No.13 UTC Prepares for No.9 Jax State

Home Opener is Saturdat 6 p.m. at Finley

Monday, September 1, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

“The Jacksonville State defensive front four is as good or better than Central Michigan’s.”

  -- UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden.

It’s “Whiteout Saturday” at Finley Stadium as Chattanooga hosts its oldest rival in Jacksonville (Ala.) State in a battle of two top 15 nationally ranked FCS teams.

Both teams – No.9 Jax State and No. 13 Chattanooga – are looking for their first win of the season after losing to a pair of FBS schools on the road. Central Michigan rallied to defeat UTC, 20-16, this past Thursday, while Michigan State defeated the Gamecocks, 45-7.

The No. 13 national mark ties the highest ranking for UTC in the Russ Huesman era (since 2009).  The Mocs were also No. 13 in the Sports Network poll when they lost 14-12 at No. 3 Appalachian State on Sept. 19, 2011. The Gamecocks are the highest ranked non-conference opponent to visit Finley Stadium

“Jacksonville State is a talented football team and one of the best teams we will face all season,” said UTC coach Russ Huesman. “This is a huge test for us as we have our work cut out for us.”

Huesman was 3-0 against them as a player and looks for a win Saturday to even his coaching record (1-2) with the Gamecocks.

UTC defeated Jax State, 38-17, at Finley Stadium in 2011, while losing on the road 21-17 in 2010 and 27-24 in 2012.

The Mocs will need a balanced attack on offense against this big, talented opponent.

 “The Jacksonville defense blitzed more than half the time in their game last Friday and Michigan State had a tough time running the ball,” said UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden

“They are impressive on defense and have good speed and are physical.”

Long Time Rival: The UTC-Jacksonville State series dates back to the Mocs first season of collegiate football (1904) as the Blue and Gold defeated Jax State (then called Alabama Normal), 5-0, here in Chattanooga.

UTC leads in the series, 26-11, including a 21-7 advantage at home. Jax State has won six of the last eight meetings, including wins at Finley in 2004-06-08 before losing here in 2010.

The Alabama school is the technically the Mocs oldest current rival by two weeks as Chattanooga beat Jax State Nov. 5 and lost to Tennessee, 37-0, Nov. 19.

Whiteout Saturday: UTC is encouraging the fans to wear all white for the 6 p.m. kickoff.

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


Georgia Northwestern Bobcats Sign Howard Hoops Standout

The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats volleyball team and basketball team have picked up recruits from the Chattanooga area this season and the men’s basketball team recently decided to follow suit. Head coach David Stephenson crossed into the Volunteer State in late June to sign guard Justin Smith. Smith prepped at Howard High School, which has always been a hotbed for ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Maybe It's The Media

In the past six months or so, we've heard a lot about "fake news", "false reporting", and "alternative facts". Most of it comes from the White House and the President, but you could say that some of it could come in the latest college football news. For instance, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is said to have one of the hottest seats in the country. Yet, when the Vols fan base ... (click for more)

Young Woman Suffers Serious Injuries In 30-Foot Fall At Quarry At Greenway Farms

A young woman was seriously injured on Wednesday night  when she fell approximately 30 feet from a bluff at the the Greenway Farms quarry in Hixson.   Some kayakers were paddling in the quarry shortly after  8 p.m. when they saw the woman fall to the ground below. They immediately went over to the victim and called 911. The Chattanooga Fire Department ... (click for more)

Walker County Taking Out Another Loan To Deal With Debts Left By Bebe Heiskell Administration

Walker County officials said they are having to take out another loan to deal with debts left by the Bebe Heiskell administration. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has called a special meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the commissioner's office in Lafayette. The agenda includes a $4 million tax anticipation note from Lafayette Bank, which stepped in to help the new administration ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Schizophrenia Calls Again

On Tuesday morning of this week a six-foot-tall, 6,000-pound monument of the “Ten Commandments” was installed on the Capitol Grounds in Little Rock, Ark. It was privately financed and quite beautiful. Less than 24 hours later, a vehicle crashed into the monument, knocking it off its base (plinth) in the early-morning darkness yesterday. The Arkansas Capitol Police arrested a ... (click for more)