published Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Chattanooga Mocs chasing win No. 500

The Citadel's Ben Dupree (2) attempts to turn the corner as UTC's Davis Tull (90) closes in 2011. UTC faces the Citadel at Finley Stadium Saturday
The Citadel's Ben Dupree (2) attempts to turn the corner as UTC's Davis Tull (90) closes in 2011. UTC faces the Citadel at Finley Stadium Saturday
Photo by Robin Rudd /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Chasing 500

In its 106th season of football, UTC is a win away from victory No. 500. Here are the milestone wins over the years:

No. 1 -- UTC 17, Athens 0 (1904)

No. 100 -- UTC 48, Union 0 (1929)

No. 200 -- UTC 23, Memphis State 6 (1952)

No. 300 -- UTC 26, ETSU 21 (1973)

No. 400 -- UTC 22, ETSU 3 (1990)

The best win in University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football history comes down to two, and even then it's really not that close.

Nearly 55 years ago, on Nov. 8, 1958, the Mocs went to Knoxville and upset Tennessee 14-6. It remains the high-water mark. They were the University of Chattanooga Moccasins then and the win sparked a mass celebration, and a bit of a riot, from Knoxville to Chattanooga that likely hasn't been seen since.

In an informal Twitter poll, the other win that was mentioned most was the 1993 upset of nationally top-ranked Marshall, 33-31, at Chamberlain Field. UTC struggled to a 4-7 record that season, Tommy West's one year as head coach, but that game will live in Mocs lore forever.

Today at Finley Stadium, UTC (5-2, 3-1 Southern Conference) will go for the program's 500th win. UTC, in its 106th season of football, is 499-505-35 all-time.

"I think probably for me, it's more important," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said of getting the 500th win. "I think it's neater for me, because I'm an alum and I've been a part of it as a player and now as a coach. ... It will probably be more important to [the players] five years down the road, that they were a part of it."

The Mocs face The Citadel (2-5, 2-3), which they beat last season in one of the best wins of the past few seasons. Ranked No. 10, The Citadel already had defeated Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. UTC, meanwhile, was 1-3 and badly in need of a spark to get the season going.

Terrell Robinson rushed for 97 yards, Jacob Huesman had 80 and both players threw touchdowns passes in the Mocs' 28-10 win. Robinson and Huesman combined for 336 yards of total offense in UTC's best road win over a ranked team since beating No. 10 Appalachian State in 1983.

"That was a pretty good one," Mocs defensive end Davis Tull said. "That was a fun one because it kind of changed the momentum of our season."

Starting with that win, UTC won five of its last seven games and finished 6-5 for the third time in four years.

For the current Mocs upperclassmen, the 2011 win against No. 10 Jacksonville State -- a 38-17 thumping -- also was among the most satisfying. The Gamecocks had dominated the recent series, and would win again in 2011, but the Mocs held JSU to 17 yards of offense in the second half.

"I think that one meant a lot to us," senior safety D.J. Key said.

Coach Huesman said two wins during his playing career, both coming during the 1981 season, stand out more than any others. Handing Furman its first loss ever in Paladin Stadium, 31-28, was one. The other was a 3-2 win "in a driving, driving rain storm" at Arkansas State, he said.

"It was a night game and we woke up in the morning and it poured down rain the whole day. It poured the whole game," Huesman said. "You couldn't warm up or do anything. It was brutal.

"They were good, big, physical, and we probably wouldn't have ever beaten them if it wasn't for the storm."

Of UTC's 499 wins to date, 27 have come against The Citadel. The Mocs lead the all-time series 27-17-2.

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

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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