Chattanooga 2016 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

Chattanooga Mocs
By Chattanooga standards, finishing 6-2 in the Southern Conference is a disappointment. The Mocs still did enough to reach the playoffs, but losses to Citadel and Wofford leave some big questions as Chattanooga heads in the playoffs.
2016 Record: 8-3, 6-2
Coach: Russ Huesman
Big Wins: 9/24 Samford (41-21), 10/8 Mercer (52-31)
Bad Losses: 10/15 at Citadel (14-22), 11/12 Wofford (28-36)
With the losses coming against Citadel and Wofford, there are certainly defensive concerns against the option attack, but as noted later, those losses were not really the defenses fault. Overall, the Chattanooga defense has been very good. Keionta Davis is one of the best pass rushers in the FCS and he has gotten plenty of help this year from Dale Warren, Vantrel McMillan and Isaiah Mack. With all of that pressure on the opposing quarterback, the secondary has done extremely well this year, leading the FCS with just 135.9 yards allowed per game through the air. Those numbers are quite skewed because of the nature of the SoCon, but the secondary can certainly hold their own in the playoffs against a team that passes more often.
Overall the offense is pretty solid. However, the ground game has struggled in those two conference losses. Against Citadel, Chattanooga lost leading rusher Derrick Craine with an injury and the team netted a mere 55 yards on the ground. Nearly a month later, Craine returned to the lineup against Wofford, but the ground game still netted just 88 yards. For a team that averages 214.7 yards per game, that is a significant drop off. When the ground game is not moving, it puts a lot of pressure on quarterback Alejandro Bennifield. He deserves a lot of credit for replacing Mocs legend Jacob Huesman and keeping the offense relatively efficient, although not particularly explosive, through the air.
Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Derrick Craine, RB, 835 yards
Passing: Alejandro Bennifield, QB, 2,173 yards
Receiving: Xavier Borishade, WR, 614 yards
Tackles: Nakevion Leslie, LB, 92
Sacks: Keionta Davis, DL, 8.5
Interceptions: Trevor Wright, DB, 2
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 214.7 (18th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 211.8 (61, 6)
Total Offense: 426.5 (25, 3)
Scoring Offense: 36.1 (15, 2)
Rushing Defense: 135.9 (38, 3)
Pass Defense: 139.3 (1, 1)
Total Defense: 275.2 (5, 2)
Scoring Defense: 16.9 (8, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.10 (57, 6)
Sacks: 2.60 (22, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.10 (14, 3)
Recent Playoff Appearances:
2015    First Round                 Defeated Fordham
2015    Second Round            Lost to Jacksonville State
2014    Second Round            Defeated Indiana State
2014    Quarterfinals               Lost to New Hampshire
1984    First Round                 Lost to Arkansas State
*all team stats through 11/12