The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Georgia State football teams have signed a two-game, home-and-home deal for 2013 and ’14.
UTC will face the Panthers in the Georgia Dome in 2013, and the Atlanta school will visit Finley Stadium the following season. Mocs coach Russ Huesman said the matchup has a lot of potential.
“It could become a nice rivalry,” Huesman said, citing the schools’ proximity and shared recruiting territory.
Georgia State played its first season in 2010, going 6-5 against opponents from nearly all levels of college football. The Panthers are directed by former Alabama and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry.
Before being hired by GSU in June 2008, Curry was the director of Leadership Baylor at the Baylor School. Former Mocs quarterback Tony Pastore was an assistant on Curry’s staff last season.
Georgia State will begin conference play in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2012. The Panthers and Mocs had one common opponent last season: Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks beat UTC 21-17 and beat GSU 34-27 in overtime.
UTC athletic director Rick Hart said a series with Georgia State is a “natural fit” for the Mocs and meets the criteria he looks for in nonconference games.
“It makes a lot of sense for us,” he said. “You know how important Atlanta is to our recruiting efforts, and for each of us it’s an up-and-back [day] trip and it’s an easy trip for our fans.”
Along with playing Georgia State in 2014, the Mocs likely will play Tennessee for the first time since 1969. While that game is not yet official, Hart said both sides want it to happen.
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 ...