No. 4 Mocs Host Western Carolina Saturday for Homecoming - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

No. 4 Mocs Host Western Carolina Saturday for Homecoming

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CHATTANOOGA, TN  (gomocs.com) --  Playing off the hit movie franchise Back to the Future, “Back to the Scenic City” is the theme for this year’s Homecoming at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  After spending four of the last five games on the road, your Chattanooga Mocs are certainly looking forward to getting back home and playing in front of a big crowd. 

Sporting its highest national FCS ranking in school history, the No. 4 Mocs are set to host one of the hottest teams in the Southern Conference on Homecoming this weekend when Western Carolina come to town.  Kickoff at Finley Stadium is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) on Saturday, Oct. 31. 

The Mocs are riding a six-game winning streak to a 6-1 overall record and a 4-0 tally in SoCon action.  The Catamounts are 5-2 overall and a game back with a 3-1 league record.  WCU is on a four-game run of its own, their longest streak since 2001.

The Homecoming Game is sponsored by FSG Bank and includes all of the festivities surrounding the annual celebration. For more information on the Homecoming events during the week, visit www.utc.edu/homecoming

MOCS SPORTS NETWORK

The Mocs Sports Network broadcasts the game on 96.1 The Legend in Chattanooga.  Jim Reynolds has the play-by-play, with Todd Agne giving the color commentary and Will Poindexter on the sideline.  A link for a free audio broadcast is available on the football schedule page on GoMocs.com.  Fans can also listen to the game on the iHeart Radio app by searching for US 101 The Legend at 96.1 on their mobile device.

ESPN3/ESPN COLLEGE EXTRA

This game is also produced for ESPN3.  A link to the broadcast is available on the football schedule page on GoMocs.com.  Pete Yanity has the play-by-play and Corey Miller is the color commentator.    This game has also been selected to broadcast on ESPN College Extra.  Subscribers can find it on ESPN College Extra 6. 

TICKETS

Tickets for the game are available now at the UTC Ticket Office by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online on GoMocs.com.  In addition to the regular business hours of the UTC Ticket Office (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at McKenzie Arena, the First Tennessee Pavilion ticket window at Finley Stadium opens at 9:00 a.m. (E.D.T.) on gameday.

FREE DOWNTOWN SHUTTLE

The FREE CARTA Electric Shuttle runs from downtown to the corner of Main & Chestnut streets.  Service begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 5:45 p.m.

TRUNK OR TREAT

With this game falling on Halloween, there will be a Trunk or Treat in the Pavilion between the Moc Walk at 11:45 a.m. and the Spirit Parade at 1:30 p.m.  All kids are encouraged to wear their Blue & Gold or their Halloween costume and trick or treat through the Pavilion prior to the game. 

100TH GAME AT FINLEY

This is the 100th game for UTC at Finley Stadium.  The facility opened in 1997 and the Mocs have a 48-51 overall record at home.  UTC is 24-11 at home in the Russ Huesman era (since 2009).  

HOMECOMING NOTES

• UTC is 59-23-3 all-time on Homecoming. 

• The Mocs are 5-1 on Homecoming in the Russ Huesman era (since 2009) ... only Homecoming loss was 34-17 against No. 17 Appalachian State on Sept. 22, 2012.

• UTC is 10-7 on Homecoming in Finley Stadium. 

• The Mocs are 4-1 all-time against Western Carolina on Homecoming.

NOTES ON THE RANKINGS

The No. 4 national ranking in both the STATS.com and FCS Coaches Polls is the highest in the FCS in school history.  UTC was ranked as high as No. 3 on Nov. 1, 1968, in the small college top 20, before the FCS was created in 1978.  This is the sixth week in a row Chattanooga is ranked in the top 10.  UTC has been ranked in the Top 25 for 29 consecutive weeks, dating back to Nov. 4, 2013.  That is the ninth longest active streak in the FCS.  UTC has been among the top 25 for 34 weeks in the Russ Huesman era (since 2009).  The Mocs are 20-12 when ranked under Huesman.

WINNING STREAK NOTES

• UTC has won six in a row for the third time in the Russ Huesman era ... prior to that, UTC had not won six in a row since 1977 ... Mocs are 13-2 in last 15 games ... 16-4 in last 20 FCS games.   

