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


#8 Tennessee Punches 7th Ticket To Women's College World Series

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  No. 8 Tennessee punched its ticket to the 2015 Women's College World Series with a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Florida State on Friday in Game 3 of the Knoxville Super Regional. Tennessee will make its seventh appearance in the Women's College World Series after previously making it to softball's grandest stage in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. ... (click for more)

Lee Baseball Team Advances To NCCAA Semifinals

 It is on to the semi-final round of the NCCAA World Series for the Lee University baseball team. The Flames defeated Oakland City (Ind.) 6-0 early on Thursday and then returned for a convincing late-night victory over Oklahoma Christian, 13-3. The Flames earned the right to play in the final four by posting four straight victories in pool play. They will begin regular ... (click for more)

National Championship Bicycle Racing Gets Underway In Chattanooga

National championship bicycling racing got underway in Chattanooga on Saturday morning under glorious Memorial Day weekend weather. Individual Time Trial Para-Cycling began at 8 a.m. at the Volkswagen facility. Individual Time Trial Female was at 11 a.m. and for the men was at 2 p.m. The Para-Cycling road race is Sunday at Volkswagen. The female road race kicks off ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Shame On The Housing Authority

With Chattanooga and other cities around the nation struggling to find solutions to chronic homelessness it's cruel to evict families likely with children over a fight.   When you evict the adults you're also evicting any and all children in the household.  Intelligence would dictate looking for a root cause. Compassion would dictate looking for alternatives. Both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)