By Ed Greif
Last Saturday, I celebrated homecoming in Chattanooga, where the Mocs were beaten 34-17 by Appalachian State.
Coach Russ Huesman's Mocs took a 10-0 lead, thanks to something outstanding defensive play. Kadeem Wise recovered an ASU fumble which led to Keon Williams' one-yard run and Nick Pollard's PAT.
An interception by Chaz Moore led to a 32-field goal by Pollard to cap a six-play, 18-yard drive, giving the Mocs a 10-0 lead with 1:57 left in the first quarter.
ASU would score 34 unanswered points to take a 34-10 lead, including 24 in the fourth quarter, to secure the victory. Terrell Robinson passed two yards to Faysal Shafaat for a Mocs' TD for the final margin.
"The offense wasn't good. I thought Jacob (coach's son) missed a lot of throws. He had some people open, but missed a lot of throws. I don't think he played very well, and I hate to say that. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone because there was no running room in there today for anybody. Obviously, offensively we were horrible across the board. I'm sure we're going to put the film on and there will be guys fighting hard and playing well, but it wasn't a good day offensively," said a dejected head coach.
UTC had 270 total yard offense (87 yards rushing on 87 attempts and 183 yards passing on 20 of 35 with two interceptions.
"In the first half, I think what they did well offensively was create good turnovers, which was good and got a lot of points offensively. We got the 10 points. That was a good thing, but it was the same thing. We missed a ton of tackles. We had opportunities," Huesman added. "We had a big fourth down stop, too. We probably played OK in the first defensively, but we gave up a throw right before the half that hurt. Maybe they were just a better team than us.
"You have to give them credit. I'm sure this was a tough week of practice for them, and I'm sure their coaches probably had a little bit more attention to detail. I think that's what we have to do. As coaches, we have to come back and have more attention to detail in everything that we are doing and how we're practicing. We're not going to change the offense. We will re-evaluate it to see who played well, and the guys who played well will play and that's the bottom line."
Huesman and his staff will have the Mocs ready for The Citadel this Saturday. Chattanooga leads the series 28-17-2 (16-6-1 at home and 10-11-1 on the road), including a 28-27 last season at Finley Stadium. Huesman is 2-1 against The Citadel.
After facing The Citadel, the Mocs travel to Furman Oct. 13 and host Samford Oct. 20 and Georgia Southern Oct. 27. They need to win these four games to have any shot at the playoffs.
Speaking of football, Coach Derek Dooley's Tennessee Vols begin a tough stretch of games — at Georgia Sept. 29, at Mississippi State Oct. 13, Alabama Oct. 20, and at South Carolina Oct. 27. The four games will make or break the Vols and determine Dooley's fate as the Vols' head coach.
After an open date Saturday, Vanderbilt's next four games — at Missouri Oct. 6, Florida Oct. 13, Auburn Oct. 20, and UMass Oct. 27 — should determine the 'Dores' prospects for a bowl game.
A storied rivalry, Michigan vs. Notre Dame, will end in 2014, as the Fighting Irish decided to move into the ACC in every sport, except football. Notre Dame will play five ACC opponents a year.
The South Rebels and Crab Orchard Tigers are going to play for the 2012 elementary football championship Oct. 2 at Jet Stadium. The Tigers finished 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the eastern division, while South was 4-3 overall and 3-0 in the western division, after winning three straight division games.
The eastern division dominated the western division, posting a 15-1 record, with Stone suffering the division's only loss to South.
I must say, again, there should be a change in the elementary football format, especially with the notification by the local officials group not to referee the county games next season.
I've also advocated going to a middle school format, putting all the seventh and eighth graders from the eastern division on one team and those from the western division on the other team and going out of the county to play games.
There will be pro and cons for this suggestion, but in the long run, it will help both high schools. The elementary principals are going to have to make this decision and make a recommendation to the director of schools, who in turn, will have to make this recommendation to the board of education, if the proper procedure is followed.
This probably won't happen until a new director of schools is hired, unless the board of education tackles the change on its own.
Another point which needs to be addressed is elementary basketball. The junior varsity portion of the schedule begins Oct. 11. Four double-headers are planned for that evening, with no games scheduled for fall break week (Oct. 15-19), but will return with earnest Oct. 22. It shows Pine View is not playing a junior varsity schedule, but that could change between now and Oct. 11.
Elementary varsity practice show not start until Oct. 1, while the junior varsity season should not begin until after fall break.
The varsity season begins Nov. 6, and play one night a week (Nov. 6, 13 and 19) until after Thanksgiving, when it goes two nights a week through the end of the regular season (Jan. 24).
Below is very important.
Elementary basketball coaches, whether it is junior varsity or varsity, are reminded to report scores on a timely basis. Scores must be reported the following morning. Monday scores need to reported by 8 a.m. Tuesday morning to be included in Wednesday's Chronicle and Thursday's games are to be reported by 8 a.m. Friday to be included in the following Tuesday paper. No scores will be accepted after two weeks.
Please include first and last names of all players who play, whether they score a point or not. Initials on first names and first names only will not be accepted and be sure the names are spelled correctly, as some first names sound the same, but are spelled differently.
The home school, win or lose, is responsible for reporting results, no matter what the score is.
All junior varsity rosters must be received at the Chronicle office before first games are played on Oct. 11. Varsity rosters must be received at the "Meet the Jets" night on Nov. 3 and at the "Panther Pride" night, when it is scheduled.
I also wish the basketball coaches will do a better job submitting results from their games than the football coaches did this fall.
Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.