Thursday, July 13, 2017

2017 Football Preseason Preview: Chattanooga

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2017 football opponents.

For the fifth game of the season, we'll look at the Chattanooga Mocs. The Cats travel to Chattanooga, TN for what will be the third away game of the young season.

The Cats last won against the Mocs in Chattanooga back in 2005, with a 38-20 victory. The Cats are currently on an eight-game losing streak against the Mocs.


When: Saturday, September 30 - Time 6:00 pm ET

Where: Finely Stadium, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV/video:  ESPN3

Games that will be played by the Mocs this season prior to the WCU contest:  (4)  Jacksonville State in Montgomery, AL - @ LSU in Baton Rouge, LA - UT-Martin (home) -  @ VMI in Lexington, VA.

The Series: The Cats own a 16-27-0 all time record against the Mocs, having first played in 1973. Currently the Mocs have an 8 game win streak going against Western, as the Cats last won against the Mocs in Cullowhee in 2008.

The last game played vs. Chattanooga: Oct. 29, 2016 - Newsome Breaks School-Record in 38-25 Loss to #8 Chattanooga - Western Carolina junior tailback Detrez Newsome rushed for a school-record 277 yards and two lengthy touchdowns, but it was not enough to derail the eighth-ranked Chattanooga Mocs. UTC’s Ricarde Bagley scored three touchdowns including two on the ground as the Mocs downed the upset-minded Catamounts, 38-25, on Homecoming at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.

Head Coach: Tom Arth - 1st season as HC of Chattanooga -  Tom Arth is the 23rd head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs football team, announced on Dec. 20, 2016. Arth is the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. A former NFL quarterback, Arth (35) owns a 40-8 overall record in four seasons at his alma mater. His building of the John Carroll program was highlighted by this year's road victories over two No. 1 ranked opponents in Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater. The 2016 Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year guided the Blue Streaks to the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the third time in his four-year tenure.

Last Season's Record (Chattanooga):  9-4 overall,  6-1 home, 3-3 away,  6-2 in the SoCon

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost:  5   /  6

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost:  5   /  6

Specialist - Returning/Lost:  3   /   3

Key losses: Offense - LG Corey Levin,   C.J. Board, Xavier Borishade, Derrick Craine, kicker Henrique Eibeiro, Defense - DE Vantrel McMillian, DE Keionta Davis (Def POY), Tackle Justin King, Nakevion Leslie, safety Cedric Nettles,

Top returnees: QB Alejandro Bennifield, center Jacob Revis,  punter Colin Brewer, long snapper Emory Norred

Chattanooga has been preseason ranked as high as #11 by the websites and magazines who cover the FCS. The Mocs return 48 lettermen from last year's team that went 9-4 and advanced to the second round of the FCS Playoffs and finished with a No. 10 final national ranking.

Lindy's has the Mocs at No. 11, and ranked UTC No. 13 in it's top 25. Athlon's Preseason Top-25 has the Mocs at No. 15, Street & Smith has the Mocs at No. 18. also released a preseason All-SoCon team that included OL Josh Cardiello, DT Isaiah Mack, LB Dale Warren and DB Lucas Webb.

Chattanooga put a league-high 10 student-athletes on the preseason All-Southern Conference Football Teams. Senior defensive back Lucas Webb is joined by junior defensive lineman Isaiah Mack, senior linebacker Dale Warren and senior offensive lineman Josh Cardiello on offense. Senior quarterback Alejandro Bennifield, senior running back Richardre Bagley, sophomore offensive lineman Malcolm White and senior wide receiver James Stovall were all named to the second team offense. Senior defensive lineman Taylor Reynolds and senior defensive back Trevor Wright earned second team defense honors. The Mocs were picked to finish fourth by the coaches and media.

2016 Chattanooga Statistics
Rushing Offense: 3008 yards
Yards per game: 206
Yards per rush: 5.1 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 136
TDs rushing: 29
Passing Offense: 2681 yards or 206 yards per game
Avg. per pass:  8 yrds
Passing 1st downs: 114
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 220-342-7
TDs Passing: 26
Total Offense: 5363 yards or 413 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 15 - 6
3d Down Conversions: 64 of 166
4th Down Conversions: 11 of 19
Field goal attempts: 12 - 15
PAT-Attempts: 55 of 58
On-side kicks:  0-0
Field goal - attempts:  12-15
Red Zone Scores: 41 of 50
Red Zone Touchdowns: 35 of 50
Punts - Yards: 62 - 2420 - Avg per punt: 39
Touchdowns scored:  59


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