Chattanooga captured its second straight win Saturday, cruising to a three-score win over visiting Furman.
Here are some position-by-position grades:
Jacob Huesman finished the first quarter a perfect 8-of-8 passing for 67 yards, but he didn’t do much after that, at least not through the air — 5-of-9 for 17 yards and an interception. Huesman was sacked four times and also fumbled in the lopsided win, but all-in-all had a pretty productive day, totaling 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back: A
Keon Williams eclipsed the century mark for the fourth time this season (UTC is 4-0 in those games), piling up 101 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Sophomore Kendrix Huitt probably had his best game of the season, running five times for 35 yards and a second-quarter touchdown. And while junior Marquis Green wasn’t nearly effective as in last week’s 42-21 win over Western Carolina, finishing with 20 all-purpose yards on six touches, he had his moments.
Wide receivers/tight ends: B
The receiving corps wasn’t asked to do a whole lot Saturday, but the unit delivered when called upon. Junior Tommy Hudson led the team with 43 yards on three receptions, while junior tight end Faysal Shafaat had three receptions for 14 yards. Junior Terrell Robinson, who let a very catchable first-down ball slip through his grasps before the half, finished with just one catch for five yards.
Offensive line: B+
Furman entered the contest as the top run-stopping team in the SoCon, allowing just under 140 yards per contest. Still, Chattanooga’s O-line paved the way for yet another 200-yard rushing performance Saturday — the team’s fifth straight. The unit did, however, surrender four sacks for the second consecutive week.
Defensive line: A+
Junior defensive end Davis Tull has been solid all season, but he delivered an All-American performance on Saturday, recording a career-high 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles against the Paladins. Sophomores Daniel Ring (1.0) and Josh Freeman (0.5) also got in on the sack party, as Chattanooga finished with a season-high six on Saturday after collecting just four through the first five games.
Starting linebackers Wes Dothard and Gunner Miller both performed well when they were on the field, but more than anything, Saturday’s win showed off the Mocs’ depth at the position. Dothard and Miller both left the game with stingers, but there was little to no drop off when Muhasibi Wakeel and A.J. Hampton entered the game in their absences.
The Mocs made Furman quarterback Duncan Fletcher look like a true freshman Saturday. The defensive line’s relentless pressure was a big part of that, but UTC’s defensive backfield had something to do with it as well. Fletcher hooked up with receivers eight times on Saturday, but averaged just 7.8 yards per completion. He was also picked off by Chattanooga’s Kadeem Wise in the fourth quarter, and the senior cornerback returned it 31 yards to the Furman 14-yard line, setting up the Mocs’ final score of the contest.
Special Teams: A
Nick Pollard connected on a 35-yard, third-quarter field goal — Chattanooga’s first of the season — while A.J. Hampton blocked and recovered a punt in the quarter. Chaz Moore and Tommy Hudson were both effective in the return game, too. Moore averaged 35 yards on his two kickoff returns, while Hudson picked up 16 yards on his lone punt return.
Head coach Russ Huesman referred to it as Chattanooga’s most complete game of 2013. Aside from a forgetful second-quarter that featured three turnovers, it was. The Mocs dominated the visiting Paladins, beating them at home for the first time in two decades. The coaching staff had the team ready to play against a seemingly inferior opponent, and UTC’s talent took care of the rest.
Michael Murphy covers UTC athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.
Sign up for our email list to get your morning news delivered directly to your inbox. All we need is your email address.