Mocs Fall To Samford In OT, 17-14

Saturday, November 16, 2013

For the third time in the last four games, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team found itself down in the fourth quarter, needing to mount a comeback for the win.  The Mocs scored twice in the final frame, but could not pull it out in overtime, losing at Samford 17-14. 

 UTC falls to 8-3 overall, snapping its school-record six-game SoCon winning streak.  The Mocs can still do no worse than share the SoCon title with a 6-2 league record.  Samford is 7-4 overall and 5-2 in league play.

 Despite nursing a sore knee, sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman was a career-best 28-34 passing for a career-high 265 yards and a touchdown.  Senior linebacker Wes Dothard had a 70-yard pick-6 in the fourth quarter that started UTC’s comeback. 

 The Mocs were down 14-0 after three periods, despite outgaining Samford 278-249.  UTC missed a field goal and twice turned the ball over on downs on the Bulldogs’ side of the field in the first 45 minutes of play. 

 Samford hit two big plays to help build their lead.    Andy Summerlin found Karel Hamilton for 36 yards on third and eight from his own 49 in the second quarter.  The Bulldogs went up 7-0 three plays later.  The other was a 92-yard connection from Summerlin to Chris Cephus for the 14-0 lead in the third quarter.  It is the longest pass play on record against UTC. 

 The Mocs had already posted two fourth quarter comebacks in the last three games, including wins at home against The Citadel (28-24) and on the road at Appalachian State (35-28).  Dothard picked off Summerlin at the Mocs 30 and returned it for the score to cut the lead to 14-7 with 13:07 left to play.  It was Dothard’s second INT of the season and the third defensive score of the All-American’s career.    

 “Unbelievable play,” stated Head Coach Russ Huesman.  “He makes plays all of the time. Our guys, they don’t quit.  Our sideline was not dead.  Other than two big pass plays, I thought we played really good defense.”

 Chattanooga forced a three-and-out on the next possession, taking over on its own 16 with 11:04 left in the game.  Huesman then orchestrated a 12-play, 84-yard drive over the next 6:05, the second longest scoring drive of the season.   

 One big play in that drive was junior receiver Tommy Hudson’s 30-yard pass to freshman C.J. Board down to the Samford 35.  Huesman was 7-7 for 55 yards on the game-tying drive, including a three-yard jump pass to junior tight end Faysal Shafaat for a touchdown.  It was Shafaat’s team-high sixth touchdown of the season. 

 Samford had a chance to win in regulation but Warren Handrahan’s 50-yard field attempt was wide left as time expired.  UTC opponents were 13-13 on field goals this season prior to that miss. 

 Chattanooga held the Bulldogs to a 43-yard FG on the first possession of overtime.  The Mocs moved the ball to the Samford eight yard line on its possession.  On third and four, Huesman rolled right before looking back to his left.  Junior fullback Taharin Tyson was open in the end zone, but Huesman’s pass was just long. 

 The Mocs lined up for a 26 yard field goal, but it was moved back after a delay of game penalty.  Junior Nick Pollard’s 31-yard attempt hit the left upright, giving Samford the 17-14 victory.

 “I told the guys, I know you are disappointed,” added Huesman.  “We all are, but you are conference champions.  You have won a conference championship.  You have won one, and we are probably going to the playoffs.  Everybody would have signed up for that before the season started, no question.”

 Junior Marquis Green led UTC in receiving with a career-best six catches for 60 yards.  Freshman Derrick Craine led the Mocs in rushing with 35 yards on 10 carries. 

 Junior linebacker Muhasibi Wakeel guided a strong defensive effort with nine tackles.  Junior defensive end Davis Tull added eight stops and two TFLs.  Samford came into the game second in the SoCon in total offense (444.9) but were held to just 311 yards today.  The Bulldogs were leading the SoCon in passing yards but were held to just 199 today.    

 The Mocs travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., next week to face off against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.  Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.).  Catch the game on the Mocs Sports Network and its flagship station, ESPN Radio 105.1 FM The Zone.  The television broadcast is pay-per-view, so check your local provider for availability. 

 There are numerous tiebreak scenarios heading into the last week of SoCon play, with the Mocs (8-3, 6-2), Furman (6-5, 5-2) and Samford (7-4, 5-2) still alive for the automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs.  Samford hosts Elon next week while Furman welcomes Wofford.  The FCS Playoff selection show is Sunday, Nov. 24, at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU. 

A win would have earned the SoCon title outright and an automatic NCAA playoff berth. The Mocs now will have to wait to see if they are selected. The 24- team field will be announced Sunday Nov. 24.

Overtimes: The Mocs have not won an overtime game since a 45-38 win at Georgia Southern in 2007 ... The Mocs have lost three OT games since then twice in 2012 and today.

SCORING SUMMARY
Play - Quarter/Time/Score
SAMFORD – Andy Summerlin 6-yard TD pass to Karel Hamilton (Handrahan Kick) - 2/5:05/7-0
Drive: 11 plays, 73 yards, 3:25
Key Play(s): 3/8/H49 – Andy Summerlin pass complete to Karel Hamilton for 36 yards to the UTC15.

 Play - Quarter/Time/Score
SAMFORD – Andy Summerlin 92-yard TD pass to Chris Cephus (Handrahan Kick) - 3/7:04/14-0
Drive: 2 plays, 91 yards, 0:38
Note:  Longest pass play against UTC on record.   

 Play - Quarter/Time/Score
UTC – Wes Dothard 70-yard INT return for a TD (Pollard Kick) - 4/13:07/14-7
Note:  Tied for fourth longest INT return in UTC history. 

 Play - Quarter/Time/Score
UTC – Jacob Huesman 3-yard TD pass to Faysal Shafaat (Pollard Kick) - 4/4:59/14-14
Drive: 12 plays, 84 yards, 6:05
Key Play(s): 2/2/V35 – Tommy Hudson pass complete to C.J. Board for 30 yards to the SAM35.

 Play - Quarter/Time/Score
SAMFORD – Warren Hadrahan 43-yard FG - OT/15:00/17-14
Drive: 4 plays, -1 yards, 0:00
Note:  Samford loss nine yards on the previous two plays.

 

 


Jason Hill Named Notre Dame Head Girl's Basketball Coach

Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga has named Jason Hill as the new women’s basketball coach.  “Jason is an outstanding coach who is highly respected and will continue to build on the success that Notre Dame High School has established in women’s basketball,” said Director of Athletics Matt Pobieglo.  “He is an excellent teacher of the game and a proven leader ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestlers are 11th in Nation in GPA

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team finished in the company of the nation’s elite when it comes to academics for the 2014-15 season.  The Mocs were No. 11 among all NCAA Division I programs with a 3.201 team grade-point-average, according to a recent release from the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The NWCA calculates team grade-point ... (click for more)

Cleveland Councilman Banks Critical Of City Manager Casteel, But Several Council Members Come To Her Defense

Cleveland City Councilman Richard Banks on Tuesday afternoon was critical of City Manager Janice Casteel, but several other council members came to her defense.   The council, at the end of the discussion, voted to establish an evaluation process for city employees.   Ben Moore, a retired pharmacist and life-long resident of Cleveland told the council ... (click for more)

City Council Looking Into Need For City Court

City Council Chair Carol Berz on Tuesday brought up the issue of whether, under its charter, the city is required to have a City Court. She also asked Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett to look into the issue of whether the city is required to have two divisions of City Court. Attorney Noblett said he also will look into the ramifications of the Municipal Court Reform Act ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)