published Sunday, October 6th, 2013

UTC Mocs' Marquis Green says questionable TD 'referee's call'

Chattanooga running back Marquis Green, 21, warms up before the Mocs' Southern Conference football game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga running back Marquis Green, 21, warms up before the Mocs' Southern Conference football game against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. But whether he had the ball in the end, Marquis Green didn't care.

Green finished with three catches for 87 yards, scoring twice, in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 42-21 win over Western Carolina on Saturday at Finley Stadium. Green scored on a 67-yard screen pass from quarterback Jacob Huesman, but his second touchdown, on a 13-yard pass to start the fourth quarter, was the one in question.

"I think I did. That's the referee's call to make," Green said with a smile. "I tried to reach the ball over the plane, which Coach [Russ Huesman] didn't like. I won't be doing that again."

The Mocs showed a balanced attack Saturday, but the passing game pushed them into the lead as the coach's son completed 14 of 19 throws for 186 yards. He finished with 223 yards on a 72-percent completion rate, with four touchdowns.

"I think we eased our way into the passing game tonight," he said. "We put a little more emphasis on the passing game, but we started with short passes and screens, and later on we took some shots."

Terrell Robinson was the leader in catches with eight. Tommy Hudson and Troy Dye caught the first touchdown passes of their respective careers.

"The coaches have found a way to put the skill guys on the field at the same time," Green said. "We have a lot of guys on this team that can make plays."

Behind the line

On his 55th carry of the season, Keon Williams finally was tackled for a loss. It didn't deter him, though, as he finished with 127 yards rushing -- his third game of at least 100 yards this season.

"I heard that. That hurt me," he said of the lost-yardage play. "And I honestly feel like that was going to be a touchdown play, right there. ... They finally got me."

As a team, the Mocs ran for 209 yards -- their fourth straight game of at least 200 and their longest such streak since a five-game span during the 2005 season. Jacob Huesman finished with 49 yards rushing, all but 2 of those yards coming in the second half.

Looking for a game

UTC posted on the website FootballScoop.com on Thursday that it is looking for a home game for Sept. 6, 2014. The Mocs want a Championship Subdivision or Division II opponent and are willing to do a home-and-home with an FCS team.

The 2014 schedule has been in disarray since Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Elon announced they were leaving the SoCon after this season. There also is uncertainty about the status of Georgia State's scheduled visit to Finley next season. UTC routed the Bowl Subdivision Panthers 42-10 earlier this season.

Off and on

UTC was without several starters and key contributors: defensive tackle Derrick Lott (elbow), left guard Synjen Herren (shoulder) and cornerback Will Johnson (shoulder). None of the three practiced all week leading after getting injured in last week's loss to Georgia Southern.

One player suited up for the first time: freshman offensive lineman Hunter Townson (shoulder). The former Ider (Ala.) High School standout, who enrolled last January, was expected to redshirt this season and did not play. Senior offensive lineman Hunter Dockery left the game in the first half with an injury and was on crutches in the second half.

Extra points

UTC started the second half with a drive spanning 7 minutes, 18 seconds, which was its longest of the season. The 15 plays tied the season high. ... After the Mocs had 11 penalties -- some costly -- against Georgia Southern last week, they trimmed that number to four Saturday. ... In the second quarter, Nick Pollard lined up for his first field-goal try of the season, a 40-yarder that he pushed left. ... Safety Zach McCarter, a local product from Hixson, got his first interception of the season in his third game back from a knee injury. It was one of four interceptions by UTC. The other three came in the first half.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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