Overall Rank: #27
Chattanooga Team Page
The general consensus seems to be that if anybody is going to make a run at Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Wofford in the Southern Conference this year, it will be Chattanooga. The Mocs return eight starters on both sides of the ball and are poised for a breakout year. However, this is a team that has a mere eight seniors on the roster, so better things are to come in 2013 and beyond. A solid 2012 campaign will catapult the Mocs expectations a year from now.
2011 Record: (5-6, 3-5)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Russ Huesman (17-16 at Chattanooga, 17-16 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Marcus Satterfield
Defensive Coordinator: Adam Fuller
Rushing: Marquis Green, RB, 530 yards
Passing: Terrell Robinson, QB, 336 yards
Receiving: Marlon Anthony, WR, 333 yards
Tackles: Wes Dothard, LB, 98
Sacks: Joshua Williams, DE, 9.0
Interceptions: D.J. Key, S, 3
Other Key Returnees: DT Toyvian Brand, DT Josh Freeman, OT Adam Miller, LB Gunner Miller, OT Brandon Morgan, G Kevin Revis, TE Faysal Shafaat, C Patrick Sutton, DE David Tull, RB Desmond Walker, CB Kadeem Wise
Key Losses: WR Joel Bradford, QB B.J. Coleman, LB Ryan Consiglio, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, S Jordan Tippit, G Austin Wilson
Chattanooga was a couple surprise home losses away from being 7-4. But they were also just a couple points away from beating Wofford, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. The defense is to thank for those close matchups against the big three in the conference. The conference’s best defense returns a bevy of talent. All four starters are back up front and three of them were just freshmen last year. Joshua Williams is the senior leader of the unit and tallied 9.0 sacks in 2011, but expect improvement from fellow end Davis Tull and tackles Toyvian Brand, Keyon Reed and Josh Freeman. While the front four will be better, the linebackers have to find a way to move on without leading tackler Ryan Consiglio. Wes Dothard, who tallied 98 tackles as a sophomore, and Gunner Miller are a good place to start. Shane Heatherly should be ready to step back into a starting role after dealing with an ankle injury throughout much of a disappointing 2011 campaign. The secondary has the most turnover with the loss of cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and free safety Jordan Tippit. With juniors D.J. Key and Kadeem Wise leading the way, the secondary should still be relatively strong. Chaz Moore is a capable corner and Zach McCarter is a big, hard hitting safety. However, overall depth in the secondary may become an issue.
The offense has the potential to be more explosive this season even without quarterback B.J. Coleman. Terrell Robinson brings something to the table that Coleman did not. The 6-3 Robinson can make plays with his arm and his legs. Coleman was a pure pocket passer and only totaled 1,527 yards for nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. Robinson got his feet wet last year, passing for 336 yards and six touchdowns. He also ran for 417 yards and five touchdowns. This is Robinson’s team now and it remains to be seen if he can be as effective as a full-time starter. With four starters back on the line, led by Adam Miller, Kevin Revis and Patrick Sutton, Robinson should have plenty of time to look downfield and tuck and run when needed. Robinson will not have Joel Bradford to throw to this year though. Bradford was the go-to-target for all the quarterbacks in 2011 and caught 53 passes for 660 yards and five touchdowns. Marlon Anthony is the most experienced receiver, but he will need some help from sophomores Bryant Belew, Tommy Hudson and Ron Moore. Tight end Faysal Shafaat, yet another sophomore, is a nice big target in the red zone.
The Bottom Line:
With a strong offensive line, a running quarterback and the return of a handful of running backs, Chattanooga may spend more time on the ground this season. That should work out perfectly fine for the Mocs. If they can move the chains on the ground, the defense can do the rest. But that means a running back or two needs to step up and take over a bulk of the carries. Coach Russ Huesman does not lack options. Marquis Green led the team with 530 rushing yards as a freshman. Chris Awuah started most of the games last year and senior J.J. Jackson is a powerful back who missed time last year with an ankle injury. Even freshman Kendrix Huitt could work his way into the mix. The return of Keon Williams, who was suspended for the 2011 campaign could be the answer. He is an explosive rusher who totaled 500 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman. A year away from the game may make things slow going at first, but Williams is the most talented back on the roster. Robinson may lead this team in rushing, but somebody else has to at least be a threat to run or the passing game will suffer. The defense can only do so much and Robinson needs to prove that he can do more than run or the opposition can stack the box and shut down any rusher.
Projected Postseason: None
2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 144.36 (66th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 175.00 (86, 6)
Total Offense: 319.36 (94, 8)
Scoring Offense: 25.91 (55, 7)
Rushing Defense: 164.45 (73, 4)
Pass Defense: 140.82 (2, 1)
Total Defense: 305.27 (13, 1)
Scoring Defense: 19.73 (17, 1)
Turnover Margin: .82 (20, 1)
Sacks: 2.09 (52, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.18 (68, 8)