley Stadium history this weekend against No. 15 Wofford. For just the second time since the facility opened in 1997, two ranked teams face off on Davenport Field. This time, there is a Southern Conference Championship on the line.
The Mocs are 7-2 overall for the first time since 1980, but are more importantly in first place in the SoCon race at 5-1. The Terriers are 5-3 and tied with Samford for second in the league standings at 4-1.
Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) on Saturday, Nov. 9. Since this is the final home game of the regular season, the Mocs will also recognize its graduating group as a part of Senior Day festivities. There are 13 seniors who will be honored, including Bryant Belew, Hunter Dockery, Wes Dothard, Dean Haynes, D.J. Key, Derrick Lott, Gunner Miller, Chaz Moore, C.J. Murrell, Kevin Revis, Devin Scates, Patrick Sutton and Kadeem Wise.
The Mocs are riding a five-game winning streak, the longest in league action since joining the SoCon in 1977. This is the first seven-win season for Chattanooga since 1997. The Mocs have not had an eight-win campaign since 1980 when head coach Russ Huesman was a junior defensive back for the Mocs.
Wofford is coming off a bye week following a 34-27 home loss to Samford on Oct. 26. The Terriers have reloaded and are in the hunt for another championship, despite only returning five starters on offense and defense.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY"
Saturday is Military Appreciation Day at Finley Stadium. There will be special military-themed recognitions going on throughout the game and 1,000 camouflaged Power C T-shirts will be handed out at the gate. All active military, veterans and their families will get in FREE. This offer is also extended to our hometown heroes. All emergency personnel, police and fire can get in free in uniform or with a valid ID.
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.
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.
AVAILABLE ON ESPN3
The game will also broadcast on ESPN3.com. Darren Goldwater is the play-by-play announcer and Paul Maguire is the color commentator. This is the third of four Mocs football games on ESPN3 this fall.
SOCON RACE HEATS UP
With three weeks left in the regular season there are four teams still alive in the Southern Conference championship race. The Mocs lead with way with a 5-1 league record. Wofford and Samford are tied for second with a 4-1 tally, while Furman is still alive at 3-2. UTC controls its own destiny. Win against Wofford this week and at Samford on Nov. 16 and the Mocs are SoCon Champs for the first time since 1984.
NOTES ON THE RANKINGS
This is the 10th week the Mocs have been ranked in the Russ Huesman era (since 1999). UTC is 3-6 when ranked in the top-25 since 2010. The Mocs are 5-13 against ranked opponents under Huesman. UTC has defeated at least one ranked team in each of the previous four years of the Huesman era.
5TH YEAR SENIORS WERE THE FIRST TO BUY IN
The Mocs will say goodbye to five, fifth year seniors who were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Russ Huesman era. Hunter Dockery (OL), Wes Dothard (OL), D.J. Key (DB), Gunner Miller (LB) and Kadeem Wise (DB) all committed to UTC less than two months after Coach Huesman took the job in 2009. They have all made their mark on the program, and their 24 wins as a class at No. 7 all-time at UTC. They could break into the top-5 before the end of the year.
WINNING RECORDS BECOMING COMMON AT CHATTANOOGA
UTC’s 35-28 win at Appalachian State on Nov. 2 secured the Mocs fourth winning record in the last five years, all during the Russ Huesman era. UTC only had four winning seasons in the 23 years prior to Huesman’s arrival in 2009 (1986-2008).
UTC GOING FOR MOST LEAGUE WINS
A win against Wofford on Saturday would give Chattanooga a 6-1 record in SoCon action. The Mocs have never won six SoCon games in one season.
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
• The Mocs lead the SoCon in total defense (325.6) and scoring defense (18.8). They are 16th and eighth, nationally, in those respective categories.
• UTC has held four opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense this season, five in 2012 and six in 2011...UTC has held at least four opponents to less than 300 yards in each of Russ Huesman’s five seasons...Prior to his arrival in 2009, the last time Chattanooga held four opponents to under 300 yards in a season was 2000.
• Chattanooga also leads the league and is third in the FCS in passing defense (148.6).
• UTC leads the SoCon and is No. 28 in the nation in pass efficiency defense (115.50).
• The Mocs are allowing just 17.0 first downs per game. That leads the SoCon and is 22nd, nationally.
• Junior DE Davis Tull leads the SoCon and No. 13 in the FCS with 7.5 sacks ... he set the Mocs all-time sack record (25.0) with one at Elon on Oct. 19.
• UTC leads the SoCon with eight interceptions.
• The Mocs are 6-1 when allowing less than 24 points this season ... UTC is 26-5 in the Huesman era (since 2009) when allowing 24 points or less.
• The Mocs are currently No. 15 in the FCS and No. 4 in the SoCon in rushing at 235.4 yards per game.
• UTC is No. 25 in the nation and No. 4 in the SoCon in Pass Efficiency (144.49).
• Chattanooga is second in the SoCon and is No. 18 in the country in 3rd-down conversion percentage (54/106 - 45.7%).
• Sophomore QB Jacob Huesman is second in the league and is No. 11 in the country in completion % (66.1%) ... he also leads the SoCon in points responsible for (15 passing TDs, 8 rushing TDs).
• The Mocs have rushed for over 2,000 yards for the first time since 2005 (2,119) and just the second time since 1992. The school record fro rushing yards in a season is 3,332.
• Thanks to an 81-yard KOR against Western Carolina, senior Chaz Moore is No. 11 in the nation in KOR average (29.5).
• Junior Tommy Hudson is second in the SoCon and No. 28 in the nation with a 9.1 yard punt return average.
• Junior Nick Pollard is handling both the punting and place-kicking duties this season. He is 3-4 on field goals and averages 40.4 yards per punt.
• The Mocs are fifth in the nation for fewest penalties (3.9) and 3rd in the FCS for fewest penalty yards per game (31.7).
• 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).
MOCS GETTING IT DONE ON THE GROUND
UTC posted six straight games with at least 200 rushing yards between Georgia State and Elon. That run was snapped last week against The Citadel. Ironically, UTC had 197 rushing yards before they took a knee on three straight snaps to end the game. The Mocs were right back at it with 228 rushing yards at Appalachian State.
COACH HUESMAN CLIMBING THE COACHING RANKS
Coach Huesman is 30-23 in his five seasons with the Mocs. He just passed his former coach, Bill Oliver (1980-83), for fourth on the Mocs all-time coaching win list. Oliver went 29-14-1 in four seasons as coach of the Mocs. Joe Morrison (1973-79) is third with a 44-29-4 record in seven seasons.
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 (18.8 ppg), total defense (325.6 ypg) and pass defense (148.6). However, not one of UTC’s defenders is in the top 10 in the SoCon in tackles. Senior D.J. Key is No. 11 with 7.8 stops per game.
DOTHARD & KEY MOVING INTO THE DEFENSIVE RECORDS
Seniors Wes Dothard and D.J. Key are both broke into the Mocs record book for career tackles at Appalachian State. Dothard currently has 283 career stops and needs 11 more to pass Ron Fague (1994-97) for eighthall-time at UTC. Key has totaled 278 in his career and is 10th all-time at UTC.
DOTHARD TIED FOR MOST SOCON WEEKLY HONORS
Thanks to a 13-tackle effort at Elon on Oct. 19, senior Wes Dothard earned his fourth career SoCon Defensive Player of the Week award. That ties him with Junior Jackson (1986-89) for the most weekly defensive honors by a Moc from the league in school history.
Jacob Huesman is putting up some impressive numbers at quarterback this season. The sophomore captain is second in the SoCon and No. 11 in the nation with a 66.1 completion % (121-183). He is third in the league with a 143.8 pass efficiency rating. He leads the SoCon and is No. 16 in the nation in points responsible for with 15 TD passes and eight rushing scores. His 15 TD throws are second in the SoCon. He is also fifth in the league in total offense (222.3), fifth in rushing (86.7) and fifth in passing (135.7).
Huesman is also starting to make a mark on the Mocs career lists. He has 28 touchdown passes and needs eight more to pass Mickey Brokas (1970-73) for No. 5 all-time at UTC. He should also break into the top 10 for career passing yards (2,833) before the end of the season. He also topped 1,000 career rushing yards (1,684) against Georgia State.
TULL SETS UTC ALL-TIME SACK RECORD
After a statistically slow start to the season, junior defensive end Davis Tull has posted 5.5 sacks in the last four games. His one sack at Elon gave him 24.0 for his career, passing former teammate Josh Williams (2009-12) for the Mocs all-time record. Tull, the preseason SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and Buck Buchanan Award candidate, is currently leading the SoCon and No. 13 in the FCS with 7.5 sacks on the year.
