Three Weeks to UTC Football Opener

Mocs at Central Michigan Thurs. Aug 28

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

A pair of veteran teams meet three weeks from tonight (7 p.m. ESPN3) as host Central Michigan has 18 returning starters (6-6) and the UTC Mocs have 15 starters back from an 8-4 season.

The Mocs open with a Thursday night game for the third time in the coach Russ Huesman Era (1-1) and the 11th time (6-4) since 1998. The last time UTC opened on the road on a Thursday was in 2006 with a 31-7 win at Tennessee Tech. Central Michigan lost at home to Boston College the same night.

The Chippewas are 11-2 on Thursday nights all-time, including winning the last three, 2008-2011-2012.

“Opening the season with a Thursday game on the road is not much difference than playing on a Saturday, except that there will be only a handful of games that night,” said UTC coach Russ Huesman.

“We will fly to Michigan Wednesday after class (just as if they would leave on a Friday for a Saturday game) and return to Chattanooga after the game so our players are back in class Friday morning.”

Opening the season on Thursday nights is a positive for CM as the students are in their first week of school and many go home for the Labor Day weekend after class on Friday and would miss the opener if played at home on Saturday.

“Opening at home on a Thursday is a big deal for our fans and we hope to draw 16-18,000 for the Chattanooga game,” said CM sports information Rob Wyman.

Central Michigan also has Thursday home openers scheduled for the next two seasons with Oklahoma State visiting Mount Pleasant in 2015 followed by Presbyterian College in 2016.

Notes:

Central Michigan Football

Coach: Dan Enos, 5th season (19-30)

2013: 6-6, won Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

First Season: 1896; 586-387-36

Chattanooga Football

Coach: Russ Huesman, 6th season (31-25)

2013: 8-4, Co-Southern Conference champions

First Season: 1904; 502-507-35

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net



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