• UTC has won 11 consecutive SoCon games ... longest run in the league since Appalachian State won 26 in a row from 2006-09. 

• Chattanooga has won 10 straight SoCon games in Finley Stadium ... the last loss was in overtime to No. 2 Georgia Southern (38-31) on Oct. 27, 2012. 

• That Georgia Southern loss in 2012 was also the last time UTC has lost any game in October.  The Mocs have won 10 in a row in October.  

QUICK NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOCS

General

• UTC head coach Russ Huesman is in his seventh season at his alma mater.  He is 47-30 overall and 33-17 in Southern Conference action.

• The Mocs led the SoCon in home attendance, averaging 10,146 in six games in 2014 ... UTC hit that mark only four previous times in school history ... three of those in the Russ Huesman era (2009, 2010, 2011).  UTC is currently No. 26 in the FCS in home attendance, averaging  10,978 fans in three home games.

• A win over Western Carolina would give the 2015 senior class 31 victories in their career ... that would tie Coach Huesman’s 1981 class for second all-time at UTC ... the 1980 seniors won 33 games. 

Offense

• Senior QB Jacob Huesman finished tied for 11th in the Walter Payton Award voting and was named the SoCon Offensive Player of the Year in 2014.  He is the preseason SoCon Player of the Year in 2015 and on the STATS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List.   

• Junior offensive lineman Corey Levin won the Jacobs Blocking Award as the top offensive lineman in the SoCon last season.

• The Mocs are currently 17th in the FCS on third down (47/100 - 47.0%).

• Chattanooga leads the SoCon and is No. 15 in the FCS in Time of Possession (32:56).

• The Mocs ran for 245+ yards in five outings ... first time that has happened since 1980. 

• Chattanooga is No. 13 in the FCS in rushing offense at 227.0 yards per game.

• Junior running back Derrick Craine leads the league in rushing with 97.0 ypg.

Defense

• Chattanooga sacked Samford’s Michael Eubank six times for -38 yards … most sacks in a game for the Mocs since recording six against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 18, 2010 ... UTC also had five sacks at VMI ... the Mocs have 22 sacks on the year, No. 1 in the SoCon and No. 8 in the FCS. 

• Chattanooga is strong on third down, allowing just 34.7% (35/101) conversion.  That leads the SoCon.

• Mocs are allowing a SoCon-low 17.9 ppg ... that is No. 13 in the nation.

• Chattanooga leads the SoCon and is No. 15 in the FCS in first down defense (15.6).

• UTC leads the SoCon and is No. 9 in the FCS in passing yards allowed (157.3).

• The Mocs have posted a pick-6 in three games ... four defensive scores overall this season is the most since 2011 ... 17 in the Huesman era and 14 in the last four years. 

• Chattanooga allowed over 300 yards of total offense just once in the last four games.

• Junior DL Keionta Davis leads the SoCon in sacks (8.5) and TFLs (11.5).  He is second in the nation in sacks and 10th in TFLs in both categories. 

• The Mocs lead the SoCon and at No. 15 in the nation in total defense (297.7 ypg).

Special Teams

• Junior Henrique Ribeiro is a preseason first team All-SoCon pick and on the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List ... he is also a six-time SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week ... has won the last three honors.

• Ribeiro is averaging 43.3 yards per punt ... third in the SoCon.

• Ribeiro is 10-12 on FGs this season ... that leads the SoCon in makes.

• Junior C.J. Board had a career-long 48-yard punt return against Jacksonville State.  He is No. 15 in the FCS, averaging 13.3 yards per return.

NOTES TO KNOW ABOUT THE WESTERN CAROLINA SERIES

• This is the 42nd meeting in the series that dates back to 1973.

• UTC owns a 25-16 overall advantage.

• UTC has won eight of the last nine and six in a row.

• The Mocs have scored at least 42 points in each of the last four.

• Chattanooga is 14-6 at home and 7-2 at Finley Stadium. 

SCOUTING WESTERN CAROLINA

• The Catamounts registered their fourth-straight victory, 56-36, over Samford on Saturday ... the program’s longest win streak since 2001.

• Western Carolina’s 56 points are the most ever scored by a Catamount football team against a Southern Conference opponent.

