The Mocs of November are far removed from their slow start in summer heat

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / UTC football coach Rusty Wright encourages his players as they finish stretching before their game at Tennnessee on Sept. 14. In Wright's first season as coach at his alma mater, the Mocs have overcome numerous injuries to contend in the SoCon.

As the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team prepared this week to host The Citadel in what will be the final home game for 14 seniors, Rusty Wright couldn't help but recall his first impression of the 2019 Mocs.

"The first day of fall camp, I was like, 'Oh, no.' I was sweating it," UTC's first-year head coach said with a shake of his head. "We were nowhere near being a football team."

There were days during practice under the melting Tennessee sun when the former UTC player and assistant would walk away from whatever drill was being butchered, his head down as he tried to find some reason to be optimistic or the right words to motivate his tired and sometimes confused players.

"We had a lot going on," he said.