published Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

ASU-UTC series one-sided but dramatic

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    Staff Photo by Dan Henry -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's football strength coach Scott Brincks speaks to players during Monday's practice at Scrappy Moore Field.

The football series between the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Appalachian State has been one-sided in results the past few decades. What it has lacked in back-and-forth wins, it often has made up for in drama.

Especially the past few meetings.

Saturday's 34-17 Appalachian State win didn't reflect the closeness of the game, which was tied at 10 heading into the final quarter.

Take last season, when UTC's defense shut out ASU's offense — something no Football Championship Subdivision team had done to the Mountaineers since 1998. Still, App State managed a 14-12 win, stopping a two-point attempt by UTC with 9:51 to play.

That scoreless streak extended into the second quarter Saturday.

The Mountaineers also stopped a two-point play with 51 seconds left in 2010, securing a 42-41 win after rallying from 35-14 down early in the fourth quarter. The year before, ASU had a 21-20 lead in the fourth quarter before scoring twice late to win 35-20.

UTC jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter Saturday and could have built on the lead, but the Mountaineers were able to tie the game at 10 just before halftime. The score remained the same heading into the fourth quarter.

Nothing, however, will match the drama of UTC's win in 2004 — a 59-56 shootout that featured eight touchdown plays of 21 yards or more.

"It was to a point that it almost seemed unreal, and you're thinking, is this really happening?" said UTC strength coach Scott Brincks, one of the few people still within the Mocs football program that was on the sideline that day.

Consider some of the numbers from that game: 169 combined plays; 1,337 combined yards of offense; 59 total first downs. UTC quarterback Cedric Stevens -- this was during the Mocs' "Air Raid" days -- was 29-for-45 passing for 515 yards and five touchdowns. Stevens also led UTC in rushing with 55 yards and a touchdown.

ASU quarterback Richie Williams was 21-of-37 for 410 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also led the Mountaineers with 107 yards rushing and two scores.

Mocs wideout Alonzo Nix had eight catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns and Emanuel Hassel had seven for 127 and a score. ASU's DaVon Fowlkes also was busy with 12 grabs for 236 yards and two scores.

"It was amazing how many big plays were actually made," Brincks said. "It was fun, to be honest. You don't ever like it as a defensive guy when it's 59-56, but as a fan it was fun to watch."

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.

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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