published Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Davis Tull leads sack attack for Chattanooga Mocs

Furman's Cameron Mason (49) is called for a face mask penalty after holding UTC's Davis Tull (90).
Furman's Cameron Mason (49) is called for a face mask penalty after holding UTC's Davis Tull (90).
Photo by Tim Barber.

Davis Tull will have to wait at least one more week to break the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga record for career sacks. Not that he minds.

The Mocs senior led a monster defensive effort Saturday, finishing with 3.5 sacks -- which gives him 23 for his career and ties him with recently graduated Josh Williams for the school record. UTC totaled six sacks of Furman freshman quarterback Duncan Fletcher after coming into the game with only four.

"Teams try to run on us, and if we're able to stop the run and they have to pass, we're able to get after the quarterback," Tull said. "People have been asking us about the sacks, and even though the numbers haven't been there, we've been disruptive. I was just fortunate to get back there tonight."

In the second quarter, an interception and two UTC fumbles gave Furman chances to put points on the board, but the Mocs defense, which spent most of that quarter on the field, limited the Paladins to two field goals. Tull had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to stop a drive.

D.J. Key finished with nine tackles, while Wes Dothard -- who was treated after the game for concussion-like symptoms -- had six tackles, two for loss, and a sack. The Paladins had only 189 yards of total offense.

"I thought we had a great defensive effort tonight," UTC coach Russ Huesman said.

This one is good!

UTC's Nick Pollard would gladly take opportunities to kick extra points rather than field goals. Saturday he got to do both and made his first field goal of the season, a 35-yard try with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

Pollard missed a similar attempt last week versus Western Carolina.

"We've been getting a lot of reps during practice," he said. "I think I've been kicking well this year; I just haven't had many opportunities to kick field goals because we've been putting points on the board. We've been moving the ball and having a lot of success, and that's made my job easy this year."

Local Paladins solid

Local products T.J. Warren and John Mackey had solid games against the Mocs. Warren, a redshirt freshman who was a standout at Ooltewah, finished with 11 tackles, half a tackle for loss and a second-quarter fumble recovery for Furman. Mackey, a redshirt sophomore who prepped at Baylor, finished with five tackles.

Quarterback blues

It's usually not a great sign for an offense when the description "Moved from PK" is used in the game notes for the No. 2 quarterback. But that's where Furman is after a string of serious injuries to three of its top four QBs entering the season.

True freshman Duncan Fletcher started his second game in a row -- he began the season fourth on the depth chart -- and the backup is redshirt freshman Hunter Townes, who a week ago was the backup kicker. Against the Mocs, Fletcher was 8-for-17 passing for 62 yards, being sacked six times while splitting time with Richard Hayes III, who is listed on the Furman roster as a defensive back.

Chamberlain tribute

As part of UTC's homecoming festivities, the new Chamberlain Pavilion was dedicated Saturday morning.

Chamberlain Field, in the heart of the campus, was the Mocs' home for 86 seasons. The pavilion, which was made with elements of the old facility and lies at the edge of the old playing field, pays tribute to the old stadium and field, where UTC went 301-133-25.

The dedication drew a large crowd of alumni, longtime Mocs fans, members of the Chamberlain family and more. Coach Huesman played for the Mocs (1978-81) at Chamberlain Field, as did UTC linebackers coach Rusty Wright (1992-95). In 1997, the Mocs moved to Finley Stadium, where they have gone 39-49.

Extra points

In the third quarter, UTC's A.J. Hampton blocked a Ray Early punt and recovered it in midair. He was credited with an 11-yard punt return on the play. ... UTC's Gunner Miller went out of game in the second half with shoulder injury. He did not return. ... The Mocs surpassed 200 yards rushing for the fifth straight game for the first time since 2005. Keon Williams had 101 yards on the ground, his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. ... Furman sophomore linebacker Carl Rider had 16 tackles and two sacks against the Mocs.

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

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