GREENVILLE, S.C. - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wide receiver Joel Bradford had no answer for why he was open so much in the No. 24 Mocs' 36-28 win over No. 25 Furman on Saturday at Paladin Stadium.
Bradford caught a career-high 15 passes for a school-record 274 yards and a touchdown. The Mocs were picking on Furman cornerback Jordan Griffin, who was trying to cover Bradford, by calling the same plays again and again.
"It was funny. We'd go in the huddle and they'd call the same play," Bradford said, smiling. "I'm like, 'All right. Let's hope this works, because if it doesn't then it's a kill shot.' I had confidence in it and was just thinking, 'Catch the ball, catch the ball.'"
Said offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield: "We ran the same play probably seven times and I'm sitting there thinking, 'Surely it's not going to work again.' ... It kept working and [tight end Garrett Hughes] made some great plays plays on a very similar type throw."
Bradford's longest play went for 38 yards, but his most important was the 9-yard touchdown catch that put UTC in front 29-28 with 8:57 to play in the game.
Mocs coach Russ Huesman joked earlier in the week that Bradford was "sneaky fast and sneaky sneaky," which is why Bradford was among the top wideouts in the country.
Against Furman, Bradford said, "I think I was 'sneaky sneaky' more than 'sneaky fast.'" The reason: fatigue.
"I was getting pretty tired out there," he said. "I was trying to use head-fakes and my route running skills to try to get open."
Busy, busy offense
Bradford and the rest of the offense had reason to be tired after running 102 plays. Furman, meanwhile, ran just 54.
UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman was 33-for-59 passing with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Two of his picked-off passes were either tipped at the line of scrimmage or bounced off a receiver.
"They overcame me and they didn't quit," Coleman said of his teammates.
The Mocs didn't have a great day running the ball, but their 43 carries for 136 yards helped them win the time-of-possession battle 36:32 to 23:28.
Huesman picks UTC
The postgame celebration in the locker room included an extra cheer when Jacob Huesman, son of the coach, informed the coaches that he was committing to UTC.
Jacob, Baylor's standout quarterback, said he was moved to make the announcement by UTC's come-from-behind win.
"The win today, that was making my heart stop for a while," said Jacob, who was wearing a UTC T-shirt. "Then when we won it, it got me."
Jacob had offers from James Madison and Air Force and was being recruited by several ACC schools.
Russ Huesman isn't allowed to comment on any commitments, but Jacob said his dad was excited.
"He gave me a hug, said he loved me - stuff a dad would do," Jacob said.
Center Galyon out
Mocs senior center Justin Galyon, who has started every game but one since the 2008 season, left the game in the second quarter with a back injury. He hobbled around for a couple of series before coming out for good.
Left guard Austin Wilson slid over to center and Nick Gipson replaced Wilson to his left. Galyon was on crutches on the sideline in the second half. His status for this Saturday's game against Elon is unknown.
The Mocs were 11-of-21 on turning third downs into firsts, while Furman converted just 1 of 10 third-down plays. Four of the third downs UTC's defense stopped were third-and-1 plays, and the Paladins had 3 yards or less on six of the 10. ... Linebackers Ryan Consiglio and Shane Heatherly and defensive tackle Nick Craig led UTC with eight tackles each. ... The Mocs have won three straight SoCon road games for the first time since 1991.