The Chattanooga Mocs will be without starting quarterback Alejandro Bennifield for the first four games of the season due to an academic related suspension handed down by the NCAA.

UTC Senior Associate Athletic Director Jay Blackman said Bennifield's appeal was turned down on Thursday night and his suspension begins Saturday in Montgomery against Jacksonville St. 

Blackman also confirmed that UTC has known about Dro's possible suspension "for a while."

Baylor School grad and Mississippi State transfer Nick Tiano will start on Saturday.

As a junior Bennifield threw for just over 2,600 yards with 26 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for six touchdowns with 377 rushing yards.

We expect to hear from UTC Head Coach Tom Arth before they depart for Montgomery, AL.