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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / UTC's Ailym Ford (32) tries to breaks free from Furman's Landon Lawrence (53) during last Saturday's Southern Conference matchup at Finley Stadium.

UTC (4-5, 3-2 SoCon) at SAMFORD (4-5, 3-3)

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019

3 p.m. EST at Seibert Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama

 

VIDEO & RADIO

ESPN+ & 97.7 FM/1070 AM

 

THE MATCHUP

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has had great success against the Bulldogs on the football field, winning five consecutive meetings and nine of the past 10. Samford had developed a reputation as a pass-first offense, but that unit has become more balanced this season with quarterback Chris Oladokun and running back Jay Stanton, who have combined for nearly 1,000 rushing yards. The Bulldogs still hang their hat on the aerial attack, though, as Oladokun has passed for 1,986 yards (221 per game) and 17 touchdowns. He has an array of targets, led by Chris Shelling (39 catches for 466 yards) and Robert Adams (29 for 444). UTC's secondary will be without injured junior captain Jerrell Lawson, with D.J. Jackson taking his place at free safety.

 

ONE TO WATCH

UTC running back Ailym Ford has five consecutive games with at least 116 rushing yards, amassing 827 yards (an average of 162.2 per game) during that span on 143 carries (5.8 yards per rush). With very little depth at his position, the freshman will be tasked with a heavy workload once again. The good news for Ford and the rest of the Mocs on that side of the ball is they will face a defense that has allowed an average of 243 rushing yards per game. The Bulldogs gave up 141 yards on the ground last week to Mercer, which managed just 26 rushing yards against UTC in the Mocs' win in early October. Furman rushed for 460 yards against Samford two games ago.

 

IN THE END

This one could turn out to be a contrast in game plans. Samford has allowed opponents to have the ball 36 minutes a game, something the Mocs would love to replicate with Ford and the impressive offensive line that clears his path. Samford's fast-paced offense could give the depleted UTC defense trouble late in the game, though. Still, Ford should have another monster game to keep his defensive teammates off the field enough to help the Mocs end a two-game losing streak.

 

PREDICTION

UTC 42, Samford 28

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

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