MOCS AMONG ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS IN THE FCS
There are a number of Mocs listed among the active career leaders in the FCS. Senior DB Kadeem Wise is sixth among active players in the FCS with 11 interceptions. Senior LB Wes Dothard and junior DL Davis Tull are both No. 3 nationally with seven forced fumbles in their careers. Dothard is also No. 11 among active FCS player with 7.2 tackles per game. Tull is No. 5 in career sacks (25.0) and No. 6 TFLs per game (1.22).
WILLIAMS RUNNING STRONG
Junior running back Keon Williams has twice been named the league’s offensive player of the week this season. He is fourth in the league with 85.9 rushing yards per game and second in the SoCon with nine rushing TDs. He has five 100-yard games this season, and is second in the SoCon with 5.9 yards per carry. His averages are skewed after being injured on the opening kickoff last week against The Citadel. He did not play an offensive snap against the Bulldogs and missed the Appalachian State game with an ankle injury.
POLLARD CLIMBING SCORING LIST
Junior PK Nick Pollard is No. 5 on the Mocs all-time scoring list with 165 career points. He needs 11 more to pass Dennis Waters (1986-88) for fourth. He is also second all-time in career PATs with 99. He needs 12 more to pass Matt Vick (1997-00) for the top spot.
INSIDE THE RED ZONE NUMBERS
The Mocs did not have a red zone stop on defense this season coming into the App. State game, despite allowing a SoCon-low nine TDs on 19 trips. UTC had two red zone stops at ASU, including Appalachian State’s final possession. For the season, UTC has only allowed opponents inside their 20, 25 times. That is the second fewest in the SoCon. Of those 25 trips, only 13 have been TDs, which is also the second fewest in the SoCon.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT WOFFORD
• The Terriers have finished first or second in the nation in rushing in the last seven years. The team is currently ranked fifth in rushing offense at 273 yards per game.
• Wofford was 9-4 in 2012, for a tenth winning record in eleven seasons.
• The Terriers reached the FCS Playoffs five times in the last six seasons.
• In the 2012 playoffs, Wofford was defeated by North Dakota State, who won the National Championship for the second straight season.
• The Terriers have been nationally ranked each week since October 4, 2010.
• Wofford played the first two games on the road for the third time in ten seasons.
• The last two games against Chattanooga have been decided by a total of four points.
• Wofford earned a share of the 2012 SoCon title for the third time in the last six seasons.
• Wofford is 20th in the nation in red zone defense and 4th in passing yards per completion.
NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE WOFFORD SERIES
• This is the 20th meeting between these two teams, dating back to 1927.
• Wofford leads 11-8 while the Mocs are 6-4 in Chattanooga.
• Each of the last two games have been nail-biters. Wofford scored on its last possession in 2011 to post a 28-27 victory. The Mocs held Wofford scoreless in the second half, only to fall in overtime 16-13 in last year’s game.
COACH HUESMAN AT A GLANCE
Russ Huesman is 30-23 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 26-19 against FCS teams with 13 of those losses coming against ranked opponents, including eight in the top-10. He is 21-16 in SoCon action, including 11-8 at home. He has an 0-4 record against Appalachian State.
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 AT APPALACHIAN STATE - NOV. 2
• Chattanooga snapped a 14-game losing streak in Boone, N.C., scoring its first win in Kidd Brewer Stadium since 1983. The Mocs are 4-15 all time at Appalachian State.
• The Mocs are 7-2 for the first time since since 1980.
• This is the second five-game winning streak in the last four seasons, but the first time Chattanooga has won five straight league games since joining the Southern Conference in 1977.
• This is the second, fourth-quarter comeback in as many games. UTC is 6-16 when trailing after three quarters in the Russ Huesman era (since 2009).
• Mocs converted a fake field goal in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7. UTC is 2-2 on fake FG conversions for a TD this season (Georgia State).
• The Mocs converted a fake punt in the third quarter for a first down. UTC is 2-2 on converting fake punts this season.
• Chattanooga snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Mountaineers overall. The last Mocs win was a 59-56 barn-burner in Finley Stadium on Oct. 30, 2004. With ASU moving up to the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference, the series will end for the forseeable future with the Mountaineers leading 26-11.
• The Mocs came into the game leading the league and third in the FCS in passing defense (135.0). They gave up 257 yards through the air today.
• The Mocs came into the game No. 15 in the FCS and No. 4 in the SoCon in rushing (236.4). They ran for 228 today. UTC posted six straight games with at least 200 rushing yards between Georgia State and Elon. That run was snapped last week against The Citadel. Ironically, UTC had 197 rushing yards before they took a knee on three straight snaps to end the game. The last time the Mocs had six games with 200+ rushing yards in a season was 1991.
