#22 Chattanooga FCS Football 2013 Preview

Chattanooga Mocs

Overall Rank: #22
#4 SoCon

Chattanooga Team Page#22 Chattanooga FCS Football 2013 PreviewBuy Chattanooga Football Tickets

After back to back road losses against South Florida and Jacksonville State to start off the 2012 campaign, Chattanooga was immediately on the outside looking in with the playoff picture. With Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Wofford yet to come, the Mocs had to pull off at least one upset. They came close a couple times, but Coach Russ Huseman’s squad could not beat any of those Southern Conference powers. For one more year, a trip to the playoffs will depend on beating the teams they should beat and pulling off at least one upset in conference.

2012 Record: 6-5, 5-3
2012 Postseason: None
Coach: Russ Huesman (23-21 at Chattanooga, 23-21 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jeff Durden
Defensive Coordinator: Adam Braithwaite

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Jacob Huesman, QB, 904 yards
Passing: Jacob Huesman, QB, 1,707 yards
Receiving: Terrell Robinson, WR, 489 yards
Tackles: Wes Dothard, LB, 94
Sacks: Davis Tull, DE, 12.5
Interceptions: D.J. Key, S, 2; Gunner Miller, LB, 2; Kadeem Wise, CB, 2

Other Key Returnees: WR Marlon Anthony, DT Toyvian Brand, OT Hunter Dockery, OT Synjen Herren, WR Tommy Hudson, CB Sema’je Kendall, DT Derrick Lott, S Zach McCarter, CB Chaz Moore, G Kevin Revis, TE Faysal Shafaat, C Patrick Sutton

Key Losses: LB Shane Heatherly, RB J.J. Jackson, OT Adam Miller, WR Ron Moore, DE Josh Williams

With this defense there is plenty of hope that Chattanooga can do more than just beat either Appalachian State, Georgia Southern or Wofford. The front four is led by all-everything end Davis Tull and often overlooked tackle Derrick Lott. Tull tallied 12.5 sacks and 19.0 tackles-for-loss, while Lott totaled 57 tackles and six quarterback hurries. Toyvian Brand will move off to the end after starting every game at tackle a year ago. That opens a spot up for Josh Freeman, who missed his sophomore season with an injury. Wes Dothard is the superstar among the linebackers. He led the Mocs with 94 tackles. Gunner Miller will man one of the other linebacker positions, but there is not much experience behind those two. Kadeem Wise is the team’s shutdown corner. He has ten career interceptions and has been an all-conference caliber player for the last three years. This year will make it four. Sema’je Kendall and Chaz Moore will likely man the other corner. Kendall started a few games at free safety last season and has proven to be very good in coverage. Moore has played just about everywhere in the secondary at one point or another. D.J. Key is a big playmaker at safety and Zach McCarter has some starting experience at free safety. Overall, this is an experienced and deep defense that nobody will have an easy time with.

The offense is by no means bad, but compared to the defense everything looks relatively subpar. The biggest issue is finding a consistent running back. Marquis Green, Keon Williams and Taharin Tyson are back to give it a try, but none were very effective a year ago. Kendrix Huitt, a transfer from Western Carolina, and a handful of freshmen could be given a chance if needed. The only reason Chattanooga ranked in the top 50 nationally in rushing offense was because of quarterback Jacob Huesman. He rushed for 904 yards and seven scores. Nobody else eclipsed the 300 yard mark. The sophomore signal caller will probably lead the team in rushing again, but finding a ground game will greatly benefit Huesman when he looks to pass. And he is a good passer. Huesman makes smart decisions, has a decent arm and plenty of talented receivers to work with. Tight end Faysal Shafaat is one of the best in the country and Terrell Robinson, Tommy Hudson and Marlon Anthony are returning starters. Robinson is the big play threat. The 6-3 junior caught 40 passes for 489 yards and five scores in 2012. There are also quite a few freshmen, most notably C.J. Board, who could see time out wide and potentially provide that offensive burst that this team lacks outside of Huesman.

The Bottom Line:
The defense is going to keep Chattanooga in just about every game. The key will be the development of Huesman and the emergence of a running back. Huesman is just a sophomore and he did extremely well last season for a freshman. With so many starters returning, the Mocs will come out of the gate strong and have everything to play for heading into November. But their November schedule includes trips to Appalachian State, Samford and Alabama and a home date with Wofford. If all goes as expected, they will likely need to win two of those games to get to the playoffs.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 166.36 (46th in nation, 7th in conference)
Passing Offense: 183.00 (79, 5)
Total Offense: 349.36 (80, 8)
Scoring Offense: 25.55 (64, 5)
Rushing Defense: 141.91 (43, 3)
Pass Defense: 166.00 (12, 3)
Total Defense: 307.91 (10, 2)
Scoring Defense: 20.36 (18, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.73 (14, 2)
Sacks: 2.09 (51, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 2.36 (73, 7)


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