• During Saturday’s victory, WCU senior QB Troy Mitchell became Western Carolina’s all-time leader for passing in program history, breaking the previous 36-year benchmark held by Mike Pusey (6,160 yds from 1977-79) ... Following Saturday’s game, Mitchell now has with 6,406 career passing yards.

• Mitchell’s two passing TDs also moved him into a tie with Mike Pusey (1977-79) for WCU’s all-time career touchdown pass record, both with 43 career TD passes ... Mitchell already owns WCU’s career records for total offense, pass completions, and touchdown responsibility.

• Despite 227 passing attempts this season, Western Carolina has only allowed six sacks all year. 

• Sophomore LB Daniel Riddle is the current SoCon Defensive Player of the Week.  He had 11 tackles and and INT in a 56-36 win over Samford ... he leads the SoCon with 12.5 tackles per game.

• Junior linebacker Troy Dickson is second in the SoCon with 10.7 tackles per game ... he is also second in the SoCon with 9.0 TFLs.

• Western Carolina leads the league in net punting at 39.6.

• Sophomore RB Detrez Newsome is third in the SoCon in rushing, averaging 90.6 yards per game ... he also leads the SoCon with 161.4 all purpose yards per game. 

• Freshman punter Ian Perryman leads the SoCon with 44.4 yards per punt.   

LAST TIME VS. WESTERN CAROLINA - NOV. 1, 2014

• The Mocs improved to 6-3 overall and 5-0 in SoCon play for the first time in school history with today’s 51-0 win at Western Carolina … The Catamounts dropped to 6-3 and 4-1 in SoCon action.

• UTC allowed just 102 yards of offense to WCU … 42 plays and 2.4 yards per play … fewest yards allowed against a Division I opponent since giving up 76 in a 10-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 12, 1987.

• Mocs’ defense forced three consecutive 3-and-outs to start the game … defense forced seven 3-and-outs overall … nine drives of three plays or less for WCU and one four-play turnover on downs.

• First shutout against a Division I opponent since beating Western Carolina 38-0 on Oct. 25, 2003 … first road shutout since a 27-0 win at VMI on Oct. 16, 1999.

• UTC’s 386 rushing yards were the most since putting up 404 in a 49-14 win against VMI on Oct. 15, 1994 … 6.4 yards per carry … 60 rushing attempts were the most for UTC since 60 against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 7, 1991 … Mocs had 115 yards on 15 rushes in the first quarter … 7.7 yards per carry … 16 carries for 138 yards in the second quarter … 8.6 yards per carry.

• 38 points in the first half was the most since scoring 38 in a 45-7 win over VMI on Oct. 17, 1998 ... it was the most points WCU had given up in a GAME all season (36 at South Florida in 36-31 loss).

• First downs were 26-4 in favor of the Mocs.

• Third-down conversions were 9/16 for the Mocs and 1/11 for Western Carolina.

• As dominating of a performance as the UTC defense had, no individual had more than seven tackles … Keionta Davis and Josh Freeman had two TFLs each.

• UTC had 512 yards of total offense ... topped 50 points for the second time this season … third 50+ game in the Huesman era (55-6 win over VMI on Oct. 4, 2014 and 51-7 win vs. Western Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011) … first time with two 50+ scoring games since 1951.

• Third straight game without a sack allowed by the offensive line.

• Jacob Huesman - 9-13 passing for 126 yards and two TDs ... 51-yard TD strike to Taharin Tyson ... 12 carries for 52 yards and a TD.

• Henrique Ribeiro - 3-3 on FGs for the second time this season ... 33-yard FG to end the half.

HUESMAN’S ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOKS

Senior QB Jacob Huesman is the Mocs’ first two-time SoCon Offensive Player of the Year and will own most of UTC’s school records by the end of the season.  Here is a look at where he ranks in the league and school record books.  See the sidebar on page 7 for a detailed look at the record books.

• 29-12 record as a starter at QB ... most wins by a starting QB in school history.

• Career accuracy 66.8% (661-989) is a SoCon record and second among among active players in the FCS ... 68.3% (164/240) in 2013 and 68.5% (226/330) in 2014 are the top two marks for season completion percentage in school history.

• 10,557 yards of total offense is the UTC record ... one of only three in SoCon history with more than 10,000 yards ... second among active players in the FCS in total offense ... 49th in FCS history to top 10,000 yards.

