Friday, July 22, 2016

2016 Football Preseason Preview: Chattanooga

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western's 2016 football opponents. Today we look at the Chattanooga Mocs.

For their eighth game of the season, the Catamounts return to Cullowhee for the forth home game of the season. The opponent is last year's co-champion, Chattanooga..

The Cats last won against the Mocs in Cullowhee back in 2008, with a 27-7 victory over Chattanooga.


When: Saturday, October 29th - Time 3:30 pm 

Where: E. J. Whitmire Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

Radio: Catamount Sports Network

TV / video: SoCon Digital Network 

The Series:  The Cats own a 16-26-0 all time record against the Mocs, having first played in 1973. Currently the Mocs have a 7 game win streak going against Western, as the Cats last won in Cullowhee back in 2008.

Head Coach: Russ Huesman   Very few individuals can impact a program the way Russ Huesman has influenced the Chattanooga Mocs since taking over as the 22nd head football coach at his alma mater on Dec. 22, 2008. Huesman has orchestrated a monumental turnaround over the last seven years, including three-straight Southern Conference titles and back-to-back trips to the FCS Playoffs. A 1983 graduate of UTC and a former defensive back for Chattanooga, Huesman used his 25 years of coaching experience to change the culture of Mocs football – in the classroom, in competition and in the community. Coach Huesman led Chattanooga to its first SoCon title since 1984 and just its fifth in school history in 2013. 

Last year’s record (Chattanooga):   9-4 overall, 5-1 home, 4-3 away (6-1 SoCon)  

Last Season's Game vs. Chattanooga:  (Oct. 31, 2015)
No. 4 Chattanooga Hands Western Carolina a 41-13 Road Loss  - Quarterback Jacob Huesman amassed 359 yards of total offense including 191 passing yards and 168 yards and a touchdown on the ground with tailback Derrick Craine scoring four rushing TDs as No. 4 Chattanooga handed Western Carolina a 41-13 loss on Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action at Finley Stadium. Chattanooga (7-1, 5-0 SoCon) - which won its seventh-straight seasonall game and its 12th league game in a row - scored four-consecutive rushing touchdowns following a Detrez Newsome two-yard run that drew the Catamounts to within one, 7-6, in the first quarter. The Mocs capitalized on the lone turnover of the game -- a WCU fumble as the Catamounts were looking for the end zone - driving 87 yards for a score as a part of the four-straight TDs, taking a 35-6 halftime advantage.

Offensive starters - Returning/Lost: 8 / 3

Defensive starters - Returning/Lost: 6 / 5

Specialist - Returning/Lost: 4 / 2

Offensive Formation: Multiple

Defensive Formation: Multiple

2015 Chattanooga Statistics
Rushing Offense: 3403 yards
Yards per game: 242
Yards per rush: 5.2 yards
TDs rushing: 28
Passing Offense: 2255 yards or 174 yards per game
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 191-287-10
Total Offense: 5400 yards or 415 yards per game
Passing 1st downs: 91
Rushing 1st downs: 177
Fumbles-Lost: 15 - 6
3d Down Conversions: 92 of 181 (51%)
4th Down Conversions: 9 of 16  (56%)
Red-Zone Scores: 45-55  (82%)
Red-Zone Touchdowns: 31-55  (56%)
Field-Goal-Attempts:  17-21

The Mocs are ranked in several preseason polls, including No. 7 in Athlon Sports, No. 8 in the Sporting News and No. 11 in Lindy’s. They are replacing three starters on offense  - quarterback Jacob Huesman, right guard Synjen Herren and tight end Steve Pickren. UTC is also replacing five on defense - linemen Josh Freeman and Toyvian Brand, linebacker A.J. Hampton, "dime" Sema’je Kendall and DB Dee Virgin. Returning are three who are garnering preseason All-American recognition, senior offensive lineman Corey Levin, defensive lineman Keionta Davis, and junior defensive back Lucas Webb. Changes in the football staff have Carey Bailey as the defensive line coach while Rob Spence is the new receivers coach., while Adam Ross took over the offensive line.

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