Here’s a full report card from the Mocs’ performance in a 28-10 win at The Citadel on Saturday:
Chattanooga got just what it has been looking for all season out of its two-quarterback system. Sophomore Terrell Robinson and freshman Jacob Huesman both made contributions, and the duo accounted for three of the team’s four touchdowns. Robinson and Huesman finished as the Mocs’ top two rushers with 97 and 80 yards, respectively, and each threw a touchdown pass.
Running backs: B
Kendrix Huitt saw his first extended collegiate action Saturday, and the 5-9, 190-pound redshirt freshman made the most of it. He ran eight times for 57 yards — the second most by a UTC back all season — and scored his first career touchdown on a 29-yard, fourth-quarter run. The quarterbacks shouldered the load in the running game once again, combining for 177 yards, but it was an improvement for the Mocs to have the running back position produce like it did.
Wide receivers/tight ends: B
Sophomore Ron Moore had his most productive game of the season, hauling in four catches for 70 yards, and he gave the Mocs their first lead of the game with his 13-yard touchdown reception midway through the second quarter. He also made a 51-yard catch in the game. Sophomore tight end Faysal Shafaat reeled in his third touchdown of the season Saturday as he was on the receiving end of Jacob Huesman’s 2-yard touchdown pass with six seconds remaining in the first half to put UTC ahead 14-3 at the break.
Offensive line: B-
The offensive line didn’t have its best day a week ago against Appalachian State, but the unit responded nicely on the road Saturday. The offensive front paved the way for the Mocs’ season-high 254 rushing yards, but the pass protection still isn’t where it needs to be—both quarterbacks were sacked twice. UTC was without its starting left tackle, Brandon Morgan, who missed the game with an injury. Hunter Dockery filled in at the position.
Defensive line: B
The Bulldogs did run for 232 yards, but that can be considered a victory for UTC’s defensive front. The Citadel’s triple-option attack was averaging more than 300 yards entering Saturday’s game, and the Bulldogs came up well short of that. Junior defensive tackle Derrick Lott finished with a season-best six tackles, while sophomore defensive end Davis Tull racked up three — 1.5 for loss. Junior Josh Williams and sophomores Toyvian Brand and Zach Rayl also had tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Shane Heatherly tied his career high with eight tackles for the second straight week and scooped up a fourth-quarter fumble recovery, while juniors Gunner Miller and Wes Dothard were both active in stopping the option as well. Miller made four tackles — one for loss — and Dothard finished with four stops. Junior quarterback Ben Dupree was held to just 26 yards on the ground, but The Citadel did pull off some big gains. Junior fullback Darien Robinson broke a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter, and sophomore quarterback Aaron Miller scored from 32 yards out late in the third.
The Citadel didn’t throw much on Saturday (13 times), but when it did, the Chattanooga secondary was right there. Junior cornerback Kadeem Wise received the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance, and junior safety D.J. Key tallied a team-high 12 tackles — tying his career high. Wise had eight tackles and hauled in his first interception of the year. He’s now tied with head coach Russ Huesman for sixth all-time at UTC with nine picks.
Special teams: B
Sophomore kicker Nick Pollard missed his only field-goal try of the afternoon, a 51-yard attempt late in the first quarter, but the sophomore averaged 42.2 yards on his five punts. The Chattanooga kickoff coverage team performed well, allowing just 18 yards per return. The Citadel’s Keith Gamble took the opening kickoff 31 yards to the 37-yard-line, but that was the senior’s longest return of the day.
The coaching staff did a great job preparing the team for a difficult road test. It’s no secret the Mocs, even this early in the season, were in a must-win situation after their home loss to Appalachian State, and they delivered Saturday. The offense got back on track with its third 400-yard performance on the season, and all that hard work scheming against the option payed off. UTC was penalized just four times for 25 yards, and it appears the coaches might finally have the quarterback situation figured out.