• The Mocs came into the game fifth in the nation for fewest penalties (4.0) and 14th in the FCS for fewest penalty yards per game (33.9). They kept that theme going with just three flags for 14 yards.
• Xavier Borishade – Fr.-WR - Second TD reception of the season and the second in as many games ... Finished with two catches and a season-high 36 yards.
• Wes Dothard – Sr.-LB - 10 tackles and a QBH ... 11 career game with 10+ tackles…second this season and second in last three games ... has 283 career stops, passing Troy Boeck (1987-90) for ninth all-time at UTC.
• Jacob Huesman – So.-QB - 13-19 passing for 127 yards and two TDs ... team-high 132 rushing yards on 16 carries and a TD ... fifth career game with 100 yards passing and rushing…first this season ... 28 career TDs moves him past Tony Merendino (1975-78) and Brian Hampton (1995-98) for No. 6 all-time at UTC ... 15 passing and eight rushing TDs on the seasons.
• Senior D.J. Key – Sr.-DB - Eight tackles and a PBU ... has 278 career stops, passing Troy Boeck (1987-90) for 10th all-time at UTC.
• Nakevion Leslie – Fr.-DB - Pick-6 in the fourth quarter gave the Mocs a 35-28 lead with 2:52 left in the game ... first career INT ... finished with three tackles.
• Nick Pollard – Jr.-P/K - 41.0 punting average on five kicks ... tThree punts were downed inside the 20 ... went 5-5 on PATs…99 on his career passes Jack Teichmann (1980-83) for third all-time at UTC ... 165 career points passes Cos DeMatteo (1998-01) for fifth place all-time at UTC ... converted a fake punt with a 17-yard run.
• Terrell Robinson – Jr.-WR - Three catches for 24 yards and a TD ... second TD catch of the year…first since the Austin Peay game on Sept. 14.
• Davis Tull – Jr.-DE - Posted five tackles, 2.0 TFLs and a sack ... extended his UTC record to 25.0 career sacks ... has 7.5 sacks on the season.
• Kadeem Wise – Sr.-DB - Career-high 14 tackles…first time with 10+ tackles ... added a PBU ... 7th PBU this season…most he has had in a year in his career.
GAME NOTES VS. NO. 10 WOFFORD - NOV. 13, 2012
• UTC fell to No. 13 Wofford 16-13 in overtime. Chattanooga is 5-5 overall and 4-3 in SoCon. Wofford secures a share of the Southern Conference title at 8-2 overall and 6-2 in league play.
• The Mocs held Wofford to just 16 points, 10 in regulation and none in the second half. The Terriers came into the game No. 10 in the nation, averaging 35.8 ppg.
• The Mocs defense held Wofford to a season-low 215 rushing yards. The Terriers came into the game No. 2 in the nation with 372.9 rushing yards per game.
• UTC outgained Wofford 337-249 in the game.
• The Mocs did not force a turnover for the first time this season.
• Chattanooga did not commit a turnover for the fifth time this season.
• The Mocs were 11/18 on third down (61%). UTC came into the game third in the SoCon on third down at (40.6%).
• UTC is 5-12 against ranked opponents in the Russ Huesman era.
• The Mocs are just 1-7 in games decided by three points or less since 2009.
• Wes Dothard (Jr. - LB) - Team-high 10 tackles, including one for loss ... fourth game this season with 10+ tackles...ninth in his career.
• Tommy Hudson (So. - WR) - Six catches for a career-high 73 yards ... two punt returns of 23 and 20 yards...longest of the season for UTC.
• Jacob Huesman (Fr. - QB) - Season-highs 22-31 passing for 229 yards ... ran 24 times for 68 yards ... first game without a TD since the season-opener at USF ... was impressive on third down - 9-10 passing for 90 yards and seven first downs - hit five different receivers - also ran seven times for 30 yards and four first downs.
• Kendrix Huitt (Fr. - RB) - 39 yards and one TD on 14 carries ... third TD of the year.
• Terrell Robinson (So. - QB) - Eight catches for 54 yards ... one pass for completed to Huesman for five yards.
• Davis Tull (So. - DE) - Seven tackles, including a season-high three TFLs ... now has 16.5 TFLs on the season ... fourth highest single-season total in school history ... school record is 18.0 last set by Joseph Thornton in 2007.
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.