CHARLESTON, S.C. - Badly in need of a win, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team got one in emphatic fashion Saturday night at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
The Mocs were prolific on offense and stingy on defense and headed into their off week with a 28-10 win over The Citadel, ranked No. 15 in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision. UTC's most complete performance of the season resulted in its first Southern Conference win.
"I told the team in the locker room, I'm never been prouder of a football team and a coaching staff as I was tonight," coach Russ Huesman said. "It was a 1-3 football team coming in here and we could have folded up, but we played really hard."
UTC (2-3, 1-1) effectively used quarterbacks Terrell Robinson and Jacob Huesman, who were the Mocs' top two rushers (177 yards combined) and were efficient through the air. Huesman finished 11-of-14 for 86 yards and a touchdown, and Robinson was 4-of-5 for 73 yards and a score.
"I thought it worked out pretty good," Coach Huesman said of the two-QB system. "We had two fresh guys out there that can run."
The Citadel (3-2, 2-1), which scored 52 points and gained 618 yards in a win at Appalachian State earlier this season, was shut down offensively for much of the game.
UTC, which had senior running back Chris Awuah run the scout-team offense all week (Coach Huesman gave him the game ball), forced two turnovers and held the Bulldogs to 357 yards of offense. The Mocs actually outrushed The Citadel 254-232.
"Getting three-and-outs, getting a lot of turnovers, that's what we've got to do to win games," said Mocs linebacker Gunner Miller, who had four tackles.
UTC's offense didn't do much until midway through the second quarter, when Robinson and wideout Ron Moore made the plays that put UTC up 7-3. After connecting on a 51-yard bomb to the Bulldogs' 13, Robinson hit Moore for a 13-yard score that was all Robinson.
"He's the one that got us on a roll," Jacob Huesman said.
On the touchdown, The Citadel had pass rushers in the backfield quickly, and two nearly got hold of Robinson. He got free and eluded several other defenders, and after about seven seconds of scrambling he found Moore alone in the end zone.
"If the play isn't working I like to extend the play, and Ron was waving at me in the back of the end zone," Robinson said.
The Mocs closed the half by driving 82 yards in 15 plays and taking a 14-3 lead on Jacob Huesman's 1-yard pass to tight end Faysal Shafaat with 2.5 seconds left.
The first-half stats told the story: UTC had 16 yards of offense in the first quarter and 151 in the second; the Bulldogs had 122 in the first and 18 in the second.
With Robinson and Jacob Huesman working together at quarterback, UTC took a 21-3 lead with 2:56 left in the third quarter. It was a 13-play, 85-yard drive that lasted six minutes and ended with a 13-yard run by Robinson to the 3, followed by a 3-yard scramble-and-score by Robinson.
Mocs running back Kenny Huitt put the game away with a 29-yard touchdown run, the first of his career, to put UTC up 28-10 with 12:59 to play.
The road win was the Mocs' best since 1983, when the Mocs beat a 10th-ranked Appalachian State squad.