CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- Terrell Robinson returned. So did the defense.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team got creative on offense and was dominant on defense in a 35-0 home-opening rout of Division II Glenville State in front of an announced crowd of 9,077 Thursday night at Finley Stadium.
Jacob Huesman highlighted a 477-yard outing for the offense by throwing two touchdown passes in the first quarter, including a 44-yard strike to Robinson on the Mocs' second offensive play, while the defense limited the Pioneers (1-2) to just 78 total yards.
"I thought our defense stepped up and played like they're supposed to play," said head coach Russ Huesmsan said. "We actually dropped about 12 interceptions, and we have to make those plays when we have opportunities like that. But I was very pleased, and I think we played pretty well on both sides."
Defensive end Davis Tull fueled a defense that enjoyed its best outing in 25 years. The former Bearden High star recorded two of UTC's four sacks and forced an errant throw that produced one of Glenville State's two turnovers.
"We definitely wanted to come out and play better than we did last week," said Tull, who credited teammates for his four-tackle performance. "We wanted to come out, build some confidence and play better, and we did that."
Glenville State's 78 yards of offense were the fewest allowed by a Chattanooga defense since VMI mustered a mere 68 yards back in 1987.
Linebacker Wes Dothard led the team with six tackles and picked off the errant throw caused by Tull. Keyon Reed also forced a fumble that Josh Williams recovered.
"They're a good team, and to hold them to only 17 yards rushing, that's amazing," Dothard said. "When I looked up at the scoreboard at the end of the game, I couldn't believe it how little we gave up on defense."
The offensive gameplan revolved heavily around Robinson, who missed last week's loss at Jacksonville State after briefly quitting the team.
The former South Pittsburg star produced rushed for 24 yards, threw for 37 and added 52 more on two receptions while playing both quarterback and wideout. Russ Huesman said the offense had as many as 16 different plays designed with Robinson on the field that didn't involve him taking snaps.
"I thought our offensive coaches did a great job of scheming ways to get Terrell on the field with Jacob and get the ball in Terrell's hands," Huesman said. "The double-move he put on in the (touchdown catch) was a big time move. I'm really proud of Terrell and Jacob, but I thought our whole offense did a great job."
Jacob Huesman completed 16-of-26 passes for 210 yards and two scores, and also rushed for another 46 yards on seven carries. He followed his first scoring strike to Robinson with a 10-yard touchdown to tight end Faysal Shafaat for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
"I just try to have fun and overthink it too much, and it was a lot of fun tonight," Jacob said. "Winning is fun, obviously, but it's more fun when you can't put points up on the board and move the ball like we did.
"You could tell the energy was pretty high on our sidelines. We were having a good time."
Keon Williams added the Mocs' third first-quarter touchdown on as many possessions with a three-yard run, and Marquis Green capped the scoring with two second-half TD's. Green led the Mocs with 59 yards on nine carries, while Williams added 42 on the same number of totes before leaving with a separated shoulder.
In all, nine different Mocs caught a pass and eight different UTC players had at least one carry in what Huesman called a "total team effort."
The offense did turn it over twice in the red zone and also missed a field goal, but the overall effort pleased Chattanooga's head coach.
"We left some things out there, but I wanted our kids to get some confidence," Huesman said. "I think you'll go back and you'll see South Florida and Jacksonville State are going to be really good this year, and Jacksonville State is going to be really good this year.
"I think sometimes when you lose two games in a row, you begin to wonder if you're any good. This was a game we had to get confidence back, and we did. I still think we have a really good team."