published Sunday, September 12th, 2010

JSU edges UTC 21-17

  • photo
    Contributed Photo Jacksonville State defensive back A.J. Davis (20) rips the helmet off Chattanooga's QB B.J. Coleman.

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — Life can be cruel. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team has seen that first-hand on back to back Saturdays.

Success in life is about making the most of your opportunities. The Mocs have failed to do that on back to back Saturdays.

Sixth-ranked Jacksonville State scored 21 unanswered points in the second half Saturday night to hand UTC its second consecutive heartbreaking loss to start the season. The Gamecocks (2-0) took their first and only lead on a 72-yard touchdown pass with 1:05 to play in the game, giving JSU a 21-17 win.

The Mocs had several missed opportunities on offense and dropped a couple of interceptions in the fourth quarter that likely would have clinched UTC's biggest win in more than 15 years.

"It's ridiculous that we left all that out there," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "We had chances for interceptions, we had chances for first downs, we had chances to make plays — we had unbelievable chances and we [didn't convert them]."

UTC dominated the opening half, but led just 10-0 at the break after failing to capitalize on numerous turnovers and scoring chances. The lead was extended to 17-0 early in the third quarter when quarterback B.J. Coleman hit Joel Bradford for a 14-yard touchdown.

The Mocs led No. 3 Appalachian State 35-14 just seconds into the fourth quarter last Saturday before seeing the Mountaineers rally for a 42-41 win.

The Mocs' 17-7 lead entering the fourth in front of a record crowd of 22,186 at JSU Stadium never seemed secure. The UTC defense appeared to be tiring, while the JSU offense seemed to be finding holes that weren't there earlier in the game.

Jacksonville State cut the lead to 17-14 with 7:50 to play on a 9-yard touchdown pass. On the previous play, fourth-and-8 at the UTC 23-yard line, a late flag for pass interference was thrown after it appeared that JSU quarterback Marques Ivory's pass was incomplete.

The Mocs got the ball back and used a powerful running game to drive down inside the red zone. Two runs by J.J. Jackson made it third-and-2 at the 10, but on the following Coleman and center Justin Galyon had a miscommunication that led to an early snap.

Coleman dove on the fumbled ball, making it fourth down at the 11. Following a timeout, UTC opted to go for the first down since a field goal would have made it a six-point game. Coleman's pass to Bradford in the back of the end zone was a little too deep and Bradford was out of bounds when he caught it.

The Gamecocks took over with 2:20 to play and were facing a third-and-4 at their 28 when Ivory hit James Shaw deep for a 72-yard score to give JSU a 21-17 lead. Moments later, UTC's Louis Gibson fumbled the short kickoff and JSu recovered.

For more on the Mocs, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

You can follow John Frierson's Mocs coverage at twitter.com/mocsbeat and at facebook.com/mocsbeatTFP.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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stillamoc said...

Last week was a heart breaker! This week was a robbery!

The sportsmanship of the JSU team, coaches and fans was the worst I have seen in 30 years.

To put it in perspective, JSU, has become the modern day Tn State of the 1980's

I am 99% certain, the line judge and back feild judge held a combined family reunion and tailgate party before the game last night.

JSU was mugging our guys on the field, and not one flag all night! We even wittnessed one of our players getting run off the field and into the wall on the back side of the JSU sidelines.... and no Flag? come on ref!

The photo in this article confirms it all. A 4th down and short sitaiton, and the JSU player not only grabed BJ's face mask, he tried to put his eye out along the way. Other photos to follow would show that he ripped the helment off his head.... No Falg Ref?

You build expereince by over coming adversity. That being said... UTC showed all the signs of a young team rebuilding its program... We made mistakes that a seasoned team with confidence would not have made.. time will fix all that...

Now we are 0-2. BUT! We have proven we can play with the top ranked teams in the nation Ap State #3, and JSU #6.... I am certain to see both of these teams in the play-offs at the end of the season.

Chattanooga, and Moc fans, don't give up and quit on this team. I can asure you they are not going to give up!

One of the key ingrediance to rebuilding a progam is the fan based support, win or loose!

Hang in there players, coaches,Moc fans, and the times free press reporters, something BIG is in the works! Let's don't start jumping off the wagen. The city of Chattanooga Economy has a lot to gain from a successful UTC football program.

September 12, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.
GeeBo said...

Jax State will win their crappy conference and make the playoffs and proceed to be beaten like a drum by 50 in the 1st round.

They are not good, and I have no clue how they beat Mississippi.

September 12, 2010 at 11:39 a.m.
CathyF said...

I'm a JSU fan first, but when I'm not rooting for them, I support the Mocs so I guess you could say I couldn't loose no matter how the game went last night.

I know it's always tempting to blame the refs for a loss. Did I think there were times JSU should have gotten penalties: yes. Were there times when UTC escaped calls? Yes, there were.

Despite the fact that UTC has suffered two heart-breaking losses, they are a for real team. They are tough and powerful and have all the tools to have a great season. I expect them to surprise a lot of people who are going to look at the record and underestimate them. They just have to learn to put it all together.

The truth is that both teams played sloppy and made numerous mistakes. The UTC defense, which looked so crushing in the first half, eventually looked like they were worn down. JSU simply capitalized on the errors. In both the UTC and Ole Miss games, JSU demonstrated that they are team who finds a way to win.

Good luck to the Mocs. They are a solid team and they WILL do well this season!

September 12, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.
GregT said...

@stillamoc and GeeBo, UTC has a good football team, but you two are SORE LOSERS.

September 12, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
jomo11 said...

i was at the game. The pass interference call against UTC on the 4th down and 23 yds in the 4th quarter was the WORST i have ever seen....

September 12, 2010 at 10:02 p.m.
AppFan said...

If football games were only 2 quarters UTC would be 2-0...looks like y'all need a new conditioning coach.

September 12, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.
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