Mocs aim to get back to winning

Mocs aim to get back to winning

October 22nd, 2016 by Gene Henley in Sports - College
UTC head coach Russ Huesman shouts instructions along the sidelines. The University of Tennessee/Chattanooga Mocs hosted the Shorter University Hawks in NCAA football action on Sept. 1, 2016.

UTC head coach Russ Huesman shouts instructions along...

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

Fourteen days seem like an eternity for Russ Huesman.

Especially when that's been the time between wins for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach.

His eighth-ranked Mocs (6-1, 4-1) try to get back in the win column this afternoon when they host Southern Conference opponent Virginia Military Institute (3-3, 1-2) at Finley Stadium at 2. UTC is coming off a 22-14 loss at The Citadel, now the fifth-ranked team in the country.

But that loss means that today will make 14 days since the Mocs have won a game. And that is too long for the eighth-year head coach.

"We just have to win a game this week," Huesman said. "It feels like forever since we won a game. I can't wait to play another game and try to get that loss out of here and start another streak. All we have to worry about is VMI right now.

"Sometimes you take winning for granted, and you can't. When you win one, you need to be excited about it but not take it for granted. Our kids will go back to work this weekend, come out and play hard on Saturday."

The importance of today's game can't be overstated. The Mocs need a win to keep pace in the SoCon, as The Citadel remains in first with a 4-0 mark, while UTC, Samford and Wofford each has one loss. Wofford's Terriers (4-2 overall) host The Citadel this week and conceivably could give the Bulldogs their first loss.

In that case a UTC win technically would put the Mocs in first place with a 5-1 league record, although the Bulldogs still would hold the tiebreaker advantage.

"You can't dwell on one loss," defensive end Keionta Davis said. "I know our team is ready and there's a lot of games left. You have to go out and play football every Saturday — there's no time to be sad over it. We didn't get what we want, so next time we have to work harder to get what we want."

Added receiver C.J. Board: "Our guys know the season isn't over. We all know we just have to come back and work even harder than we have been.

"We'll take it week by week and focus on taking it one game at a time, and we'll be fine."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.