published Sunday, August 25th, 2013

2013 College Blitz - UTC clashing colors

Break down of the UTC Mocs’ 2013 schedule

August 29 vs. UT-Martin

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: CSS/105.1 FM

• History: The Mocs lead the series 3-0, but this is the first meeting in 20 years — and it’s a big one.

• Preseason questions: The Skyhawks are coached by Jason Simpson, a former UTC offensive coordinator, and Martin’s passing game in 2012 was No. 10 in the FCS with 299.5 yards per game. But have the Skyhawks found a replacement for prolific quarterback Derek Carr?

September 7 vs. Georgia State

Georgia Dome, Atlanta

• TV/Radio: ESPN3.com/105.1 FM

• History: This is the first meeting between the schools and the first game of a home-and-home series, with the Panthers scheduled to play at UTC next season.

• Preseason questions: Georgia State is in its first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has a new coach in Trent Miles, who did well turning around a struggling program at Indiana State. Can he do the same at GSU, which went 1-10 last season?

September 14 vs. Austin Peay

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: GoMocs.com/105.1 FM

• History: The Mocs have a 4-0 lead in the series, though the teams haven’t met since 1968.

• Preseason questions: The Governors have a new coach in Kirby Cannon, who is taking over a squad that went 2-9 (1-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference) last season. Can Peay’s defense be a little stouter this season after giving up 31 or more points in 10 of its 11 games in 2012? What about the offense, which was held to 15 or fewer points seven times?

September 28 vs. GA Southern

Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, Ga.

• Radio: 105.1 FM

• History: The Eagles have a dominating 22-4 lead in the series, though recent games have come down to the wire, including their triple-overtime win last season.

• Preseason questions: The Eagles have been to the semifinals of the FCS playoffs the past three seasons. How will they handle the loss of some stellar defenders, including defensive tackle Brent Russell and safety J.J. Wilcox, who was drafted in the third round? And will not being eligible for the SoCon title or the playoffs cost GSU in motivation?

October 5 vs. Western Carolina

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: GoMocs.com/105.1 FM

• History: The Mocs lead this season 23-6, winning the past four meetings, including a 45-24 rout last season.

• Preseason questions: The Catamounts enter their second season under coach Mark Speir, who helped make WCU a bit more competitive last season, though the final record was 1-10. Is this the year that the Catamounts move out of the SoCon cellar? If so, they’re going to have to do better than allowing 40.8 points and 514.4 yards per game.

October 12 vs. Furman

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: ESPN3.com/105.1 FM

• History: Furman leads the series 27-15, though the Mocs had little trouble in a 31-10 win last season.

• Preseason questions: Bruce Fowler is 9-13 in his two seasons coaching the Paladins, including a 3-8 record last season, and it’s hard to imagine that one of the SoCon’s traditional powers will stay down for long. Quarterback Reese Hannon played well as a freshman last season, but can he improve on that without two big weapons in running back Jerodis Williams and tight end Colin Anderson?

October 19 vs. Elon

Rhodes Stadium, Elon, N.C.

• Radio: 105.1 FM

• History: Elon leads the series 6-4, but the Mocs have won the past two games in the series, including a 24-17 victory last season.

• Preseason questions: How will the Phoenix improve on last season’s 3-8 record when they have to replace a quarterback who threw for 3,149 yards and one of the top receivers in FCS history in Aaron Mellette? Elon must improve its run defense, which ranked No. 113 in the FCS in 2012. The Phoenix also gave up 31 sacks a year ago.

October 26 vs. The Citadel

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: GoMocs.com/105.1 FM

• History: The Mocs lead the series 27-17-2 and beat the Bulldogs 28-10 on the road in 2012.

• Preseason questions: The Bulldogs started to hit their triple-option stride last season, going 7-4 (5-3 SoCon) with back-to-back wins against Georgia Southern and App State, something no team had done before. Can the Bulldogs put together consecutive quality seasons, something they’ve struggled with? And can The Citadel defense be better than middle of the pack overall and better than No. 111 against the run?

November 2 vs. Appalachian St.

Kidd-Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C.

• Radio: 105.1 FM

• History: The Mountaineers have a 26-10 advantage in the series, including a 34-17 win last season in which they outscored the Mocs 24-7 in the fourth quarter.

• Preseason questions: How will coach Scott Satterfield do in his first season replacing longtime coach Jerry Moore, who led ASU to the top of the FCS? App State has to replace a very good running back in Steven Miller (1,368 yards), but it has the SoCon preseason offensive player of the year in quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson and last season’s freshman of the year in wideout Season Price.

November 9 vs. Wofford

Finley Stadium, Chattanooga

• TV/Radio: ESPN3.com/105.1 FM

• History: The Terriers lead the series 11-8, beating the Mocs 16-13 in overtime in a defensive battle last season.

• Preseason questions: How do you replace a legend in fullback Eric Breitenstein, who ran for 2,035 yards last season and scored 19 touchdowns? You don’t, but the Terriers should be just fine with Donovan Johnson getting lots of carries. Defensively, Wofford lost its coordinator and six starters, so it could be a transition year for that side of the ball.

November 16 vs. Samford

Seibert Stadium, Birmingham

• TV/Radio: ESPN3.com/105.1 FM

• History: UTC leads the series 26-9-3, with four straight wins, including a 20-13 victory last season.

• Preseason questions: Samford has had back-to-back winning seasons and went 5-3 in the SoCon in 2012. Can the Bulldogs challenge for the league title and a playoff spot? They have eight starters returning on offense, including quarterback Andy Summerlin, who was granted a sixth year by the NCAA. Samford has one of the best running backs in the league in Fabian Truss (1,063 yards in 2012) and a good group of receivers, led by Kelsey Pope (68 receptions in 2012).

November 23 vs. Alabama

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

• TV/Radio:TBA/105.1 FM

• History: Alabama leads the series 11-0, thumping the Mocs 45-0 in 2009.

• Preseason questions: The Mocs end their regular season against the mighty two-time defending BCS national champion. UTC hopes to enter this game with at least a spot in the FCS playoffs all but wrapped up, if not as SoCon champions, which may force the coaches to decide how much they want to play their starters.

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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