By Ed Greif
The UT-Chattanooga Mocs will take a well-deserved week off, after they defeated the Austin Peay Governors 42-10 on a beautiful Saturday at Finley Stadium. The win improved the Mocs' record to 2-1, as they will prepare for their SoCon opener at Georigia Southern Sept. 28.
" We really played well these last two weeks with 42-14 and 42-10 scores. I truly believe we could have kept scoring tonight it we needed to," said Moc Coach Russ Huesman in his post-game remarks.
"I thought it was a good game. We did what we needed to do. When you play with good players that's the type of results you should get. I thought Austin Peay played hard. Right now in the state of our program, I think we've got a little bit better players.," he added.
The Mocs scored on their opening two drives of the game to take a 14-0 lead on a nine-yard run by Marquis Green to cap an eight play, 76-yard march and on a nine-yard run by Keon Williams to end an eight-play, 61-yard drive. Nick Pollard booted both PATs.
The Governors scored their first TD of the season with 4:49 left in the first quarter on a eight-run by Tim Phillips to cap a 12-play, 79-yard march. Walter Spears converted the PAT to make the score 14-7.
Chattanooga scored three more times in the first half to lead 35-7 at the break.This was the most points a Moc team has scored in the first half since they tallied 42 in a 72-17 victory over Mississippi Valley St. on Sept. 16, 2000.
Terrell Robinson scored on an eight-yard pass from Jacob Huesman to cap a seven play, 60-yard drive, and Williams scored his second TD on a one-yard run to cap a seven play, 38-yard drive.
Gunner Miller returned an interception 20-yards for the defense. Pollard converted all three PATs for the big lead.
"I think that's big, especially early in the season. There's going to be times where we go three and out or we don't score. We can't let that affect us. We had 412 yards of total offense and we probably could have had more," Huesman said.
Williams 25-yard run capped a five-play, 51-yard drive to give the Mocs a 42-7 lead with 2:18 left in the third quarter. Pollard converted the PAT.
Austin Peay (0-3) booted a 26-yard field goal with 7:37 left in the game to make the final score 42-10, as both teams defense played well the remainder of the game.
Chattanooga has put 671 rushing yards in the last two games combined. This is the most rushing yards in consecutive games since 1991 — 307 vs. UT. Martin (Aug. 31, 1991) and Tennessee Tech (Sept. 7, 1991).
This was the second straight game the Mocs scored four rushing touchdowns, including three by Williams, who rushed for 106 yards on 11 carries for his second straight 100+ game toting the pigskin. He is the Moc with three rushing TDs since Robinson at Georgia Southern on Oc. 8, 2011.
"We've got some playmakers. I thought Keon Williams was unbelievable. He's running hard. I think all of you guys are seeing it. He's running, breaking tackles and making people miss. If he can continue to work, the sky is the limit right now," added Huesman.
Defensively, the Mocs allowed 121 yards in 27 plays on APSU's first two-scoring drives. The Governors recorded 68 yards on 37 play in their other 10 drives of the game.
Miller's interception was the second Pick-6 of his career, with the last coming at Elon on Oct. 22,2011. He is one of three Mocs with two career Pick-6s.
Chaz Moore had a team-high seven tackles and added 1.5 tackles for loss and pass break up. Other leading tacklers were Muhasibi Hakeen (seven), Kadeem Wise (six) and A.J. Hampton (five).The defense broke up six passes and one sack.
After the Mocs travel to Georgia Southern Sept. 28, they will host Western Carolina Oct. 5 and Furman Oct. 12 for homecoming.
The Mocs need a team effort like this one against Austin-Peay if they want to beat Georgia Southern and challenge for the SoCon championship to get a berth in the FCS playoffs.
(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)