ELON, N.C. --Terrell Robinson is making being a college quarterback look pretty easy.
In front of an Elon homecoming crowd of 9,294 at Rhodes Stadium on Saturday, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga redshirt freshman rushed for 115 yards and threw for 140 and three touchdowns in a 42-18 win over the Phoenix.
"I knew he was a talented individual and I knew that he was going to be a good player," Mocs offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said. "I had no idea that he would be this far along."
In the first half, as the Mocs built a 28-0 lead, the back-to-back Southern Conference freshman of the week completed 11 of 12 passes. He made touchdown throws to Joel Bradford, Sloan Allison and Marlon Anthony.
The throws to Bradford (a 52-yarder) and Allison (11 yards) were largely improvised, with Robinson scrambling toward the line of scrimmage when he released the ball.
"I was just making something happen," said Robinson, who now has six career touchdown passes to just one interception.
The Mocs (4-4, 2-3), who survived a third-quarter slump to snap a five-game losing streak to Elon (4-4, 2-3), also got a defensive touchdown from linebacker Gunner Miller. The former East Ridge High School standout ran an interception back 24 yards in the first quarter for his first collegiate touchdown. It also was his first career pickoff.
"I was fresh coming in and they just happened to throw it right to me, and I took advantage of it," Miller said.
UTC's defense produced a pair of touchdowns against Western Carolina a week earlier. Saturday, Miller's was the only turnover that was returned for a touchdown, but UTC forcedthree other turnovers and drove for touchdowns after each.
Elon has committed 29 turnovers this season, the most in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
"Same old, same old," Elon coach Jason Swepson said. "Turnovers are killing us right now. Big plays on defense are killing us."
The Mocs led 28-3 at halftime, but Elon dominated the third quarter and the early part of the fourth. The Phoenix got their passing game going while also controlling the clock as they cut UTC's lead to 28-18 with 10:50 left in the game.
UTC managed just 4 yards of offense, on six plays, in the third quarter.
"There was a stretch there in the third quarter, I was a little nervous," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "We weren't playing really good defense and we couldn't get a first down."
After Elon's two second-half touchdowns, it went for two-point conversions and failed both times.
Perhaps the most important play of the game came after the Phoenix scored to make it 28-18. On first down from the UTC 21, with the Mocs in desperate need for something positive on offense, Robinson broke free down the right sideline for a 41-yard run.
"Whether we scored or not at that point in time, we had to get some first downs," Huesman said. "We had to get the momentum, in some capacity, back. If we'd have went three-and-out there, I'm not sure if we could have hung on."
It was, in fact, a three-play drive. On the third, running back Marquis Green ran the ball in for a 21-yard score to make it 35-18 with 9:22 left in the game.
"It just sucked the momentum right out of them. It was huge," Satterfield said.
J.J. Jackson put the nail in the coffin with 3:07 to play when he scored on a 19-yard run. The Mocs finished with 187 yards rushing on 40 carries and 327 yards of offense.
Elon had 347 yards of offense, with quarterback Thomas Wilson going 22-of-35 for 238 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Phoenix's star wideout, Aaron Mellette, had eight catches for 107 yards but did not score for the first time this season.
The Mocs will be back in Finley Stadium next week against Furman, which knocked off nationally fourth-ranked Wofford on Saturday.
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 ...