• 59 TDs and 23 INTs ... school record for passing TDs ... tied with Appalachian State’s Richie Williams (2002-05) for third all-time in the SoCon.

• Second all-time at UTC with 7,151 passing yards ... needs 80 yards to pass Chris Sanders (1999-00) for the school record.

• School-record 661 completions is fifth all-time in the SoCon ... 33 shy of Greg Ryan (ETSU - 1993-96) for fourth.

• Second all-time at UTC with 3,406 rushing yards ... needs 250 yards to pass Gwain Durden (1977-80) for the school record ... needs 71 yards to pass James Madison’s Rodney Landers (2005-08) for ninth all-time in rushing yards for FCS quarterbacks.

• School-record 35 career rushing TDs.

• 94 total TDs is a school record and second among active players in the FCS and third all-time in the SoCon.

• 210 career points is third all-time at UTC ... needs six points to pass Rodney Allen (1989-92) for second. 

• First Moc with 4,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in a career ... topped both marks against VMI on Oct. 4, 2014 ... active career leader in the SoCon for rushing yards and passing yards.

• Just the third in SoCon history with 4,000 passing and 3,000 rushing [Armanti Edwards - ASU (2006-09), Greg Hill - GSU (1996-99)].

KEIONTA DAVIS HAVING A GREAT YEAR

Keionta Davis is up to No. 2 in the FCS in sacks (8.5) and No. 10 in the country in TFLs (11.5). He is already third all-time at UTC with 15.5 in his career.  That would make the top 3 in school history all under the tutelage of Russ Huesman and defensive line coach Marcus West.  Davis Tull (2010-14) – 37.0 and Josh Williams (2009-13) 23.0 are the other two.

RIBEIRO ONE OF THE TOP KICKERS AROUND

Junior Henrique Ribeiro is having a great year kicking and punting.  The Fred Mitchell Award Candidate is 24-24 on PATs and has a current streak of 67 in a row is a school record and the seventh longest streak in SoCon history.  He is 10-12 on field goals on the year, after tying a school record with four at VMI.  He leads the SoCon in makes.  He has won the last three SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week awards, and is also third in the SoCon in punting at 43.3 yards per kick.      

SEASON NO. 108

The Chattanooga Mocs enter their 108th season of football in the fall of 2015.  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 518-512-35 (.503) and have won 12 conference titles.

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.”

COACH HUESMAN AT A GLANCE

A three-time SoCon Coach of the Year (2009, 2013, 2014), Russ Huesman is 47-30 (.610) in his seven years at Chattanooga after being hired as the 22nd head coach at UTC on Dec. 22, 2008.  The Mocs won 44 games in the 12 previous seasons to his arrival in 2009.  

Huesman was 10th in the voting for the Eddie Robinson Award for the National Coach of the Year in 2014.  He garnered 109 points, including seven first-place nods.  It was the second year in a row he was a finalist for the Robinson Award, finishing 17th in 2013.

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 41-22 against FCS teams with 15 of those losses coming against ranked opponents, including 10 in the Top 10.  He is 34-17 (.667) in SoCon action.  The program won 29 league games the previous 12 campaigns to 2009 (29-63).  He is 24-11 (.686) at home, 23-19 (.548) on the road. There were just 17 road wins in the prior 12 years (1997-2008).

Prior to his return to Chattanooga, Huesman spent 25 seasons building a reputation as one of the top defensive-minded assistant coaches in the country. He spent five years 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 from 1996-97. 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.

CHEER LOCAL

Cheer Local has become the mantra for Mocs Athletics in their home town of Chattanooga.  It is a perfect slogan for the football team who has 29 student-athletes from the Chattanooga area.  That is the most local talent on the roster since 2002.

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 35 home games of the Huesman era.  Chattanooga is averaging 10,553 fans per game since the start of 2009.  Prior to Huesman’s arrival, UTC averaged 5,767 fans per game in the 2008 season.  UTC averaged over 9,500 fans per game in each of his six years. Only once in the previous 12 seasons before Coach Huesman did Chattanooga football have that big of an average.

WINNING RECORDS BECOMING COMMON AT CHATTANOOGA

UTC secured its sixth win of the year at Wofford, assuring the Mocs of their sixth winning season in seven years under head coach Russ Huesman.  UTC only had four winning seasons in the 23 years prior to Huesman’s arrival in 2009 (1986-2008).

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