The Chattanooga Mocs shifted into cruise control in the second half Saturday night at Finley Stadium, but a 35-point output in the first two quarters was more than enough as the Mocs improved to 2-1 with the 42-10 victory over Austin Peay.
It was 35-7 at the break, so there wasn't a whole lot of offensive excitement in the final 30 minutes. To be more specific, it was downright boring in the second half.
Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman entered the booth for the postgame radio show with a smile on his face.
"I wasn't very happy the last time I was in this booth, but we won this game tonight like we should have," Huesman said as he sat down for the first time all night.
"We were a little sloppy in the fourth quarter. We just ran it up the gut in the second half and we aren't very good at that," he said, knowing that the game was well under control at that point and that there was no point in embarrassing the visitors from Clarksville any further.
"We've scored on our opening drives in the last two weeks and it won't always be like that. But our offense was pretty good tonight and I'm happy about that. Keon Williams has really been working hard as he's making people miss and he's breaking tackles. His hard work is starting to pay off on Saturdays.
"I wasn't really happy with the interception that Jacob threw at the end of the first half. He threw a bad ball and we ran the wrong route and both of those are unacceptable. But when Gunner (Miller) returned his interception for a touchdown on the next play, that really hurt them.
"But we had a good first-half of football. We came to play four quarters tonight and I thought the young guys did well in the second half. I'm glad they got to play. We still have a lot of football left to play, so we'll just keep working," Huesman concluded.
Williams, the former Red Bank star had his second-straight game of rushing for more than 100 yards as he finished the game with 106 on 11 carries and three TDs.
The Mocs started the game with their offense clicking as they scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions against the Governors to build a 35-7 lead by halftime.
Playing before a disappointing small crowd announced at 9,189 on a beautiful evening for college football, Marquis Green scooted 9 yards with his first touchdown of the season as Chattanooga scored with 12:05 to play in the first quarter. Nick Pollard added the first of five point-after kicks.
Williams then scored the first of two TDs in the opening half on a 9-yard run with 6:34 left in the first before the Governors got on the board with a 12-play, 79-yard drive that consumed almost five minutes and concluded on an eight-yard run by Tim Phillips.
The difference was 14-7 when the first quarter ended.
The Mocs then added three touchdowns in the second quarter, including an 8-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Huesman to Terrell Robinson with 13:30 to play in the second. Williams scored his second TD on a blast from the 1 to make it 28-7 with 3:12 to play before intermission.
Then after a Chattanooga drive was stalled on an interception by Austin Peay's Leron Eaddy at the AP 5, former East Ridge star Gunner Miller had a pick of his own on the next play and returned it 20 yards for the fifth touchdown of the half.
Williams added his third TD with his longest run of 25 yards four minutes into the second half. It was Chattanooga's only score in the final 30 minutes.
Chattanooga had 322 total yards in the first half, including 187 on the ground and 135 through the air. The Mocs finished with 412 total yards for the game, including 299 on the ground and 142 through the air.
Williams was the leading rusher with 68 yards on nine carries in the first half while Huesman added 47 yards on eight attempts. Tommy Hudson, who had a nice 24-yard gain on a reverse early in the second stanza, had 42 yards on two attempts. Hudson finished with 63 yards on three carries
Robinson had five receptions for 49 yards as Huesman completed 13 of 18 passes. Robinson added a sixth catch for four yards in the second half while Faysal Shafaat had three grabs for 48 yards, all in the first half..
Austin Peay had 122 total yards, including 64 on the ground and 58 through the air. The Governors, who have now lost their first three games of the season, finished with 210 total yards, including 129 on the ground and 94 through the air.
Phillips was the leading rusher for Austin Peay as he finished with 78 yards on 18 carries.
Darryl Clack was the leading receiver for the Governors with 48 yards on three receptions, including a long of 23 yards. Rashaan Coleman had four grabs for 25 yards.
Defensively, Chattanooga was led by Chaz Moore and Muhasibi Wakeel with seven tackles apiece. Kadeem Wise had six while A.J. Hampton added five.
The Mocs, now 2-1 and on a two-game winning streak, will be off next Saturday before going on the road to Statesboro for a key Southern Conference battle with Georgia Southern.
Austin Peay is now 0-3 after lopsided losses at Tennessee and Vanderbilt and Saturday's loss to the Mocs. The Governors will play at Ohio next Saturday..
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Austin Peay 7 - 0 - 3 - 0 -- 10
Chattanooga 14 - 21 - 7 - 0 --42
Qtr Time Scoring Play V-H
1st 12:05 UTC - Marquis Green 9 yd run (Nick Pollard kick), 8-76 2:55 0 - 7
06:34 UTC - Keon Williams 9 yd run (Nick Pollard kick), 8-61 3:46 0 - 14
01:41 APSU - PHILLIPS, Tim 8 yd run (SPEARS, Walter kick), 12-79 4:49 7 - 14
2nd 13:30 UTC - T. Robinson 8 yd pass from Jacob Huesman (Nick Pollard kick), 7-60 2:58 7 - 21
03:12 UTC - Keon Williams 1 yd run (Nick Pollard kick), 7-38 2:32 7 - 28
00:24 UTC - Gunner Miller 20 yd interception return (Nick Pollard kick) 7 - 35
3rd 11:00 UTC - Keon Williams 25 yd run (Nick Pollard kick), 5-51 2:18 7 - 42
03:15 APSU - SPEARS, Walter 26 yd field goal, 15-62 7:37 10 - 42
Kickoff time: 6:00 pm • End of Game: 8:48 • Total elapsed time: 2:48
Officials: Referee: T. Graham; Umpire: J. Golob; Linesman: R. Broome;
Line judge: T. Forman; Back judge: J. Tricoli; Field judge: D. Bayag;
Side judge: C. Rape; Alternate: J. Cooper;
Temperature: 80 • Wind: 7 E • Weather: Partly Cloudy
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)