SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team has no time to linger on Saturday's disheartening defeat at Wofford.
The 35-34 result, which came down to a failed UTC 2-point conversion attempt in overtime, left the Mocs as one of three teams with a single loss in Southern Conference play so far this season, with Furman and Wofford the others.
UTC (4-4, 3-1) hosts the Paladins (5-3, 4-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Finley Stadium, with the winner remaining in the title chase and the loser likely out. Wofford (5-2, 4-1) hosts Furman on Nov. 16, and the Mocs still have games at Samford (4-4, 3-2) on Nov. 9, against The Citadel (5-4, 3-2) the following week in the scheduled home finale and at Virginia Military Institute (4-4, 3-2) the week after that to close the regular season.
Every other SoCon team has at least three league losses.
With a lot left to be decided, UTC senior linebacker Marshall Cooper was ready to move on just minutes after Nick Tiano's pass hit the turf in the end zone at Gibbs Stadium.
"I'm not going to get frustrated about it. Just flush it, let it go and get ready for Furman," he said. "I have to flush it because Furman is a big deal. When I get on this bus, my entire focus has to be on Furman. Now if I worry about Wofford, it's not good. We just have to fix a few things and get ready for Furman.
"Once it gets all glued together, we're going to be a good team."
First-year head coach Rusty Wright is counting on both of those things happening this week. He knows it will be difficult to move on from a loss that makes it tempting to think of what could have been, but he also completely understands the Paladins won't care.
"We have to figure out a way to defeat Furman," he said. "We can't let this linger over and affect us. We're still playing for something, and that's the big thing. We're all the same now with one loss with a month left.
"We're actually in a little better shape because we're a game behind everybody, so we can give ourselves a chance. Whatever I've got left, I know they will go out there and play hard and we'll see what happens."
The Mocs played well enough to win Saturday, but two turnovers and a few missed reads on defense were enough to let the Terriers escape. Wofford, on the other hand, played turnover-free football.
"I think they just won it," junior receiver Bryce Nunnelly said. "They didn't make many mistakes. They didn't miss tackles and they didn't turn it over. We played well but just not well enough.
"Coach Wright said in the locker room that everybody is even now. To know that we are still in the running for it is a great feeling. Hopefully we can have a great week of practice and go get a win next Saturday."