ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
UTC wide receiver Xavier Borishade (12) and defensive back Jordan Jones shake hands after their win in the Mocs' first-round FCS football playoff game against Weber State at Finely Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. UTC won 45-14.

Photo Gallery

Mocs steamroll error-prone Weber State, 45-14, in FCS playoff game

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team prides itself on its overall team speed.

But on Saturday, the difference between the Mocs and Big Sky Conference opponent Weber State was UTC's quickness on defense.

A step quicker than the Wildcats all day. More instinctive. Turnover hungry.

In the end, those things were the difference.

The Mocs forced five turnovers in a 45-14 victory at Finley Stadium. The turnover number was the most since UTC forced five in a 51-7 win over Western Carolina on Oct. 15, 2011.

Although the Wildcats finished with 306 yards of total offense, they entered the final period with only 173 yards, including 37 rushing. They finished with 237 yards passing, but quarterback Jadrian Clark was intercepted twice, including once by Trevor Wright for a 41-yard touchdown, and safety Lucas Webb also forced a fumble of tight end Andrew Vollert that led to a 99-yard fumble recovery for a score by Montrell Pardue.

"I don't think you can simulate their speed," Clark said. "They played really well. Chattanooga is a really, really good team; their linebackers flew around quicker than anyone I'd seen all year. There's a few plays I thought we'd be able to make — some screens, some plays where it looked like we had the block made — but they were able to shed the block and make the tackle.

"They're really fast and really well-coached."

It's also helped that the Mocs have playmakers at all three levels of the defense. They broke up a season-high nine passes, and along with Wright's interception, Webb made the 10th pickoff of his career, breaking a tie he'd held with head coach Russ Huesman all season long.

Defensive tackle Isaiah Mack had a pair of sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, while Leslie had a team-high seven tackles.

"We do have great team speed," Huesman said. "We have guys that can run, and we've made the conscious effort to recruit people that can run on defense, but you can run all you want. If you're not where you're supposed to be — if you're not in the right gap, right coverage, not communicating — it doesn't make a difference."

Notes

Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield threw two touchdown passes, giving him 25 for the season, which broke a tie he held with immediate predecessor Jacob Huesman's 2014 season for the third-best single season of all time. C.J. Board continues to move up in the career rankings, with his 29 receiving yards giving him 1,903, which passes Alonzo Nix (2003-04) for sixth all-time.

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

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT