CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- After a late scramble, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team finally finalized its 2012 schedule this week.
The eleven-game slate, which was released Thursday, will feature five home games, including a Thursday night home-opener against Division II Glenville State on September 13. That game was added late after Presbyterian backed out of a previous commitment to play the Mocs at Finley Stadium.
The Glenville State matchup will be a rematch of Huesman's debut as the Mocs' coach in 2009, which was also on a Thursday night. Thursday night games have proven to be a big draw for UTC, averaging a 30% larger crowd than a Saturday game at Finley Stadium.
"Presbyterian calls and says they're buying us out, so then all of the sudden you're in scramble mode," Huesman said. "(Athletic director) Rick (Hart) came up to me a week ago and asked if I would be receptive to (playing on a Thursday), and I said I would as long as it helped the crowd and the excitement level.
"They did a little research and the numbers seem to show it will be a good deal for us."
Huesman would have preferred to add a Division I opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to replace Presbyterian, but scheduling conflicts and less than ideal travel circumstances prevented that from happening.
"Glenville actually came to us when we had the opening and we kept them on hold for awhile while we tried to find an FCS game that would work," Huesman said. "There's only so many teams available, and the ones that wanted to do it were so far away. We needed a home game, that was part of it, and the ones that would do it wanted a home-and-home commitment. When you start looking at those expenses, none of the alternatives made sense financially for us."
Non Division-I wins don't count towards FCS playoff eligibility, but Huesman wasn't worried about the Mocs having less room for error in their remaining ten games.
"Every year you go in with a goal to win the conference, and if you win your conference it doesn't make a difference that you had a Division II opponent on your schedule," he said.
UTC's first two-games of the season, at South Florida and at rival Jacksonville State, remained as previously scheduled. The game against the Bulls will be just the second time the Mocs have played a Big East opponent, having played at West Virginia in 2002.
Chattanooga will open the Southern Conference schedule against Appalachian State for a third straight year. That contest will be part of UTC's homecoming weekend on Saturday, September 22.
The rest of the Mocs' SoCon schedule includes home dates with Samford, Georgia Southern and Elon. Chattanooga will play The Citadel, Wofford, Furman and Western Carolina on the road in league play.
2012 Chattanooga Football Schedule
(home games in bold)
Saturday Sept. 1 at South Florida TBA
Saturday Sept. 8 at Jacksonville State TBA
Thursday Sept. 13 Glenville State 7:00 p.m.
Saturday Sept. 22 Appalachian State (Homecoming) 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Sept. 29 at The Citadel TBA
Saturday Oct. 6 OPEN
Saturday Oct. 13 at Furman TBA
Saturday Oct. 20 Samford 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Oct. 27 Georgia Southern 2:00 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 3 at Western Carolina TBA
Saturday Nov. 10 at Wofford TBA
Saturday Nov. 17 Elon 2:00 p.m.