published Sunday, November 20th, 2011

UTC seniors still proud

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's seniors wanted to close out their football careers with a win and a third straight winning season. Wofford denied them that with a 28-27 victory Saturday.

There were some tears shed after the game, but the Mocs seniors also were able to hold their heads up and talk with pride about what they've accomplished. The four-year players started their careers with a 1-11 season in 2008 and ended them with their fifth nail-biter loss this season -- to the No. 12-ranked Terriers.

"This doesn't change what's been built and what we've been able to do," quarterback B.J. Coleman said. "There is so much more that goes into it than just the winning part. We have built things from the ground here that are very tough to do in a three-year span.

"The feeling that we have when we come into a stadium, knowing that we're in every single game. We lost five games by a total of 12 points -- that might not ever happen again."

UTC had six senior starters this season: Coleman, Joel Bradford and Sloan Allison on offense and Ryan Consiglio, Jordan Tippit and Chris Lewis-Harris on defense. Defensive tackle Nick Davison also was a senior, but he is expected to return in 2012 after suffering a torn ACL early in the season.

Of those six, five earned All-Southern Conference honors at some point in their careers, and one or two could receive more following this season.

More importantly, UTC's seniors helped lead the program's turnaround under third-year coach Russ Huesman.

"What a great senior class," Huesman said. "Those guys fought. That's a great group. They helped start this thing, and for us to lose 28-27 three times is ridiculous. We had so many opportunities to win all those games. It's tough to swallow."

Wofford coach Mike Ayers said UTC's program had come "light years" in the past few seasons.

For the quarterback-receiver combo of Coleman and Bradford, Saturday marked the end of a career playing together that began in the sixth grade. They both set school records in their three seasons together at UTC and they connected for one last touchdown in their final game, a 13-yarder that gave the Mocs a 14-7 lead.

Coleman finished his career with a school-record 52 touchdown passes, Bradford finished with 1,944 receiving yards (fifth all-time) and Allison had a career-high seven receptions in his final game.

Consiglio, the Mocs' Sam linebacker, saved his best for last -- a career-high 19 tackles. He finished the season with 120, the most in the SoCon.

"I think I'll be able to live with that," he said. "I certainly wanted to come in here and do something that I would remember. I didn't want to come out and flop around in my last game, so 19 is pretty solid with me, I guess."

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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mwbrooks said...

I have enjoyed your articles on UTC football for the last 4 years. However, once again I was sad that a wonderful senior was overlooked! Brock Oliver walked on to the UTC football program 4 years ago as a true college freshman from Ooltewah High School. He made the travel team that year for the first game at Oklahoma and was put in the game after the regular long snapper over snapped. He played and started every game for fours years after that. He wasn’t always perfect but he was close - he was reliable and he always gave his all! However, the sad thing is that he usually only heard his name or saw his name in the paper when he messed up. That never seemed to bother him but it sure did his friends and family! He is a hometown boy bringing over 20 fans to every game including his freshman year when there were only hundreds in the stand. He went to practice and never caused any problems or embarrassment to his team. He is a Southern Conference Scholastic Athlete, has made the Dean’s List almost every semester and will graduate with close to a 4.0.

Brock Oliver played EVERY game for four years! That in itself is probably a statistic in the college football world!

Don’t you think you could have at least mentioned Brock’s name in the article about the UTC Seniors after the last game of his career???? He never got an article about him but a mention in the Senior article would have been the right thing.

Sallie Brooks -

November 20, 2011 at 10:45 p.m.
mocfan said...

I agree that a lot of good seniors were over looked to print info on just a few. Another senior Mike Hammons, who also had a good following was signed as a kicker out of Polk high school. His punting skills were immediately seen and he was moved and carried to support both the kicking and punting duties. He was inserted his freshman year to start in the punting area and punted all 4 years, until the last 4 games his senior year. He and Brock played together their whole college career. For you that don’t know, Mike earned All SoCon special teams player of the week multiple years and also earned Academic All-Southern Conference honors. His Junior season he was the Second Team All-SoCon selection. He also ended the year in the 2nd place in the Southern Conference and was ranked 26th in the nation. He also was nominated for the College Football Performance Award for his weekly performance against Jackson State. No other Moc has been nominated for this award. Here was an individual on schedule to win all SoCon and was pulled and replaced with a person that had never punted. The only game he did get to punt after that he had one punt over 51 yards and averaged over 3 yards better than the other punter. He was not given another change to punt again for Chattanooga. You Figure. He is grateful for what he has been given and he is going forward with his career with no help from his coaches. Regardless if I am a pissed off parent or not these are the facts.

December 8, 2011 at 1:06 p.m.
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