published Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

UTC Mocs earn No. 25 in final FCS coaches' poll

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team started its offseason workouts Monday morning in preparation for the 2014 season. Monday afternoon, the Mocs got a reminder of how successful the 2013 campaign was.

UTC was 25th in the final Football Championship Subdivision coaches' poll, the program's first inclusion on the final list since 1984, when it was 17th. The Mocs went 8-4 and earned a share of the Southern Conference title along with Samford and Furman, which finished 18th and 21st.

The 1984 season was the last time the Mocs won the Southern Conference.

"A part of me feels good about the accomplishment, but I think I speak for most of the guys that we have higher expectations," offensive lineman Synjen Herren said Monday. "We want to do better next year, and that started today."

The Mocs were 8-2 and already had claimed a share of the conference title before losing at Alabama and then at Samford in a conference game that cost them the outright championship. They dropped two spots from the end of the regular season to the final poll.

"The ranking is nice, but it's not where we want to be," UTC coach Russ Huesman said. "It's a nice deal to have, but we want to have a better year next year -- no question. The coaches and the players both feel that way."

• UTC junior defensive end Davis Tull added another honor to his resume Monday, when he was named to the Athletic Directors' Association Academic All-Star Team. The Health and Human Performance major holds a 3.52 grade point average and recently became the Mocs' first Academic All-American in addition to being a consensus FCS All-American for his play.

Tull was credited with 52 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks during the 2013 season, when he was the SoCon defensive player of the year for the second time.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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