Sunday, July 18, 2021

2021 Football Preseason Preview: Chattanooga Mocs

Throughout this preseason, Purple & Gold will preview all of Western Carolina's 2021 football opponents.

In the Catamounts' fifth game of the 2021 season, the Cats travel to the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga.  This will be the Cat's second straight visit to Chattanooga, as the Mocs canceled their season this past spring, just prior to their scheduled visit to Cullowhee leaving three conference opponents high and dry, earning the Mocs the nickname, ChattaQuitta.   

Western faces the Mocs for the 47th time on the gridiron, since 1973.

Game #5 - UT Chattanooga Mocs

When: Saturday, October 2, 2021
Time:  1:30 pm
Where: The near-empty Finley Stadium (20,412), Chattanooga, TN
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
TV/video: ESPN+
Fan Message Board Moc Nation
Nickname:  ChattaQuitta 

The Series: In the 47th meeting between the two teams, the Cats own a 17-29 record against the Mocs. The Cats have lost 2 straight to the Mocs, but 10 of the last 11 games played.  Western is 7-15 against UTC in games played in Chattanooga since 1973.

Last Game vs. Chattanooga (September 28, 2019) - Strong Offensive, Special Teams Efforts Not Enough in Loss at UTC - Chattanooga, Tenn. – On the strength of a 17-yard touchdown pass from Tyrie Adams to tight end Owen Cosenke and a two-point conversion rush by Curtis Roach on a fake PAT, Western Carolina closed to within one score, 44-36, with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter of an offensive Saturday afternoon. However, the Chattanooga Mocs pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 60-36 Southern Conference victory at Finley Stadium. The two teams combined for 1,086 combined yards of total offense.

Last Season's Record (Spring 2021 - UTC): 3-2 overall, 1-1 home, 2-1 away, 3-1 SoCon  (After three straight wins to open the season, the Mocs then lost to underdog Mercer 28-35, they then quit for the season - with three conference games remaining on their schedule).

Head CoachRusty Wright - Rusty Wright is in his third year as head coach of the Mocs football program. He was officially introduced on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. A 22-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, Wright is a 1996 graduate of UTC with a degree in Sports Administration. He was a four-year letter winner for the Mocs football team and had two stints as an assistant coach at UTC. “I am extremely excited to announce Rusty Wright as the next head coach of Chattanooga Football,” stated UTC Director of Athletics Mark Wharton. “Once again, our program, University, and community attracted an outstanding candidate pool.”

Offensive Formation: Multiple
Defensive Formation: Multiple

Rusty Wright vs. WCU:  1 - 0
Kerwin Bell vs. UTC:  0 - 0

All 11 starters are back on the offensive side of the ball for the Mocs, with additional depth in the number of backups that got extended looks in the spring. 

The Mocs were picked 20th in the first poll of the summer, the Athlon Sports FCS Top 25. agrees with that assessment with Chattanooga in between  North Carolina A&T in 19th and Alcorn State in 21st. There are three Southern Conference schools mentioned with VMI tied for 13th place, while ETSU slots in at 23.

Jacobs Blocking Award winner Cole Strange anchors an offensive line that has three different running backs behind it with collegiate 100-yard games. The defense was dominant with All-America defensive lineman Devonnsha Maxwell headlining the crew.

The Mocs will have a bye week after playing at Kentucky, and just before playing the Cats, giving them two weeks to rest, recuperate and prepare for the Cats.  

2021 Mocs Statistics (Spring 5 games):
Rushing Offense: 627 yards on 192 attempts
Yards per game: 125.4
Yards per rush: 3.3 yards
Rushing 1st downs: 39
TDs rushing: 9
Passing Offense: 979 yards or 195.8 yards per game
Avg. per pass: 7.8 yards
Passing 1st downs: 38
Passing Comp-Att-Int: 63-125-4                 
TDs Passing: 4
Total Offense: 1606 yards or 321.2 yards per game
Fumbles-Lost: 7-3
3d Down Conversions: 25 of 67  (37%)
4th Down Conversions: 6 - 15 (38%)
Field goal attempts:5 - 7
On-side kicks: 0-0
Red Zone Scores: 15 of 17  (88%)
Red Zone Touchdowns: 12 of  12 (100%)
PAT:  32 - 36 (89%)

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